Started in June 2016, the Miracle project successfully reached its second milestone. Funded by the DGA as part of the RAPID (Régime d'appui pour l'innovation duale - Support System for the dual innovation), the Miracle project aims to create a supercontinuum laser source emitting between 2 and 5.3 microns, offering an average power of 4 W.
The three partners, ALPhANOV, Leukos and Le Verre Fluoré, met in June 2018 with the financial supporters to take stock of the project progress after two years of studies. The first step in the realization of the supercontinuum laser was to develop in ALPhANOV laboratories, a versatile laser source emitting pulses of adjustable duration between 400 ps and 10 ns at 2 μm wavelength, with repetition rate that can vary between 100 kHz and several tens of MHz and an average power of up to 16 W. At the same time, Le Verre Fluore developed a new generation of ZBLAN and Indium optical fibers that can withstand an unparalleled power flow. The innovative 2 µm laser source paired with the high-performance fiber allowed Leukos to generate supercontinuum up to 4.2 μm with the ZBLAN fiber and up to 4.6 μm with the Indium fiber, with average power of 7.2 W and 5 W from an injected power of 10 W, respectively.
These excellent results, in line with the partners expectations, drew the attention of the scientific committee of the LASE conference organized in February 2019 as part of the Photonics West event and will be presented at an oral conference on Tuesday, February 5th. The next phase of the project is to inject the full power of ALPhANOV laser in order to further expand the spectral range and thus achieve a supercontinuum source in line with the project objective.