Ultrashort Pulse Laser Processing

Our range of services

Since ultrashort pulsed (USP) laser radiation is characterized by both short light-matter interaction times and high intensities, it can be used for precise and almost material-independent laser material processing with negligible heat input into the workpiece. This means that difficult-to-process materials such as carbides, ceramics and glasses can be processed with high precision.

Fraunhofer ILT develops USP beam sources that provide application-specific optimized wavelengths, powers or pulse frequencies. USP laser radiation is used for structuring of surfaces, drilling and cutting of precision components or selective thin-film ablation. Different processes can be used, for example, to achieve precise drilling diameters in the micrometer range or particularly high drilling rates. Furthermore, since the process has such low heat input and, thus, prevents melt films from forming, it can generate structure sizes down to the sub-micrometer range. In addition, composite materials such as carbon fiber-reinforced materials can be processed without wear of the tool and with low heat input into the matrix material. By developing high performance USP lasers with medium power up to the multi-kilowatt range, Fraunhofer ILT helping to scale the developed processes and thereby significantly reduce processing time.

The range of services offered by Fraunhofer ILT includes feasibility studies, experimental investigations, simulations, development of system components, validation of plant concepts, and the implementation of machine concepts.

Chromatically confocal 3D image of pyramid structure enhanced with ps-laser radiation.
© Fraunhofer ILT, Aachen, Germany.
Chromatically confocal 3D image of pyramid structure enhanced with ps-laser radiation.
Multibeam ablation.
© Fraunhofer ILT, Aachen, Germany.
Multibeam ablation.
Different geometries produced by selective laser-induced etching.
© Fraunhofer ILT, Aachen, Germany.
Different geometries produced by selective laser-induced etching.

Laser Ablation

  • Laser ablation of a wide range of materials (metals, ceramics, plastics, glasses, composites) with high precision and low melt formation
  • Production of tools and tool inserts
  • Production of functional surfaces for alteration of wettability, friction behavior and optical properties.
  • Structure sizes < 1 µm at surface precisions below 200 nm

Laser Drilling

  • Precision drilling with diameters > 30 µm at drilling depth of up to 2 mm
  • Microdrilling with hole diameters < 1 µm

Three-dimensional Volume Structuring

  • Manufacturing of waveguides in transparent materials
  • Micro-machining by selective etching


  • Fabrication of three-dimensional polymer microstructures with lateral resolutions < 1 µm

Available Laser Systems

  • Picosecond laser (λ = 355 nm, 532 nm, 1064 nm) up to P = 50 W, τ = 10-15 ps
  • Femtosecond laser (λ = 470 - 2700 nm) up to P = 1.5 W, τ = 100 fs and (λ = 1030 nm) up to P = 150 W, τ = 700, fs - 10 ps


Our brochures offer a quick view onto our service portfolio. Find more detailed information in the “project results“ tab.


“Micro and Nano Structuring with Lasers“


“Laser Drilling“


“Selective Laser Etching of Glass and Sapphire“


“Laser Processes for Hydrogen Technology”


“Application Center Laser Structuring for Tool and Mold Construction“

Video: Stifterverband Prize for Multi-beam Laser Processing

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The ultra-short pulse laser is seeing ever wider acceptance among industrial users as a tool for precision manufacturing. In particular, these advances are due to new developments or technological progress in system technology, which increase productivity considerably. Increasing productivity significantly was also the goal of a team from industry and research, which was awarded the Science Prize of the Stifterverband for Collaborative Research at the annual conference of the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft on October 9, 2020. The team has developed a technology in which a laser beam is split into up to 16 partial beams. That means there are 16 tools controlled in parallel and individually to produce functional surfaces.

Video: A new generation of high-power ultrafast lasers for industry and research

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In the Fraunhofer Cluster of Excellence Advanced Photon Sources CAPS, 13 Fraunhofer Institutes bundle their expertise for the development of laser systems that reach highest powers with ultrashort pulses and the exploration of their application potentials. The Fraunhofer Institutes for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen and for Applied Optics and Precision Engineering IOF in Jena contribute their competence in the development of high-power ultrafast lasers, which is combined in the cluster with the expertise of other Fraunhofer Institutes in the fields of systems technology and applications. 

