Expanding the Bounds of Laser Materials Processing Research
While the opening and closing plenary sessions of the International Congress on Applications of Lasers & Electro-Optics (ICALEO®) are always a major draw, the invited papers that will be presented throughout the five-day conference are a treasure trove of novel laser research and applications.
ICALEO will take place in Atlanta, GA this year on Oct. 18-22, where about two dozen invited papers — presentations given special attention by conference and session chairs — are scheduled. Chaired for the first time by Silke Pflueger of DirectPhotonics, Pflueger is also joined by three other conference chairs: Laser Materials Processing Conference Chair Christoph Leyens, Laser Microprocessing Conference Chair Michelle Stock, and returning Nanomanufacturing Conference Chair Yongfeng Lu. With last year’s implementation of a peer-review process, ICALEO 2015 is yet again slated to be the premier conference for the latest in laser materials processing research and technology.
Laser Materials Processing
According to Leyens, “this year we can all look forward to presentations that expand the boundaries of laser processing with more powerful lasers, innovative hybrid processes, and laser applications that push the boundaries of what has been done and what can be done. Welding takes up a large share of the conference followed by surface modification including cladding and coating.”
Joerg Volpp will be one of speakers focusing on laser welding in his presentation on the Impacts on Keyhole Oscillations and Process Pores during Laser Deep Penetration Welding.
Matthias Koitzsch will dive into energy-optimization regarding sources for modern lasers and explain how these advancements led to a shift in the accessibility of laser processing, and the enabling of novel uses and laser products in his paper titled Energy-Efficient Industrial Production Using High-Power Disk- and Direct Diode Lasers.
As laser materials processing capabilities continue to develop, so do its more precise technologies in the laser microprocessing field. “Highlighted topics this year include applications in microelectronics and photovoltaic material processing, along with the growing application areas of surface engineering and laser processing of substrate and cover materials such as sapphire and glass,” says Stock. A new session on microprocessing carbon-fiber-reinforced polymer materials was created this year due to the high number of submissions focusing on polymers and metals.
David Waugh will touch on how specific surface engineering of polymeric materials can provide the technical and economic advancements necessary to meet the needs for successful biological implants and stem-cell therapies in his presentation Modulating the Wettability Characteristics and Bioactivity of Polymeric Materials Using Laser Surface Treatment.
Song Liu’s paper titled Enhanced Thermal Radiation by Femtosecond Laser Fabricating Grating Patterns on Metal Surfaces will focus on the use of femtosecond laser micro-processing to enhance the thermal radiation properties of metal surfaces, specifically showing the ability to accurately manipulate the properties due to the relationship between surface pattern and thermal radiation.
As stated by Prof. Lu, “this conference will highlight research in emerging nanomanufacturing technologies in 3D micro/nanofabrication, laser spectroscopy and metrology, laser synthesis and diagnostics of carbon nanomaterial, expitaxial growth of graphene for optoelectronics, nanolithography, nanoscale thermal imaging, biophotonics, nanostructured surface coating, laser sintering and laser surface texturing.”
While many advancements are continuously being made in the field of laser nanomanufacturing, both Minlin Zhong’s research on ultrafast laser hybrid fabrication and Wilhelm Pfleging’s work with lithium-ion battery production will be two nanomanufacturing presentations that you should not miss.
The use of antireflective surfaces in the infrared spectrum has practical uses in many fields such as solar energy utilization, sensors, security and defense. In Zhong’s presentation Ultrafast Laser Hybrid Fabricating of Macro-Micro-Nano-Nanowire Multi-Scale Structures for Near Perfect Infrared Antireflection, he will explain how an ultrafast laser hybrid process utilized laser ablation and oxidation to successfully create a nanowire multi-scale structure on Copper (Cu) surfaces.
Wilhelm Pfleging will describe the advantages of laser-aided processes to reduce the production costs and improve performance of Lithium-Ion-Batteries in his paper titled Laser Processing for Production of Lithium-Ion Batteries. By applying a three-dimensional surface architecture to the electrode materials using laser ablation and laser-assisted formation, a significant improvement in lithium-ion diffusion kinetics was seen, resulting in higher specific capacities at high charge and discharge current.
ICALEO’s opening and closing plenary sessions are always intriguing to attendees; this year’s congress will open with three talks spotlighting ICALEO’s newest addition to the family — biomedical applications — including a presentation from Ellen Townes-Anderson on “Welding” Nerve Cells Together with Laser Tweezers. “We are hoping to inspire you beyond your daily work, to show you what lasers are already doing for our health, and what they will be able to do for us in the future,” Pflueger explained. “Some of the laser material interaction will look familiar, and the lasers will look familiar. But be prepared to be surprised.”
Meanwhile, the annual Business Forum & Panel Discussion, led by LIA Past President Klaus Löffler of TRUMPF, Inc. and Bo Gu of BOS Photonics, is titled Advice from Experts on How to Successfully Start a Business with the Focus on Lasers. This session will commence with a global outlook on the laser business today and will wrap up with personal insights from experienced business owners before allowing time for questions.
Another highlight of every ICALEO is the presentation of LIA’s Arthur L. Schawlow award, this year being bestowed upon EdgeWave founder Dr. Keming Du. With more than 100 published works and 70 patents and applications, his chief achievements include advancements in beam shaping and fiber coupling technology, micro glass processing and InnoSlab lasers and technology.
The Schawlow Award “is the most important and recognized prize in the area of laser technology,” Du said. It “is essential for encouraging scientists and engineers doing excellent work in promoting and enhancing laser technology. This year being the International Year of Light, I am honored to be the winner. I am very happy and very proud (and) I appreciate the recognition very much.”
Of course, networking remains a key attraction of ICALEO, which offers numerous opportunities to interact with representatives from sponsor companies like Platinum Sponsor IPG Photonics Corporation, Gold Sponsors SPI Lasers and TRUMPF, Inc., Silver Sponsors Laserline, Light Conversion and Lumentum, and Bronze Sponsors Fraunhofer ILT, Innovative Optics and Spectra-Physics. Attendees can meet key industry players, LIA officials and peers from all sectors of the laser industry at the Sunday Welcome Celebration, Monday evening President’s Reception, the Tuesday night Vendor Reception, LIA’s morning running club and the Annual Meeting & Awards Luncheon on Wednesday.
For more information about ICALEO, visit www.icaleo.org.
This article was written as a collaboration of LIA authors including contributions from Geoff Giordano.