Gooch & Housego
For the development of a fibre-coupled acousto-optic modulator device for integration into fibre-laser systems. The Fiber-Q is used to modify the laser beam in systems used in a range of markets and applications, from oil and gas security to medical lasers.
The rapid adoption of fibre-laser technology used for materials processing in manufacturing has led to massive advances, enabling high throughput and low-cost manufacture of consumer items such as smart phones. Compared to other laser technologies, fibre laser provides a robust, low-cost, maintenance-free solution.
In fibre lasers, the laser cavity comprises a length of active single-mode fibre with a very small core diameter, meaning that it can be challenging to modify the properties of the laser beam to optimise processes. To address this, Gooch & Housego developed Fiber-Q – a device able to modify the amplitude, direction and wavelength of the laser beam with precise electronic control. The innovation is based on an understanding of the interactions between light and sound waves that can occur in an optically transparent material.
The components can be integrated into any fibre-laser system, enabling manufacturers of fibre lasers to ensure that their products meet the demands of clients. The low-cost and robust practical application of the Fiber-Q solution is benefitting customers working in range of markets, from oil and gas security to medical lasers.
Gooch & Housego is headquartered in Ilminster, Somerset, with operations in the US and Europe. The development of Fiber-Q required major cross-company collaboration between the team in Torquay, where the project was managed, and the Ilminster facility, who fed in their expertise in the field of acousto-optics and optical materials.