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    Fiber Lasers and Graphene Take the Stage at Tuesday Hot Topics Session

    Fiber Lasers and Graphene Take the Stage at Tuesday Hot Topics Session

    Bob Hainsey, Frank Koppens, Jens Limpert, Francis Berghmans

    Bob Hainsey (SPIE Director of Science and Technology), Frank Koppens (ICFO, Spain), Jens Limpert (Friedrich Schiller University, Germany), and Francis Berghmans (Photonics Europe Symposium Chair, Vrije University, Belgium) at the Hot Topics sessions at SPIE Photonics Europe 2018

    Ultrathin materials and ultrafast lasers were focal points for the second Hot Topics plenary session at SPIE Photonics Europe. Francis Berghmans, of Vrije University, Brussels, Belgium, gave glowing introductions to both speakers, Jens Limpert and Frank Koppens.

    Limpert, of the Institute of Applied Physics, Friedrich Schiller University, Jena, Germany, presented on the topic of "coherent combination of fiber amplified ultrafast laser pulse," reviewing applications of ultrafast pulsed lasers and the limitations of currently available sources. Novel fiber amplifiers based on photonic crystal fibers allow for design flexibility, enabling enhanced performance of single fiber amplifiers; further scaling, he noted, is feasible with coherent combination schemes that distribute physical limitations of single amplifiers across multiple apertures. Limpert's presentation also highlighted his lab's results using coherently combined arrays of photonic crystal rod fiber amplifiers, achieving both high peak and high average power.

    Frank Koppens, of ICFO-The Institute of Photonic Sciences, Spain, discussed "2D materials and their heterostructures: fundamentals, applications and prototypes," in a talk that ranged from introducing that latest in two-dimensional materials, particularly graphene, to the ways in which they can be used to build devices and materials from the bottom up, atom by atom - "like Lego," he posited - in order to generate something completely new. These 2D materials, with their unprecedented characteristics, represent the latest development in optics and photonics, and the applications using graphene offer particularly fascinating possibilities in areas extending from medical and healthcare to food quality, security, night vision, and thermal imaging. "It's a very exciting new platform for nanophotonics," he said.