About the project
Laser modes with a doughnut-shaped beam profile can have many unique properties, including axially-symmetric polarisation (azimuthal or radial) or orbital angular momentum. As a result, these beams have found use in a diverse range of applications from ‘laser tweezers’ to laser processing of materials. In spite of their attractive properties, generating these beams with the required purity and at high power levels is very challenging.
This project will explore novel approaches for generating hollow laser beams and other types of exotic beams directly in in fibre lasers and solid-state lasers using nanostructured optical materials. Ultrafast nanostructuring of optical materials is the technology at the heart of 5D optical memory and recent advances in ultrafast writing techniques have allowed the development of very low loss beam transforming components. This project will investigate their use in a laser resonator for the purpose of generating custom laser beams with properties tailored for a range of scientific and industrial applications.
The project will study ultrafast nanostructuring of materials to fabricate novel beam transforming components together with their use for generating exotic laser beams. Particular emphasis will be directed pulsed mode of laser operation, and the generation of high peak powers and high pulse energies where there is a wealth of exciting applications. The project will then explore the potential benefits that these sources can yield in a range of different laser processing applications.