TRUMPF acquires stake in GLOphotonics

keywords: TRUMPF pulse laser


High-technology company Trumpf has acquired a minority stake in French laser technology startup GLOphotonics.

The Limoges-based company develops and produces special optical fibers for use in materials processing applications. The fiber offers a simpler and faster way to deliver laser light from the source to the desired destination without any loss of power. Financial details were not revealed of the deal, which was concluded in December 2019.

“GLOphotonics has outstanding expertise in laser technology. We hope our investment will support ongoing development of this promising technology and help make it industry-ready,” commented Berthold Schmidt, Managing Director R&D in Trumpf’s Laser Technology division.

Hollow-core fiber simplifies production processes

GLOphotonics’ fiber is hollow and primarily intended for lasers that emit short pulses of light, for example materials processing to create features in the micrometer range, such as are needed in the manufacturing of medical stents (pictured, above). Furthermore, GLOPhotonics’ Fastlas system generates extremely short laser pulses; the company claims it to be “the most scalable nonlinear pulse compressor in the market”.

Due to physical limitations, ultrashort pulse lasers cannot be coupled into a glass fiber, so today’s lasers generally use an array of mirrors and lenses to direct the beam onto the target. This method is extremely complex and costly.

“The hollow-core fiber opens up new technical avenues for machine makers and system integrators. Compared to free-beam delivery, it offers a much simpler and more flexible way of guiding laser light from a pulsed beam source to its destination. This greatly simplifies processes on the shop floor,” said Schmidt.

Trumpf added that “industry experts anticipate that industrial hollow-core fibers will also pave the way for entirely new applications in the future. Potential examples in the field of communication include optical data transmission in large computer centers.”