“To increase process speed in order to increase throughput there are two ways: increasing repetition rate of the laser source to increase the speed of the process, or developing parallel processing resulting in an increase of the pulse energy”.
Please, tell us about your professional background and your present job.
I’m an R&D Laser engineer at Amplitude Laser working in the development of ultrafast laser for industrial applications such as micro machining, eye surgery, and many others, but also scientific applications. I have done my PhD in the Amplitude Laser group and still working there since. Over the last 5 years, I worked on the development of ultrafast high-power laser sources trying to deliver more and more average power. KW class femtosecond lasers are now one of the biggest challenges I had to work on!
When did you decide to dedicate to scientific research?
I always preferred science to literature during my studies. When I got graduated, I knew I would spend the beginning of my career in science, but I didn’t know clearly in which domain. My uncle was working in Free Electron Laser field and I got attracted to this, even though I didn’t know what he was really talking about. But “Laser” seemed so attractive, new and high-tech! In a way I wanted to follow his steps.
Since, I decided to study optic and focus on Laser field. Despite I had experimental lab work during my studies, Laser experiments were very limited. Nevertheless, I kept pursuing in this field for my PhD. For me, Laser was not only an academic topic but also a strong tool for industrial applications, so I decided to dedicate my PhD both in the industry and academic research. The collaboration between Amplitude Laser and the Institut d’Optique Graduate School in Paris was the best opportunity to do it.
In your opinion, which are the most exciting challenges to come in your field?
It depends on if you ask for research or industry. For this last point which I know the best, I believe there is two to three main challenges that are already existing actually!
Industrial end-users want tools that allows them to increase process speed in order to increase throughput (money is the sinews of war). To do so, there are two ways: increasing repetition rate of the laser source to increase the speed of the process, or developing parallel processing resulting in an increase of the pulse energy.
In both cases this results in an increase of average power of the laser sources. This comes with challenges about achieving such high-power laser source and an excellent heat management. Additionally, increasing pulse energy requests very high quality optical components.
Another challenge will be about the beam delivery from the laser source to the application. Fibre transport in a hot topic so far and promises good opportunity in the future.
Overall, there is a lot of industrial challenges that needs to be achieved, and that is why this job is so interesting!
Multipoint is a research project funded by the European Union. Have you ever participated in more projects funded by the EU? How do you evaluate them?
For me this is the first time I’m participating actively to a project founded by the European Union. So, my point of view is very limited. However, so far, I believe that they are very well organized, and all partners have interesting challenges to deal with. Project management is very important as well and up to know regular exchanges between the project’s actors are the key to the success.