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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: GR/R61208/01
Title: Intracavity Adaptive Optics for Nd: YAG Lasers
Principal Investigator: Dainty, Professor JC
Other Investigators:
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
BAE Systems Spectron Laser Systems Ltd
Department: Dept of Physics
Organisation: Imperial College London
Scheme: Standard Research (Pre-FEC)
Starts: 01 May 2002 Ends: 05 February 2004 Value (£): 173,959
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Lasers & Optics
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Aerospace, Defence and Marine Manufacturing
Electronics
Related Grants:
Panel History:  
Summary on Grant Application Form
High power solid state lasers suffer from a number of drawbacks caused by thermal effects within the cavity. One of the most basic problems is the thermal lensing which severely limits the optimum performance and operating range of the laser. For laser manufacturers, optical components which are programmable would greatly enhance the competitiveness of their products, leading to lasers which more flexible characteristics and improved beam quality. In this project we shall develop the simplest type of element, a variable focal length deformable mirror. This will be based on bimorph mirror technology already prototyped in a preparatory study in our laboratory. There are a large number of technical problems to be overcome before such mirrors can be used in commercial lasers, including issues such as thermal effects, low temperature high-reflectance laser coatings, optical quality and symmetry characteristics. This project will be carried out in dose collaboration with our two industrial partners, one of whom would be able to incorporate the results of this research in their lasers and the other able to employ such improved lasers in end-user applications in the field of materials processing.
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Organisation Website: http://www.imperial.ac.uk