Partners from industry and research are invited to participate and use the new laser systems in the application laboratories in Aachen and Jena for their innovations.


Laser technology can solve demanding tasks in many different industries. Whether as a tool in automotive production, as measuring equipment in the environmental sector, as a diagnostic or therapeutic instrument in medical technology or as a communication medium in space technology, the laser provides multiple uses with high productivity and high efficiency.

Read up about the innovations of the Fraunhofer ILT in a few selected industries and convince yourself!


Research with us!

Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions about general topics! Our contact persons are happy to get in touch with you.


Douissard, P.-A., Wollesen, L., Pauwels, K, Loiko, P., Brasse, G., Simeth, S. J., Reininghaus, M., Mathieu, J., Dujardin, C., Camy, P., Martin, T.:
Micro-patterning of scintillating films by Liquid Phase Epitaxy: A proof of concept.
OPTICAL MATERIALS 149, 114939, (11 S.), (2024)

Schmid, F., Moreno, J., Weitenberg, J., Rußbüldt, P., Hänsch, Th. W., Udem, Th., Ozawa, A.:
An ultra-stable high-power optical frequency comb.
APL Photonics 9(2), 26105- (2024)
https://doi.org/10.1063/5.0165805 (Open Access)

Kratz, M., Rückle, L., Kalupka, C., Reininghaus, M., Häfner, C.:
Dynamic correction of optical aberrations for height-independent selective laser induced etching processing strategies.
OPTICS EXPRESS 31, 26104-26119 (2023)

Kürschner, D., Hallum, G.,,Huber, H.,Schulz, W.:
Simulation of Laser-Induced Thermo-Mechanical Stress During Ultrafast Laser Ablation of Indium Tin Oxide with Transient Optical Properties.

Haasler, D., Surrey, R., Bremer, P.:
Ablation of technical ceramics via cw-laser radiation and comparison with an ultrashort-pulsed laser ablation process.
24th International Symposium on Laser Precision Microfabrication, 13.-15.6.2023, Hirosaki, Japan.
Proceedings of LPM2023, C000176, (8 S.), (2023)

Simeth, S., Müller, A., Müller, J., Lekitsch, B., Reininghaus, M., Schmidt-Kaler, F.:
Selective laser-induced etching for 3D ion traps.
SPIE LASE, 2023, San Francisco, California, United States, 28 January - 3 February 2023, San Francisco, California, United States. Proceedings Volume 12409, Laser-based Micro- and Nanoprocessing XVII; 1240902 (2023). 12409, (2023)

Köller, J., Sassmannshausen, A., Kratz, M., Voß, J.:
Particle Re-Deposition During Ultrashort Pulse Laser Ablation of ITO Thin Films Using Single- and Multi-Beam Processing.
Journal of Laser Micro/Nanoengineering 17 - (2022)

Lanfermann, A., Barthels, T., Nießen, M., Abels, P., Klass, G., Riester, C., Pham, T.Q., Steffens, O.:
FILTECH 2022, 8-10. March 8-10, 2022, Cologne, Germany. FILTECH : March 8-10, 2022, Cologne, Germany: the filtration event, 10 S., (2022)

He, C., Vannahme, K., Gillner, A.:
High-Efficiency Sub-Micrometer Multi-Beam Interference Structuring for Large-Scale Surface Using Ultrashort Laser Pulses.

Lanfermann, A., Barthels, T., Nießen, M., Riester, C., Klass, G., Pham, T.-Q., Steffens, O., Abels, P.:
Innovative Filtermodule für die Abscheidung von Mikroplastik aus Abwasser.
13. Aachener Tagung Wassertechnologie, 29-30. Oktober, Aachen. ATW Tagungsband 173-180 (2019)

He, C., Vannahme, K., Gillner, A.:
High-efficiency sub-micrometer multi-beam interference structuring for large-scale surface using ultrashort laser pulses.
The 19th International Symposium on Laser Precision Microfabrication Edinburgh Conference Centre, Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh, UK, 25-28 June, 2018. Proceedings of LPM2018, #18-042, (X S.), (2018)

Kalupka C., Schmalstieg, M., Reininghaus, M.:
Ultrashort Pulse Processing of Transparent Ceramics: The Role of Electronic and Thermal Damage Mechanisms.
J LASER MICRO NANOEN 13(2), 126-130 (2018)

