Putting Quantum to Use: Is the Laser Losing its Funding Landscape?

No, he already has! And many laser developers ask themselves why should I only use a single quantum when I can have a lot? #manyquantumlovers

The answer: the federal government wants it that way!

The quantum hype, which is certainly important, unfortunately means that well-established photonics disciplines such as laser development are now neglected in terms of funding. All photonics research programs have been radically converted to quantum technologies , the laser comes out practically empty-handed. At just over 60 years old, he is far from old hat.

Actually, the following important warning now applies: Use at least one laser, otherwise you will actively lose money! #lasersruletheworld


This is unbelievable but true! Which product is not made with a laser ? Laser cutting of sheet metal and semiconductor wafers, laser cutting of smartphone glasses, laser material modification of liquid crystal displays, laser drilling of cannulas, laser ablation of stents, laser marking of cups, bottles or medical cutlery, laser welding of electrical contacts in electric motors or in accumulators, laser polishing of rough surfaces, additive laser manufacturing for spare parts, prototyping or the all-important laser-generated plasma for EUV lithography of "next-gen" processors and memory chips that can already be bought. And the list goes on: laser mice, laser pointers, laser projectors, laser-based distance measurement and lidar (e.g. in robot vacuum cleaners), laser barcode scanners, laser-based face recognition, laser lasers Lasers, etc. PP #whichlaserapplicationsdoyouknow

Conversely, this is the proof: The laser works and has arrived in everyday life as well as in production, we no longer need research! I would reply: Careful, that's a fallacy!

Example ultrashort pulse laser

The ultrashort pulse laser is the best example. You could say that the ultrashort pulse laser was invented with the Titan:Sapphire laser back in 1982, that was 40 years ago. But only recently, in 2018, the Nobel Prize in Physics was awarded to Gérard Mourou and Donna Strickland for their exciting research work of the development of a method with which high-energy, ultrashort optical pulses can be generated, which led to revolutionized laser physics of ultra-short pulses and which made numerous modern applications a reality.



Nevertheless, the ultrashort pulse laser is simply too expensive for many applications. Research and development continues here necessary to get this somewhat newer class of lasers into widespread use. This applies to lasers, optics, beam guidance, plant technology, processes, automation and also the issue of safety (X-ray safety of ultra-short pulse lasers: http://www.ukpl-technologie.de/roentgensendung.html).

A good example of current cutting-edge research is a project funded by the EU, which EurA AG accompanies: #FEMTOCHIP – Femtosecond Laser on a Chip (www.femtochip.eu). The aim here is to develop an integrated laser that can change the future in terms of the size and price of ultrafast lasers. #ukplforfuture

A look at Asia also shows that this is important. The number of patent applications in China has been through the roof for years compared to the USA or Europe. A special look at the most modern laser class, the ultrashort pulse laser, gave me a #ultrashortpulsesecondfright. From 2012 to 2021, there were about twice as many patent applications in China in the field of "ultrashort pulse laser processing" than in the USA, Europe, Japan and South Korea combined (the four next top applicants after China). I think that should make us sit up and take notice for the future.

4 Tips

So what now? How can high-risk research continue to be made possible by funding? The EurA experts have exactly four tips ready:

  1. Use topic-free funding such as ZIM or KMU-Innovativ (the latter offers many different topics).
  2. Go International: This is possible with ZIM, Eurostars or EIC Pathfinder/Transition/Accelerator.
  3. Build in digitization or artificial intelligence. This is not only in, it can also make sense in the long term in order to become more efficient.
  4. Does the laser help for quantum technology ? àThen this blog article by single quantum expert Dr. Martin Garbos interesting for you. Recommendation: Just do it!


Everything else from me personally when we plan your R&D project implementation. I look forward to your call!


Author: Thomas Schwarzbäck

Acknowledgment :

Many thanks to Dr. Felix Grasbon from 'Grättinger Möhring von Poschinger Patentanwälte Partnerschaft' ( www.RealPatent.de ) for providing patent application figures in the field of ultrashort pulse lasers.

Dr. Thomas Schwarzbäck

Your contact person
Dr. Thomas Schwarzbäck

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