£8m grant for next-gen lasers

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The University of Dundee and 18 European partners have been granted around £8m to develop a new generation of biomedical lasers.

The lasers will be much smaller and more efficient than current lasers, which are not portable and are heavy on energy consumption, and will also be designed for use in microscopy and nanosurgery, where high precision cutting, imaging and treatment therapies will be made possible. 

The four-year project, funded by the European Commission, is being lead by Dundee with a range of collaborating European Partners, including: Innolume, The University of Sheffield, Tampere University of Technology, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich, Royal Institute of Technology Stockholm, Institut de Ciences Fotoniques Barcelona, The Foundation for Research and Technology - Hellas,  Alcatel Thales III-V Lab, Vilnius University, M Squared Lasers Limited, Philips Technologie, Technical University of Darmstadt, Toptica Photonics, Time-Bandwidth Products, Politecnico di Torino, University of Athens and Molecular Machines and Industries.

Five new research posts will be created in Dundee with the money and nearly 100 man years of effort will be directed towards the world class research throughout the partnership. 

Prof Edik Rafailov, of the University of Dundee, said: ‘This project will revolutionise the use of lasers in the biomedical field, providing both practitioners and researchers with pocket-sized ultra high performance lasers at a substantially lower cost, which will make their widespread use affordable.’

Dr Graeme Malcolm, CEO of M-Squared Lasers, said: ‘A step change improvement in the cost, size and robustness of ultrafast lasers is needed before they can benefit biomedical applications fully. Technologies developed by FAST-DOT will enable these lasers to migrate from the bench-top to hospitals and laboratories. We're looking forward to contributing to that transition, and developing next-generation, workhorse systems that bring new capabilities to these applications.’