Gretzki, P., Gillner, A.:
Programmable diffractive optic for multi-beam processing: applications and limitations.
SPIE Nanoscience + Engineering, Aug. 25 2017, San Diego, California. Proc. of SPIE 10347, Optical Trapping and Optical Micromanipulation XIV, 103470V (13 S.) (2017)

Hördemann, C., Fornaroli, C., Gillner, A.:
Ultrashort pulsed laser-dicing of silicon wafers for the decollating of conventional and hybrid solar cells.
SPIE Organic Photonics + Electronics, August 06-10 2017, San Diego, California, United States. Proc. of SPIE Vol. 10363, 103632Z, (8 S.) (2017)

Boehr, S., Nolis, P., Brenner, A., Reininghaus, M., Lamß, M., Müller, B.:
Laserbasierte Fertigungstechniken und additive Fertigung.
Galvanotechnik 108, 1672-1677 (6 S.) (2017)

Großmann, D., Reininghaus, M., Kalupka, C., Jenne, M., Kumkar, M.:
In-situ microscopy of front and rear side ablation processes in alkali aluminosilicate glass using ultra short pulsed laser radiation.
OPTICS EXPRESS 25 (23), 28478- (11 S.) (2017)

Carstens, H., Högner, M., Saule, T., Holzberger, S., Lilienfein, N., Guggenmos, A, Jocher, C., Eidam, T., Esser, D., Tosa, V. , Pervak, V., Limpert, J., Tünnermann, A., Kleineberg, U., Krausz, F., Pupeza, I.:
High-harmonic generation at 250  MHz with photon energies exceeding 100  eV.
Optica 3 Nr. 4, 366-369 (2016)

Grossmann, D., Reininghaus, M., Kalupka, C., Kumkar, M., Poprawe, R.:
Transverse pump-probe microscopy of moving breakdown, filamentation and self-organized absorption in alkali aluminosilicate glass using ultrashort pulse laser
Opt. Expr. 24, (20), 23221-23231 (2016)

Hambach, N., Hartmann, C., Keller, S., Gillner, A.:
High density perforation of thin Al-Foils with Ultra Short Pulse Lasers in dependence on the repetition rate
J. Laser Micro/Nanoeng, 11 (2), 192-198 (2016)

Kalupka, C., Finger, J., Reininghaus, M.:
Time-resolved investigations of the non-thermal ablation process of graphite induced by femtosecond laser pulses
J. Appl. Phys. 119, 153105 (5 S.) (2016)

Russbueldt, P., Mans, T., Hoffmann, D., Schippel, S.:
High-average power ultrafast Yb: Innoslab amplifier
In: Ultrashort Pulse Laser Technology: Laser Sources and Applications
Eds.: Nolte, S.; Schrempel, F.; Dausinger, F. Cham [u.a.]: Springer (2016), 117-134

Wueppen, J., Strotkamp, M., Hoffmann, D., Russbueldt, P., Mans, T., Fritzler, S., Schippel, S.:
Laser-triggered electron source for x-ray applications
In: Ultrashort Pulse Laser Technology: Laser Sources and Applications
Eds.: Nolte, S.; Schrempel, F.; Dausinger, F. Cham [u.a.]: Springer (2016), 337-349

Finger, J., Kalupka C., Reininghaus, M.:
High power ultra-short pulse laser ablation of IN718 using high repetition rates
J. Materials Processing Technol. 226 (Dec.), 221-227 (2015)

Reininghaus, M., Ivanov, D., Maß, T.W.W., Eckert, S., Juschkin, L., Garcia, M. E., Taubner, T., Poprawe, R.:
Nanophotonic applications of fs-laser radiation induced nanostructures and their theoretical description
Optically Induced Nanostructures. Hrsg. v. König, Karsten / Ostendorf, Andreas. Berlin: De Gruyter, 25-46 (2015)

Reininghaus, M., Kalupka, C., Faley, O., Holtum, T., Finger, J., Stampfer, C.:
Dynamics of ultrashort pulsed laser radiation induced non-thermal ablation of graphite
Appl. Phys. A Online First (6 S.) (2014)

