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Developers of ultrashort-pulse lasers for industry win German Future Prize

09 December 2013

Stefan Nolte (Friedrich-Schiller-Universität-Jena), long-time conference chair of Frontiers in Ultrafast Optics: Biomedical, Scientific, and Industrial Applications at SPIE Photonics West, and fellow team members Dirk Sutter (TRUMPF) and and Jens König (Robert Bosch) were named winners of this year's German Future Prize last week.

Instrumental in the development of ultrashort-pulse lasers for industrial applications, they were awarded the prize by federal president Joachim Gauck at a ceremony held 4 December in Berlin.

The benefits of "cold ablation," the ability of such short pulses to machine materials without the damaging effects of melting, have been apparent for many years. But in terms of economic impact, this technology is only just beginning to gain real traction, noted optics.org industry analyst Mike Hatcher.

In 2011, the Bosch made around 5 million parts with the technology, Hatcher said. Last year that figure rose to 11 million, and by the end of the decade it will be 80 million

Read more in the Laser Focus World article.