The Institute of Photonic Technologies (LPT) is an institute of the department of mechanical engineering at the Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nürnberg. We are developing and optimizing processes that use light as a tool for different tasks. We are not only working on laser-based manufacturing technologies like laser beam cutting or welding but apply light as well in medical diagnostics and therapeutics, for example for the detection and treatment of cancerous tissue. Ultrashort pulse laser technologies are a focus of our research activities. Laser pulses as short as pico- and femtoseconds bear great potentials in material processing on a microscopic or even nanoscopic scale. We strive towards clearing the path for ultrashort pulse laser to industrial application and thus to realize efficient processes with extremely high precision. Furthermore, we are developing capable simulation methods which contribute to an in-depth understanding of laser based manufacturing processes. Our models enable the calculation of optimal process parameters without the need of numerous cost-intensive experiments. In order to ensure good machining quality we are also developing real-time sensing and control systems for various laser processes. With such technologies, it will be possible to choose and adapt process parameters automatically to reach desired process results. Finally, an interdisciplinary research group is engaged in the laser based Additive Manufacturing of metal parts. The group deals with fundamental as well as industry specific application research projects in order to assure a comprehensive understanding of two processes, namely laser beam melting in powder bed (LBM) and laser metal deposition (LMD). Both are based on the principle of creating fully dense structures by melting metal powder layer by layer with a focused laser beam.
Several laboratories are available to the LPT and span the whole range from ultrashort nano-machining to macro-scale
high-power remote laser processing. Within the labs following lasers are available:
• Several multi-kW cw disk lasers
• Single mode fiber laser at kW power
• Excimer laser
• Several additive manufacturing machines (for both metal and polymers).
• Several diode lasers for brazing, soldering and polymer welding applications.
• Several ultra short pulsed lasers reaching from 100 fs up to pico- and nanoseconds pulse duration.
For all the mentioned laser systems appropriate system technology and measurement equipment is in place (scanners, F-Theta lenses, focusing objectives, multi-axis linear tables, beam profile cameras, wavefront sensors, power meters etc.). In addition, the LPT has access to a broad range of diagnostic tools, including:
• SEM (Zeiss Merlin)
• Several high-speed cameras with up to 400 kHz acquisition rate
• Laser scanning microscope
• Micro hardness analyzer
• Several optical micro- and stereoscopes
• Metallographic and chemical laboratory
• High-Speed thermographic camera
• Mechanical and electronic workshop
The aim of the Institute of Photonic Technologies is to establish a link between scientific progress and industrial application in the field of photonics and laser technology. Topics with academic and technological relevance are emphasized so that e.g. production and medicine may benefit from our achievements.
Our current research focuses on:
- Simulation & Modeling
- Sensing, Control & Real-time Systems
- Ultrashort Pulse Laser Technologies
- Photonics in Medical Engineering
- Additive Manufacturing