Finger, J., Weinand, M., Wortmann, D.:
Ablation and cutting of carbon-fiber reinforced plastics using picosecond pulsed laser radiation with high average power
J. Laser Appl. 25, (4), 042007-1 (5 S.) (2013)

Finger, J., Weinand, M., Wortmann, D.:
Investigations on processing of carbon fiber reinforced plastics using ultrashort pulsed laser radiation with high average power
ICALEO, 32th International Congress on Applications of Lasers & Electro-Optics : October 6-10, 2013, Miama/Fl., USA, Paper 1905 (6 S.) (2013)

Scotti, G., Trusheim, D., Kanninen, P., Naumenko, D., Schulz-Ruhtenberg, M., Snitka, V., Kallio, T., Franssila, S.:
Picosecond laser ablation for silicon micro fuel cell fabrication
J. Micromech. Microeng. 23, 055021 (14. S.), (2013)

Tulea, C., Caron, J., Wahab, H., Gehlich, N., Hoefer, M., Esser, D., Jungbluth, B., Lenenbach, A., Noll, R.:
Highly efficient nonthermal ablation of bone under bulk water with a frequency-doubled Nd:YVO4 picosecond laser
Proc. SPIE 8565, 85656 E-1 (11 S.) (2013)

Bello-Silva, . S., Wehner, M., de Paula Eduardo, C., Lampert, F., Poprawe, R., Hermans, M., Esteves-Oliveira, M.:
Precise ablation of dental hard tissues with ultra-short pulsed lasers
Lasers in Medical Science, (14 S.) (2012)

Holzberger, S., Pupeza, I., Esser, D., Weitenberg, J., Carstens, H., Eidam, T., Russbüldt, P., Limpert, J., Udem, T., Tünnermann, A., Hänsch, T., Krausz, F., Fill, E.:
Sub-25 nm High-Harmonic Generation with a 78-MHz Repetition Rate Enhancement Cavity
Proc. CLEO: QELS-Fundamental Science, Optical  Society of America, QTh5B.7 (2012)

Hoerstmann-Jungemann, M., Dobrzanski, D., Schaefer, D., Kelbassa, I.:
Functionalization of sapphire surfaces using fs-laser radiation and selective etching
ICALEO. 30. Int. Congr. on Applications of Lasers and Electro-Optics, October 23-27, 2011. M 1203, 1105-1110, (2011)

Reininghaus, M., Finger, J., Faley, O., Wortmann, D., Stampfer, C.:
Non-thermal ablation of graphite by ultrashort pulsed fs-laser radiation
ICALEO. 30. Int. Congr. on Applications of Lasers and Electro-Optics, October 23-27, 2011. N 102, (8 S.) (2011)

Schaefer, D., Beckmann, D., Hoerstmann-Jungemann, M., Kelbassa, I.
Waveguides and markings inside transparent materials by fs-laser radiation
ICALEO 30. Int. Congr. on Applications of Lasers and Electro-Optics, October 23-27, 2011. M1004, (5 S.) (2011)

Trusheim, D., Schulz-Ruhtenberg, M., Smeets, M., Das, J., Wieduwilt, J.:
Influence of ultra-short pulse laser ablation of silicon nitride passivation layers on electronical cell properties
26th European Photovoltaic Solar Energy Conference and Exhibition (EU PVSEC), Hamburg, (1 S.) (2011)

Wortmann, D., Reinighaus, M., Finger, J., Dold, C., Russbueldt, P., Poprawe, R.:
The physics in applications of ultrafast lasers
Proc. SPIE 8306, 830603, (6 S.) (2011)

Kelbassa, I., Wortmann, D., Mans, T., Gottmann, J., Russbueldt, P., Weitenberg, J., Brajdic, M., Hermans, M., Beckmann, D., Poprawe, R.:
High-power ultra-short pulse laser radiation: New sources as key enablers for emerging applications
Pacific International Conference on Applications of Lasers and Optics (PICALO), Shangri-La Hotel, Wuhan, China, (6 S.) (2010)

Esser, D., Mahlmann, D., Wortmann, D., Gottmann, J.:
Interference microscopy of femtosecond laser written waveguides in phosphate glass
Appl. Phys. B - Lasers and Optics 96 (2-3), (5 S.) (2009)

