Ultrafast Lasers from Novanta

What are Ultrafast Lasers?


Ultrafast lasers produce extremely short pulses of light; usually on the order of pico- or femtoseconds. Relying on techniques such as mode locking to create a train of pulses, ultrafast lasers owe their recent success to relatively new developments in photonics. These advancements in laser technology have made it possible to produce pulses ranging between a few femtoseconds to tens of attoseconds.


These ultrafast pulses enable the direct investigation and manipulation of atoms and electrons.  In addition, it extends the frontiers of science and technology to territories that were previously thought to be inaccessible.


Lasers operate on two general principles: light amplification using a gain medium and feedback ensured by a cavity. As light amplifies in the excited gain medium, an intense laser beam is created to the feedback of the cavity which is partially transmitting. Ultrashort pulses are produced when light waves with a large amount of modes/integer multiples of half the light’s wavelength are coherently emitted through their in-phase superposition.  This is also known as mode locking.


Applications of Ultrafast Lasers

Over the last thirty years, ultrafast laser development has continued to generate interest and activity. Researchers and system designers developed multiple techniques to generate ultrashort laser pulses over the years. Accessibility to ultrafast lasers enabled investigations into a broad range of physical, chemical, and biological phenomena using ultrafast optical spectroscopy. Additionally, investigations of the practical applications of ultrafast laser technology progressed.


Ultrafast lasers can also be useful for requirements in the automotive industry. This includes the structuring of small grooves into the surface of the cylinder wall of a combustion engine. This ensures a thorough distribution of lubricant along the piston wall to minimize friction loss.


Ultrafast lasers can employ to produce exhaust gas sensors. These sensors have a ceramic layer and can measure the exhaust gas properties faster and more precisely than conventional sensors. These sensors optimize combustion control, enabling emission reduction.


Ultrafast lasers can perform high-quality micromachining of brittle materials such as glass, where they frequently employ for scribing and cutting with high quality edges and flexible geometries. These features have led to a breakthrough for ultrafast lasers in the mass production of displays for portable devices such as phones and tablets.


Ultrafast lasers have also been useful in the medical field for the production of coronary stents, used an alternative to bypass operations. To achieve improved biocompatibility, Mg-based alloys or special biopolymers should find useful. These materials can suffer from problems in stent production as they react strongly to thermal loads. However, ultrafast laser micromachining can overcome these issues by producing minimal debris and having a small heat affected zone.


Novanta Ultrafast Lasers

At Laser Quantum, we specialize in femtosecond and picosecond laser technology with ultra-short pulses, high repetition rates and application based systems.  These offer unique capabilities and benefits to a wide variety of applications.


The taccor one is a unique turn-key femtosecond laser with integrated pump source in a hermetically sealed cavity.  It can deliver more than 1.6 W of average power with pulse durations <60 fs. It can supply with any chosen wavelength between 740 nm – 920 nm and is self-mode-locking and stabilizing.


The dart is a picosecond laser solution, typical 8 ps, with reliable, repeatable operation.  This ensures precision in a multitude of applications. It has exceptional beam circularity of >93% and range of models with average power between 4 – 45 W at both 532 nm and 1064 nm wavelengths.


If you would like to know more about Novanta’s lasers please contact us today.