Femtosecond lasers have become indispensable in research. They can be used to study ultra-fast processes in materials and molecules and have great potential for applications in fields as diverse as optical telecommunications, quantum technologies and optical spectroscopy. However, these lasers are traditionally relatively large and quite expensive.
A team led by DESY scientists Franz Kärtner, Tobias Herr and Neetesh Singh with industrial and academic partners from four countries has set out to make the same functionality available in a much smaller and more cost-effective way: on a microchip. The research project called "Femtochip" is funded by the European Commission. In the three-year funding period, the consortium will receive around 3.4 million euros from Brussels. The money comes from the highly competitive EU progamme "Future Emerging Technologies", which funds interdisciplinary research projects with bold visions for the future that promise technological breakthroughs. "FEMTOCHIP" is DESY's first project in this funding programme.