21 - 23 Jun 2022 International trade fair for laser material processing
09.01.2020 - 12:10

TRUMPF acquires stake in French laser technology startup

High-technology company TRUMPF acquired a minority stake in French laser technology startup GLOphotonics on December 18, 2019.

The Limoges-based company develops and produces a special optical fiber for use in material 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. “GLOphotonics is a highly innovative company with outstanding expertise in laser technology. We hope our investment will support ongoing development of this promising technology and help make it industry-ready,” says Berthold Schmidt, Managing Director Research and Development in TRUMPF’s Laser Technology division.

Hollow-core fiber simplifies production processes

Unlike conventional optical fibers, GLOphotonics’ fiber is hollow – hence the term ‘hollow-core fiber’. It is primarily intended for lasers that emit short pulses of light, for example to create features in the micrometer range. 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,” says Schmidt.

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.


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