New national laser centre to communicate and coordinate knowledge about laser technology

The Danish Ministry of Science, Innovation and Higher Education has just granted DKK 20.3 million to DANLASE – a new laser centre that will develop, coordinate and communicate knowledge about advanced laser technology and the application of lasers in industry and research. DANLASE (Danish National Laser Centre) is an interdisciplinary centre with close collaboration between Aarhus University (AU) and the Technical University of Denmark (DTU). Also taking part in the DANLASE project are the University of Copenhagen, the University of Southern Denmark and Aalborg University.

2014.01.09 | Ulla Vibeke Hjuler

The project group (from left to right): Peter Ogilby, Henrik Stapelfeldt, Michael Drewsen, Jan Arlt, Søren Rud Keiding, Peter Balling. (Photo: Jesper Buch Rais, AU Communication)

The project group (from left to right): Peter Ogilby, Henrik Stapelfeldt, Michael Drewsen, Jan Arlt, Søren Rud Keiding, Peter Balling. (Photo: Jesper Buch Rais, AU Communication)

Light from plasma formed by intense laser beams. (Photo: Niels-Jørgen Hansen)

Light from plasma formed by intense laser beams. (Photo: Niels-Jørgen Hansen)

Strong interdisciplinary collaboration

One of the aims of the centre is to boost public knowledge and competence regarding lasers, as well as creating and maintaining more jobs. DANLASE will represent Denmark in connection with major European Union collaborative projects and grants. DANLASE will be managed by a project group consisting of Søren Rud Keiding, Henrik Stapelfeldt, Peter Ogilby, Michael Drewsen, Peter Balling, Jan Arlt and others from AU, and Peter Uhd Jepsen from DTU, as well as representatives from Danish industry. This will help ensure strong connections between research and development activities in industry and at Danish universities. Industry will thus also be assured of access to facilities, as there is significant demand for laser technology in Danish industry.

New advanced lasers

Part of the large grant will be used to purchase advanced lasers. New laboratory facilities at AU will house three new lasers. They are an ultra-high intensity laser that can generate X-radiation, an ultra-high precision laser for dating, and a laser microscope that not only features large spatial resolution, but is also capable of distinguishing between different molecules.

DTU will construct laser facilities with intense light sources covering the infrared and long-wave infrared spectrum. Existing laser laboratories will also be affiliated with DANLASE.

Denmark at the forefront

One of the aims of the new advanced laser facilities is to keep Denmark at the international forefront of laser research, as well as making the Danish research groups attractive collaborative partners in connection with Horizon 2020 research programmes and other European research infrastructure programmes. Another aim is to support and stimulate the application of laser-based technologies in Danish industry, as well as strengthening Danish companies in international competition for advanced technology workplaces. The centre will also make students aware that laser and optics technology is the starting point for innovation and job creation.

The project group is about to plan its first meetings. One idea is to organise an annual DANLASE meeting, where people working with lasers in Denmark (100–200 participants) get together to discuss laser technology and its application.

In 2013, two major projects in the Danish Roadmap for Research Infrastructures 2011 were granted a total of DKK 35.6 million from the national infrastructure pool. These are DANLASE and a project for the reorganisation and strengthening of Danish register research.

For more information, please contact

Søren Rud Keiding
Department of Chemistry
Aarhus University
+45 2899 2061
Keiding@chem.au.dk

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