offers a unique combination of scientific expertise of its members
and background in industrial production of lasers, which is of primary
importance for the successful completion of the program.
Markets include scientific applications such as Raman Microscopy,
Multiphoton Imaging in the IR and providing diagnostics for a large
variety of ultrafast lasers. APE has sales in Europe and Asia with
its own affiliate the United States serving the North and South
Products include optical parametric oscillators, optical parametric
amplifiers (OPA) in the IR, harmonic generators, autocorrelators
as well as FROG (frequency resolved optical gating) and SPIDER (Spectral
Phase Interferometry for Direct Electric Field Reconstruction) as
well as pulse
pickers and acousto-optical modulators with custom drivers.
APE has identified tunable high speed ultrafast lasers as a very
attractive market opportunity, but, as a SME, does not have the
necessary resources to pursue the required research on its own.
Role in the project
APE has long standing experience in the development and commercial
manufacturing of optical parametric devices (OPOs as well as OPAs)
and harmonic generation for
wavelength extension, ultrafast diagnostics as well as associated
electronic drivers, e.g. used in pulse pickers.
The company’s expertise includes the design of the parametric
crystals needed for the parametric devices, fabrication of the optical
setup as well as the electronic driver and computer programming
to control and automate the systems. Advanced versions of the OPOs
are completely automated and can be controlled via computer. Further
APE’s expertise includes systems for full pulse characterization.
APE will work with MBI to take an amplifier design and apply its
engineering expertise with the aim of being able to develop an OPA
system optimized for the desired pulse parameters and scope of the
development which is efficient for manufacture and can be offered
commercially. Further APE will work with CNRS to adapt existing
full characterization technique to work in the visible to fully
characterize the tunable OPA in the visible.
The project complements the company strategic plan and draws as
well on its existing collaboration in supply of a specialized OPA
with one of the consortiums partners, and increases APE’s
experience in practical applications of OPA systems.
Expected benefits from the project
The OPCPA for extreme ultrashort short pulses or for tunable visible
ultrashort pulses designed by MBI and CNRS with contribution by
APE would enable APE’s product offerings to the attosecond
laser market segment as well as increase APE's product offerings
in the biomedical imaging market segment.
These abilities fit in with other work being performed as part of
the company’s strategic plan and will deepen existing collaboration
with different partners of this consortium.
APE has identified optical parametric amplifiers as a well suited
extension of its optical parametric oscillator portfolio with a
broader range than the above mentioned two segments.
By developing a commercial version of the OPA for the special pulse
parameters targeted in this project, APE will apply the technology
to other market segments with a corresponding increase in sales
of systems to the scientific market.