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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: GR/R59144/01
Title: Photonic crystal fibres for industrial laser beam delivery systems
Principal Investigator: Knight, Professor J
Other Investigators:
Birks, Professor TA Russell, Professor PS
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Jaguar Land Rover Rolls-Royce Plc
Department: Physics
Organisation: University of Bath
Scheme: Standard Research (Pre-FEC)
Starts: 12 May 2002 Ends: 11 May 2005 Value (£): 167,843
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Lasers & Optics Materials Synthesis & Growth
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Aerospace, Defence and Marine Electronics
Manufacturing
Related Grants:
GR/R59151/01
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
10 Jul 2001 Photonics Panel Meeting Deferred
Summary on Grant Application Form
The objective of the project is to develop multimode photonic crystal fibre structures and to apply them to industrial Nd:YAG laser delivery. Although conventional fibre optics are standard for Nd:YAG laser welding, they cannot be used for high beam quality, high peak power processes such as laser micromachining because the required power density is above their damage threshold. Revolutionary new'holey' fibres pioneered by the University of Bath - index-guiding and photonic bandgap guiding photonic crystal fibres (PCF) - offer the potential for order-of-magnitude improvements in delivered power and beam quality. In index-guiding PCF the trade-offs between number of guided modes, core size and bend loss are fundamentally altered by the large index contrast and the two-dimensional nature of the microstructure in the fibre cladding. With photonic bandgap fibres, almost all of the guided power can be confined within an air-core, thus potentially allowing very substantial increases in power and beam quality whilst having none of the disadvantages of conventional hollow-core waveguides (high losses and differential modal attenuation). In this project we will investigate the power handling limitations of these structures with both nanosecond and millisecond laser pulses, together with the mode coupling and end-preparation techniques required to optimise their use. We will develop new fibre structures, and use these to construct beam delivery systems for demonstrator applications in laser materials processing (e.g. micromachining and laser drilling) and flow measurement (e.g. particle image velocimetry).
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Organisation Website: http://www.bath.ac.uk