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Ferdinand-Braun-Institut honoured with Transfer Prize

The team from the FBH has been awarded for the transfer of its powerful diode laser technology used for materials processing, into a manufacturing environment

At the opening evening of the Laser Optics Berlin trade fair which began on March 19th, 2012, a team from Ferdinand-Braun-Institut was awarded with the Transfer Prize WissensWerte 2011.

In this field, the Ferdinand-Braun-Institut (FBH) closely cooperates with Jenoptik Diode Lab GmbH, a spin off from the institute. Founded in 2002, the company runs a semiconductor fabrication plant in Berlin at the Adlershof campus and continues to use research results from the FBH for its diode lasers.

Jenoptik Diode Lab is a subsidiary company of the Jenoptik Group. The partnership with Jenoptik has enabled the rapid transfer of FBH's state-of-the-art developments into an industrial environment.

The prize of €50,000 was assigned by the friends of the Technology Foundation Berlin (TSB). Six scientists from the Berlin institute have been honoured for the sustainable transfer of extraordinarily powerful diode lasers designed for materials processing.

 The team of the Ferdinand-Braun-Institut, winner of the Transfer Prize WissensWerte, during award ceremony 19.03.2012 at Laser Optics Berlin fair.

FBH team from left to right: A. Maaßdorf, J. Fricke, H. Wenzel, G. Erbert, S. Knigge, P. Crump, N. Geyer (Board, Förderverein Technologiestiftung Berlin e.V.), G. Tränkle (Director of the Ferdinand-Braun-Instituts) (Copyright: FBH/P. Immerz)

“We are very proud of this award – it manifests and acknowledges the long-term and extraordinarily fruitful collaboration with industrial partners like Jenoptik”, says awardee and team leader, Götz Erbert. “This cooperation is the basis for various developments in this application field helping us to ensure international technology leadership within the market for such laser systems”.

This is the second time the FBH has been bestowed with the Transfer Prize; in 2004, the institute was awarded for the development of DFB high-power laser diodes. On that occasion, the collaboration was with another FBH spin-off, eagleyard Photonics.


 Awardees of the Transfer Prize "WissensWerte", from left to right: H. Wenzel, G. Erbert, S. Knigge, P. Crump, A. Maaßdorf, J. Fricke (Copyright: S. Parsch)

The team who won the 2011 prize is developing a novel generation of diode lasers for powerful laser systems used for materials processing. These systems consist of single diode lasers, each delivering a typical output power of around 10 W.

In order to enhance their lasing performance, simply increasing the output power is not enough. One of the most important goals is to further increase efficiency. In doing so, the transformation of electrical into optical power is enhanced. Another key aim is to optimise the beam quality of the single diode lasers used in such systems.

Based on novel designs, the team has now developed diode lasers already achieving an efficiency of 63 percent at an output power of 12 W. The team anticipates that this efficiency will also be achieved at 15 to 20 W whilst also maintaining excellent beam quality. As such, FBH says diode lasers set the stage for purely diode-laser-based laser systems for materials processing in the future.

The ongoing collaboration between FBH and Jenoptik Diode Lab GmbH enables continuous improvements in performance and is thus the basis for a great variety of new developments. Due to high customer demands, the company is currently expanding its production capacities in close vicinity to the FBH. Jenoptik Diode Lab says these new developments will more than double the number of jobs at the firm.
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