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  • Lens made of ground fused silica (left) and laser polished (right). A laser-polished tool steel component can be seen through the laser-polished lens.
    © Fraunhofer ILT, Aachen, Germany.

    The Aachen Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT has delivered impressive results at its “5th Conference on Laser Polishing LaP.” Once again, more than 70 experts from all over the world met in October 2022 to discuss the state of the art in laser-based alternatives for polishing components made of glass, metal and plastic, among other materials. The virtual English language conference focused on laser deburring and laser polishing as well as on related topics such as metrology and process control.

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  • Major boost to European plasma accelerator facility

    Press Release of the INFN - Laboratori Nazionali di Frascati from November 23, 2022 / December 19, 2022

    Projected building for the particle-driven plasma accelerator of EuPRAXIA in Frascati, near Rome.
    © INFN & Mythos - consorzio stabile s.c.a.r.l., Italy.

    EuPRAXIA is the first European project that develops a dedicated particle accelerator research infrastructure based on novel plasma acceleration concepts and laser technology.

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  • Laser-structured anode material of a Li-ion battery.
    © Fraunhofer ILT, Aachen, Germany.

    Every two years, the “UKP Workshop” gives its visitors a sneak peek into the current state of this innovative laser technology. It will be that time again: On April 26 and 27, 2023, the ultrafast laser community will meet in Aachen. In addition to presenting the state of the art in kW beam sources, the workshop will focus on process development and future markets for laser material processing. For two days, experts from research and industry will exchange ideas – finally in live personal contact again.

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  • Fusion energy.
    © shutterstock.

    Lasers have ignited a mini star on earth, laying the foundation for a clean energy source of the future: A historical breakthrough in inertial confinement fusion research at the National Ignition Facility at Lawrence Livermore National Lab and a defining moment for Photonics! One of the most promising applications of laser technology, the realization of laser-driven fusion, has achieved a historical breakthrough. As announced by Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL, California, USA) in its press release dated December 13, 2022, American scientists at the National Ignition Facility (NIF) were able to release a fusion energy of 3.15 megajoules (MJ) from a pellet filled with the hydrogen isotopes deuterium and tritium. This is equivalent to 154 percent of the expended energy equivalent to 2.05 MJ of the laser pulse that triggered the explosion. This net energy gain represents the first internationally long-awaited breakthrough in fusion research. These results will provide unprecedented capability to support US Department of Energy’s High Energy Density Physics mission and established the physics platform to generate an efficient energy source comparable to the sun, making it a viable long-term complement to renewable energy.

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  • Research Fab for quantum and neuromorphic computing: Launch of the Germany-wide cooperation FMD-QNC

    Press Release of the Fraunhofer Group for Microelectronics in cooperation with the Leibniz institutes IHP and FBH / December 08, 2022

    Research Fab for quantum and neuromorphic computing: Germany-wide  cooperation FMD-QNC was launched to develop the  future hardware foundation  for novel computing technologies.
    © Fraunhofer Mikroelektronik.

    In order to consolidate and expand the existing microelectronic research and development in Germany regarding quantum and neuromorphic computing, the FMD launched on December 1, 2022, a joint project together with four other Fraunhofer institutes, the Jülich Forschungszentrum and AMO GmbH: The Research Fab Microelectronics Germany — Module Quantum and Neuromorphic Computing (FMD-QNC). The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research is funding the equipment and structural setup required for the project.

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  • Combined and efficient: Two steps to the goal

    Press Release / December 02, 2022

    Sample component produced in a resin bath from the HoPro3D system.
    © Fraunhofer ILT, Aachen, Germany.

    Together with industrial partners, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT has developed a novel system for producing high-resolution microcomponents by photo-crosslinking. Thanks to their work in the project “High productivity and detail accuracy in additive manufacturing by combining UV polymerization and multiphoton polymerization - HoPro-3D,” polymer microstructures can now be produced economically and customized in one machine.

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  • Programmable laser beams save more than 30 percent energy

    Press Release / November 29, 2022

    With adapted beam profiles and a multi-beam approach, the power of USP lasers can be used effectively.
    © Fraunhofer ILT, Aachen, Germany / Volker Lannert.

    There is a new quality in laser material processing: With a liquid crystal modulator, the beam profile of a laser can be freely programmed with high temporal resolution, but also split into identical copies. When this quality is combined with inline process monitoring and intelligent control, zero-defect manufacturing could become reality. In the EU project METAMORPHA, the partners will develop a system with all the fine details. The module will be tested in three applications with major industrial partners. The target is to achieve energy savings of at least 30 percent compared with conventional processes.

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  • Federal Ministry of Education and Research promotes joint project “B-cell immune“

    Press Release of the LPKF Laser & Electronics AG  / November 24, 2022

    Illustration depicts different cell types in different well types. f.l.t.r.: Adherent cell on microstructured soil, NK cell "attacking" tumor cell in U-well, cell dividing in F-well.
    © LPKF Laser & Electronics AG.

    Since September 2022, inno-train Diagnostik GmbH, Medizinischen Hochschule Hannover (MHH), the Fraunhofer-Institut für Lasertechnik ILT and LPKF Laser & Electronics AG have been pooling their expertise in a joint research project on the prevention and treatment of epidemic infections.

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  • Additive manufacturing production hall at toolcraft in Georgensgmünd.
    © toolcraft AG.

    They had an ambitious goal – to industrialize additive manufacturing for both OEMs and SMEs. To reach it, partners from industry along with the Fraunhofer Institutes for Laser Technology ILT and for Production Technology IPT as well as RWTH Aachen University launched the BMBF joint project “IDEA – Industrialization of Digital Engineering and Additive Manufacturing” three years ago. As part of the project, they built two automated, additive production lines for metal 3D printing with exemplary performance to produce powerful high-end components such as those for gas turbines. And they did so successfully: In Berlin and Georgensgmünd, metal components have recently been produced with 3D printing, demonstrating how not only large corporations, but also SMEs can additively produce individualized components in medium batch sizes economically. Fraunhofer ILT's Laser Power Bed Fusion (LPBF) process and digital engineering along the entire product development chain play an important role in optimizing the components.

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  • By means of UKP laser microstructuring functionalized bipolar plate (design of the bipolar plate: Dana Victor Reinz).
    © Fraunhofer ILT, Aachen, Germany.

    The third edition of the Laser Colloquium Hydrogen LKH₂ attracted 70 production professionals to Aachen with a special feature. After two virtual meetings, the third LKH₂ took place as a face-to-face event for the first time, which the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT used for live demonstrations at the institute’s new hydrogen laboratory, which maps the entire process chain. At the two-day insider meeting of the hydrogen community, the LKH₂ guests also learned how the Aachen-based company intends to give wings to the “H2GO - National Fuel Cell Production Action Plan” with its research activities.

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