Project „Design, Herstellung und Charakterisierung von laseraktiven Polymerfasern” (DEHERA)
within the cooperation “Laseraktive Polymeroptische Fasern” (LaPOF) funded on the basis of the “Europäischer Fonds für regionale Entwicklung” (EFRE).
In this project field the technological basis for novel laser-active polymer optical fibers (LAPOF) as well as their practical implementation and characterization is investigated. These novel laser systems have innovation potential in the automotive and aerospace industries, because they enable cost-effective and energy-efficient components (for example in the field of communication). In addition, it is possible to achieve a significant weight reduction, which directly affects the consumption of energy sources and the carbon footprint when implemented in the mobility sector.
In the partial project DEHERA (design, production und characterization of laser-active polymer fibers) special emphasis is placed on the investigation of degradation and damage mechanisms within the materials, in order to meet the requirements of the automotive and aerospace industries according to very robust and long-lasting components. Various manufacturing processes such as fiber drawing, extrusion and dispensing are investigated. The greatest technical difficulties lie in the reduction of the number of optical modes in the waveguide, which must closely approach the single-mode operation, as well as the efficient doping with laser-active substances.
Besides the detection and characterization of the laser activity in the material, a comprehensive modeling of the impact of optical properties on the laser activity of the polymer fibers is conducted. In addition, the active substances in the fiber are simulated in order to enable a purposeful investigation and improvement of the polymer.
At the end of the project the provision of a demonstrator with a laser-active POF as an active beam source is provided, which shows the technical possibilities and provides suggestions for the further utilization of the results.