Light is playing an important role in modern production technology. Apart from traditional applications of optical sensors in metrology, the concentrated radiation emitted by high-power lasers enables manufacturers to replace a large number of processes in conventional manufacturing with more precise, cost-effective and efficient laser processes. The high precision and quality possible in welding with laser radiation, for example, can help to optimize the usage of materials and thus save valuable resources, which also leads to an improved environmental balance compared to traditional manufacturing. Photonics is correctly regarded as one of the key technologies of the 21st century.
The research area "Photonic Technologies" is headed by Univ. Prof. Dipl.-Phys. Dr.-Ing. Andreas Otto, opens an external URL in a new window and deals intensively with applications of laser radiation, both in the field of basic and applied research.
The Process Simulation research group investigates laser processes using sophisticated simulation models, with the objective of achieving a thorough understanding of the processes. This advanced process understanding often leads to improvements of applications, can help to avoid defects or facilitates the establishment of novel processes in manufacturing. Since the simulation models are based on underlying physical processes and their interactions, the simulations can correctly represent a wide range of different processes, from material processing with ultrashort laser pulses to macroscopic laser welding.
The Process Engineering group uses various laser sources for experimental investigations of material processing with laser radiation. For example, an ultrashort pulse laser, which emits pulses lasting only 30 femtoseconds, is used to create micro- or nanostructures on the surfaces of a wide variety of materials, thereby changing the surface properties and making them hydrophilic or even hydrophobic. A fiber laser is used to conduct experiments on joining different materials, for example, to produce joints between components made of copper alloys and other materials. The development of a fast, imaging ellipsometer for determining the thickness of thin films on large sample areas represents another aspect of our research activities, to name just a few key priorities.
In lectures, seminars and laboratory exercises, we teach the basics that lead to the generation of laser radiation, as well as the operating principles of different beam sources as well as the beam-matter interactions.
The latest results from our research activities are presented in our courses and thus provide students with the knowledge they need to understand one of the key technologies of the 21st century.
Head of Research Area:
Univ.Prof. Dipl.-Phys. Dr.-Ing. Andreas Otto