SPIE Photonics West: Researchers from Fraunhofer IOF and the Institute for Applied Physics Jena honored with "Best Student Presentation Awards"

Jena (Germany) / San Francisco (USA) February 9, 2024

This year's participation in SPIE Photonics West in San Francisco was crowned with success for participating researchers from Jena: Three "Best Student Presentation Awards" went to scientists from the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Optics and Precision Engineering IOF and the Institute of Applied Physics (IAP) at Friedrich Schiller University Jena for the particular scientific relevance and quality of their presentations.

The latest research developments and technologies in the field of optics and photonics attracted numerous representatives from science and industry to San Francisco from January 27 to February 1, 2024 for the largest international conference for photonics - SPIE Photonics West. The international event included the conferences "Frontiers in Ultrafast Optics: Biomedical, Scientific, and Industrial Applications XXIV" and "Fiber Lasers XXI: Technology and Systems", at which scientists from Jena were also represented.

Particularly scientifically outstanding contents and their presentation were honored with "Best Student Presentation Awards" at the two sub-conferences. This year, three researchers from Jena were able to convince the conference committee: Maximilian Karst (IAP), Friedrich Möller (IOF) and Mathias Lenski (IAP).

© Thomas Schreiber
Maximilian Karst, Mathias Lenski und Friedrich Möller (f.l.t.r.) – winners of the „Best Student Presentation Awards”

Top awards for innovative research in the field of fiber lasers and ultrafast optics


With his presentation "Pulse quality improvement in multipass cells through dispersion engineering", Maximilian Karst took first place in the "Frontiers in Ultrafast Optics Best Student Paper Competition". The approach presented focuses on improving the pulse quality of fiber lasers in multipass cells through dispersion engineering.

In the "Fiber Lasers Best Student Oral Paper Competition", Friedrich Möller, researcher at Fraunhofer IOF in the Laser and Fiber Technology department, took second place with his presentation "Spectral beam combining of kW-class thulium-doped fiber lasers". In his work, he discusses an approach to improve the performance of fiber lasers at a wavelength of two micrometers by means of spectral beam combining. The special feature of the method lies in the use of two gratings, also developed at the IOF, which combine the light of several independent lasers operating at different wavelengths into a single output beam.

Mathias Lenski is pleased to have won third place at the symposium with the presentation of his research on "Highly efficient, in-band pumped, thulium-doped, Q-switched fiber laser", which represents a highly efficient fiber laser that overcomes conventional thermal challenges with improved performance. Both papers also underline the relevance of research in the field of thulium-doped fiber lasers in the two micrometer wavelength range.

The award-winning research work was carried out as part of the “Center of Excellence in Photonics”, a joint initiative of the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Optics and Precision Engineering IOF, the Friedrich Schiller University Jena, the Leibniz Institutes HKI and IPHT, the Helmholtz Institute Jena and the Ernst Abbe University of Applied Sciences Jena.