Mingareev, I., Horn, A.:
Melt dynamics of aluminium irradiated with ultrafast laser radiation at large intensities
J. Appl. Phys. 106, 13513, (7 S.) (2009)

Wortmann, D., Mingareev, I., Brand, A., Horn, A.:
Micro-welding of glass by fs-laser irradiation and process observation using fs-pump-probe white light interference microscopy
Conference on Lasers and Electro-Optics 2009 and the European Quantum Electronics Conference. CLEO Europe - EQEC 2009, Munich, Mulhouse: European Physical Society, CM2.2 THU, (1 S.) (2009)

Horn, A., Mingareev, I., Gottmann, J., Werth, A., Brenk, U.:
Dynamical detection of optical phase changes during micro-welding of glass with ultra-short laser radiation
Meas. Sci. Technol 19, (6 S.) (2008)

Gottmann, J., Wortmann, D., Hörstmann-Jungemann, M.:
Fabrication of sub-wavelength surface ripples and in-volume nanostructures by fs-laser induced selective etching
Appl. Surf. Sci. doi. 10.1016/j.apsusc.2008.10.097 (Online), (2008)

Wortmann, D., Gottmann, J.:
Fs-Laser structuring of ridge waveguides
Appl. Phys. A 93, 197-201, (2008)

Ganser, D., Starovoytova, L., Wortmann, D., Gottmann, J., Vasilief, I. Moiseev, L.:
Growth of Nd:Gd3Ga5O12 thin films by pulsed laser deposition for planar waveguide laser
J. Laser Micro/Nanoeng. 3, 19-23, (2008)

Poprawe, R., Gillner, A., Hoffmann, D., Gottmann, J., Wawers, W., Schulz, W.:
High speed high precision ablation from ms to fs
Proc. SPIE 7005, (12 S.) (2008)

Horn, A., Mingareev, I., Werth, A., Kachel, M., Brenk, U.:
Investigations on ultrafast welding of glass-glass and glass-silicon
Appl. Phys. A 93, 171-175, (2008)

Horn, A., Mingareev, I., Werth, A., Kachel, M.:
Joining of thin glass with semiconductors by ultra-fast high-repetition laser welding
Proc. SPIE 6880, (6 S.) (2008)

Gottmann, J., Moiseev, L., Vasilief, I., Wortmann, D.:
Manufacturing of Er:ZBLAN ridge waveguides by pulsed laser deposition and ultrafast laser micromachining for green integrated lasers
Mat. Sci. Eng. B 146, 245-251, (2008)

Gottmann, J., Wortmann, D., Wagner, R.:
Manufacturing of periodical nanostructures by fs-laser direct writing
Proc. SPIE 7022, 702202-1-702202-10, (2008)

Wortmann, D., Gottmann, J., Brandt, N., Horn-Solle, H.:
Micro- and nanostructures inside sapphire by fs-laser irradiation and selective etching
Opt. Expr. 16, Nr 3, 1517-1522, (2008)

Horn, A., Mingareev, I., Werth, A., Kachel, M., Brenk, U.:
Non-interferometric transient quantitative phase microscopy for ultrafast engineering
Appl. Phys. A 93, 165-169, (2008)

Mingareev, I., Horn, A.:
Time-resolved investigations of plasma and melt efections in metals by pump-probe shadowgraphy
Appl. Phys. A 92, 917-920, (2008)

Hörstmann-Jungemann, M., Gottmann , J., Wortmann, D.:
Time resolved measurement of the dielectric function during direct fs-laser writing of SiO2 and sapphire
Proc. LPM2008 - 9th Int. Symposium on Laser Precision Microfabrication, (5 S.) (2008)

Miyamoto, I., Horn, A., Gottmann, J., Wortmann, D., Yoshino, F.:
Fusion Welding of Glass Using Femtosecond Laser Pulses with High-repetition Rates
J. Laser Micro/Nanoeng. 2, 57-63, (2007)

Miyamoto, I., Horn, A., Gottmann, J.:
Local Melting of Glass Material and Its Application to Direct Fusion Welding by Ps-laser Pulses
J. Lasermicro/Nanoeng. 2, 7-14, (2007)


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