Wrocław University of Technology

Ultrafast, graphene-based fiber lasers

Head: Prof. Krzysztof Abramski
Main executors: Grzegorz Soboń, Jarosław Sotor, Karol Krzempek, Adam Wąż, Grzegorz Dudzik
Date: 15.12.2012 – 14.05.2015
Funding: The National Centre for Research and Development (NCBiR, Poland)

The main goal of the project is to develop and commercialize ultrafast fiber lasers, based on graphene saturable absorbers, operating in the near infrared region (1550 nm). Graphene, with its unique optical properties, like broad operation bandwidth, nonlinear optical response (saturable absorption) and ultrafast recovery time may be utilized as a fast optical switch, capable to generate optical pulses with ultrashort durations (below 1 ps) in fiber lasers. Due to excellent mechanical and optical properties of fibers, developed lasers are characterized by compactness, reliability, resistance to external factors and outstanding beam quality. Moreover, the all-polarization maintaining cavity design provides linear polarization output and stable, turn-key operation. The project assumes development of several prototypes, based on graphene saturable absorbers prepared using two techniques: chemical vapor deposition on metallic/semiconductor substrates and liquid phase exfoliation. Developed lasers will be commercialized by the industrial partner. In order to determine the product quality, the lasers will be implemented and tested in various scientific and industrial applications.

The project is based on a collaboration between three participants:

  1. Laser & Fiber Electronics Group from Wroclaw University of Technology (PWr, Wroclaw), specializing in ultra-fast fiber lasers and optical frequency combs
  2. Institute of Materials Technology (ITME, Warsaw), specializing in graphene fabrication and characterization,
  3. Fiber Optic Technical Support (FOTS, Wroclaw), an international supplier of fiber-optic components and fiber lasers/amplifiers.

The main goal of the project is to develop and commercialize ultrafast fiber lasers, based on graphene saturable absorbers, operating in the near infrared region (1550 nm). The project will be coordinated by the group from PWr, which will also be responsible for the development of fiber lasers. The group from ITME will be responsible for fabrication and characterization of graphene saturable absorbers (GSA). Fabricated GSAs will be used as mode-lockers for erbium-doped fiber lasers. Prototypes of developed laser devices will be commercialized and implemented by the industrial partner FOTS.

In order to achieve the objectives, we have prepared a 3-year R&D program, divided into five work packages, handled by three project participants (PWr, ITME and FOTS). The main tasks include:

  1. Fabrication and characterization of epitaxial graphene grown by chemical vapor deposition (CVD) on metal substrates (copper and nickel).
  2. Fabrication and characterization of chemically exfoliated graphene and graphene oxide (due to liquid phase exfoliation, LPE).
  3. Development of ultra-fast fiber lasers with graphene saturable absorbers, based on erbium-doped fibers, generating femtosecond laser pulses at 1550 nm.
  4. Design and construction of two prototypes of graphene-based, Er-doped fiber lasers (based on CVD and LPE graphene)
  5. Implementation and commercialization of the developed laser prototype


Representative publications related to the project:

  • G. Sobon, J. Sotor, I. Pasternak, W. Strupinski, K. Krzempek, P. Kaczmarek, K.M. Abramski, „Chirped pulse amplification of a femtosecond Er-doped fiber laser mode-locked by a graphene saturable absorber”, Laser Physics Letters 10, 035104 (2013)

Copyright © 2012 Laser & Fiber Electronics Group