Principal investigator: Kevin Chen

University: University of Pittsburgh

Industry partners: II-VI Incorporated

Femtosecond ultrafast lasers have been shown to be effective tools to induce refractive index changes in transparent materials to manufacturing 3D photonic circuits in a wide array of optical substrates. It enables a simple and cross-platform manufacturing technique to build 3D waveguides in a wide array of optical substrates. However, the devices produced by the ultrafast lasers in other optical substrates are plagued by poor qualities. To address these challenges, this PA manufacturing program project proposes to explore fundamental optics science underpinning ultrafast laser interaction with nonlinear optical materials. This proposal seeks to dramatically improve the ultrafast laser processing outcomes in optical substrates through “smart” designs of temporal pulse profiles and spatial laser beam profiles of the ultrafast laser using adaptive optical technology to control laser matter interaction with 1-fs temporal resolution and -nm spatial resolution. Our partner companies will be able to utilize this new knowledge and new technical innovation to develop new products and manufacturing services in PA with global impacts. It will generate new business opportunities, job, and tax dollars to make PA as a leading manufacturing innovation center in the world, not only in conventional steel making, but also advanced photonic chip manufacturing.