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OptiGrate brings to market most compact and robust compressor for ultra-short laser pulses


Orlando, FL (January 23, 2009) – OptiGrate Corp, 10-year old Orlando-based high tech company, has developed and patented the most compact and robust femtosecond laser pulse stretcher and compressor based on Chirped Volume Bragg Gratings (CBGs) technology. The company has succeeded in making a commercial device with record-setting characteristics that can manipulate the laser pulse length in a small piece of glass containing a holographic grating in its bulk.


OptiGrate’s glass technology enables scaling of the aperture and length of the device to handle record optical power and energy while not being susceptible to degradation or mechanical misalignments. The most recent technology development, supported by the US Navy through the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program, resulted in boosting the efficiency of stretching and compression above 90%.


CBG is an optical device formed in a piece of specialized glass in which a changing period (chirped) diffracting grating is recorded by exposure to a specially designed interference patterns of UV radiation. The stretcher/compressor is embedded in the glass bulk and thus can’t be misaligned or distorted providing superior reliability and longevity.


Other stretchers/compressors on the market today either can’t hold high optical power or consist of several discrete elements which have to be mechanically and optically aligned to each other and therefore require constant tune up and are significantly larger in dimensions.


OptiGrate’s CBG-based compressors were successfully demonstrated in a variety of fiber based chirped pulse amplification systems at the University of Michigan showing the ability to compress high power laser pulses to less than 200 fs pulse length. “It’s a breakthrough in ultra-short pulse compression enabling compact high-power laser systems. We have been searching for this type of compact compressor technology for many years and finally it arrived”, says Dr. Almantas Galvanauskas, Professor at the University of Michigan. Dr. Galvanauskas is one of the top world experts on ultra-short pulsed lasers, who pioneered a number of novel approaches in fiber laser ultrafast technology including early work on volume Bragg grating compressors.


“The new CBG-based compressors are very compact and easy-to-align as the gratings are “crystallized” inside the glass. Their superior environmental, mechanical, and thermal stability in combination with ability to handle very high optical power makes the new elements unbeatable for high-power ultra-short pulse laser applications,” comments Dr. Leonid Glebov, OptiGrate’s Chief Technical Officer.


OptiGrate will present their latest results at Photonics West 2009 symposium and demonstrate the new devices at their booth #5113 at the Photonics West exhibit which is to be held in San Jose the week of January 26th, 2009.

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