Berthold Schmidt: Advanced Industrial Laser Systems and Applications

A plenary presentation from SPIE Photonics West 2018.

09 March 2018

In this plenary session, Berthold Schmidt of TRUMPF Laser Technology, explains that industrial laser systems continue to evolve in terms of power levels, brightness and mode of operation. While CW laser systems drive to more efficient, compact and robust light engines, ultra-short pulse (USP) solid state lasers gain increasing interest from industry due to their higher average power levels, increasing pulse energies and more flexible repetition rates, they can achieve.

Berthold Schmidt, TRUMPF Photonics (USA)TRUPMF's laser systems portfolio starting in 1985, mirrors this general development and is therefore an interesting subject to reflect the path of industrial laser systems from early CO2 lasers to the latest generation of diode pumped USP disk lasers with up to 400W average power at 343nm. Today, TRUMPF's advanced laser families enable novel applications such as EUV light generation, laser lift-off, and surface annealing.

Trumpf has also developed laser systems with smart sensors. "Being an industrial laser manufacturer today doesn't mean you only have a laser source," Schmidt says. The company is developing systems that constantly monitor the laser, allowing the incorporation of artificial in telligence software to automatically make adjustments on the fly. "It's making its own analysis, and then it's adjusting parameters and optimizing the process," he says. "There's no human involved anymore."

Lasers will continue to be a powerful industrial tool, and the company will continue to adapt and optimize laser technology of all kinds, he says. "There is not one laser technology that can serve all applications."

Berthold Schmidt is CTO of the business unit TRUMPF Laser Technology and CEO of TRUMPF Photonics Inc., the production center for III-V high power diode lasers and subsystems. Earlier he was Head of Corporate Research establishing the TRUMPF Venture GmbH to promote disruptive technologies in early startup companies. Previously, he was CEO of Intense Ltd. in Scotland, UK and active in various management roles at Bookham, Switzerland.

Schmidt received his PhD from the Technical University in Munich. He graduated from the University in Wuerzburg, Germany and holds a MSc from SUNY Albany.

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