Optical Lasers

Optical lasers are a fantastic light source that has revolutionized our lives. Optical lasers (based on population inversion and stimulated emission) best work in a spectral range around visible light and the near infrared regime. Applications of optical laser light reach from fundamental science to daily life, including global telecommunication, industrial materials processing on micro and macro scales, medical applications, environmental sensing, high precision metrology, and many more—altogether a key technology with an annual market of hundreds of billions of euro and substantial additional leverage into other technologies.

Applications of optical lasers took advantage of their unique characteristics: a high degree of spatial and temporal coherence and ultranarrow bandwidth on the one hand, or unprecedented peak intensity and ultrashort pulses down to atto-seconds on the other. Optical laser installations can be ultracompact and even larger and sophisticated table-top devices can be operated by few people, often for their own research and applications.