Flexible laser delivery through glass fibres has found numerous applications in a variety of diverse environments, including on-board aeroplanes and satellites, down oil wells, on factory floors, and inside the human body. The exponential increase in available laser power creates new opportunities to exploit the advantages of coherent light to ablate, weld, mark, vaporize and sense. In numerous areas however, all-glass fibre-based laser delivery has now reached the fundamental limits of optical fibres, dictated by nonlinear effects, transparency range and/or damage mechanisms to the glass.
Hollow Core Fibres (HCFs) with several orders of magnitude lower nonlinearity, higher damage threshold and smaller overlap between the transmitted beam and the surrounding glass, offer a unique possible solution to fibre-based laser delivery of unprecedented power. This could result in breakthrough applications in the areas of laser manufacturing, laser ignition, defence, attosecond science, nonlinear endoscopy/microscopy and gas based mid-IR lasers.
Our research will be steered by the application requirements of end-users and we will be developing bespoke solutions to meet their needs.