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Laser Facility

Laser, Optics, Materials
Research Area: 
Physical Sciences
Engineering & Technology

University of the basque country / Euskal Herriko Unibertsitatea, UPV/EHU
Science and Technology Faculty
Department: chemistry physics.
Local: Sótano CD1
Bº Sarriena, s/n 48940 Leioa (Vizcaya)


Raúl Montero Santos (Service technician)
Phone: 94 601 5351
e-mail: raul.montero@ehu.es

Available for external users?: 
Access protocol: 

Access to the unit of Laser Facility involves meeting the requirements set forth in the Protocol for access to SGIker and the services it provides.


Laser technology has undergone major development since the emergence of the first device in 1960, based on the stimulated emission of the ruby - constructed by Theodore Maiman. Diverse advances in the field of optics have meant that laser radiation can be obtained in practically any region of the electromagnetic spectrum between soft IR and XRs, in pulses of light of almost any duration (up to the physical limit of a single oscillation of the electrical field, i.e. a duration of around 2-3 femtoseconds for a wavelength of 800 nm). The special characteristics of these sources of light make them essential tools in fundamental studies in chemistry, physics and biology, and have enabled fascinating applications to be developed in other fields such as material science, electronic engineering, optical communication and even medicine.
The Laser Facility offers its services to researchers from the UPV/EHU, and also to external researchers. The equipment available at this SGIker unit consists of a complete set of nanosecond lasers (excimer lasers. Nd:YAG, different colouring systems that can be syntonized in the VIS-UV, etc.), and an ultrashort pulse system. This femtosecond laser consists of an oscillator and a Ti-sapphire regenerative amplifier, whose output is a pulse train of 40 fsec. and 2 mJ (fluencies of around 1014W/cm2 can be reached using moderate focalizations). The femtosecond equipment also includes an OPA with an output that can be syntonized within the range 240-2100 nm. (extensions to the system are planned in the short term which will enable up to 200 mm to be syntonized). The Laser Facility is also equipped with the instruments required to carry out spectroscopy experiments on supersonic jets, laser ablation of metals, and PLD, etc
In addition to the equipment available, the Laser Facility also provides a general advisory service about lasers and their applications.


The Laser Facility Laboratory provides the necessary technology and knowledge to apply ultrashort (femtosecond) and ultraintense laser pulses in order to resolve different scientific and technological problems.

Over recent years, the Laser Service has provided technical support for different research projects:

Time-of-flight mass spectrometry resolved in time. This appliance is used to study any type of photophysical processes, with femtosecond resolution, of samples in supersonic molecular beams.
Upconversion fluorescence system, which enables previous studies to be extended to condensed phase samples.
Quantum dot spectroscopy.
Optical characterisation techniques of liquid crystals by means of second harmonic generation with ultrashort IR pulses.
Micro-machining line.
In addition to the available equipment and the described experiment techniques, the Laser Facility provides technical support for instrumentation development and a general advisory service on ultra-short pulse lasers and their applications.

Other relevant information: 
Nano and femtosecond laser applications - of great strategic and fundamental interest - can be deemed to form part of diverse areas of science and technology. Below we cite just a few of them. Spectroscopy: - REMPI spectroscopy (resonant enhanced multiphoton ionization). - ZEKE spectroscopy (zero electron kinetic energy). - Laser-induced fluorescence. - Double-resonance spectroscopy (hole burning, etc.). - Laser ablation. - Proteomics and metabolomics (MALDI technique). - Temporary resolution of photophysical, photochemical and ultrafast photobiological processes (10-15 -10-12 sec), using all types of pumping-probe technique (fluorescence up conversion, transient ionization, ion imaging, etc.). - Coherent control of the chemical reaction. - Others. Physics: - Photonics, in general. - Non-linear optics (high-order harmonic and supercontinuous generation, parametric generation, etc.). - Plasma physics. - Others. Material technology: Waveguide processing for optical communication. Metal, alloy and oxide ablation, feather characterization. PLD (physical laser deposition). MEMS manufacture. Development of new optical devices for storing information. Others. Industrial applications: Micromachining. Nanostructuring of surfaces. Others.


Ultrashort pulse laser system

This femtosecond laser is an oscillator and a regenerative Ti: sapphire amplifier whose output is a pulse train of 40 fs. And 2 mJ. The team of femtoseconds also includes two parametric amplifiers (OPA), tunable in the range 240-2100 nm. Recently extensions have been implemented to the system which allow tuning the system to 200 nm.

Titanium-sapphire laser oscillator (Coherent Mira).
λ≈ 800 nm
Duration: 20 fsec/pulse
Rep. rate:78 MHz
Energy (pulsed): 0.5 w

Nanosecond lasers and auxiliary equipment

MALDI spectrometer (Brucker Daltonics). Lent by CIC Biogune.
Nd:YAG 1 J laser (Quantel)/colouring/frequency mixture for IR.
Nd:YAG 1.5 J laser (Quantel)/two-colouring pumping, with frequency doublers and triplers.
Lambda Physik Scanmate model laser, with duplicator.
LEXTRA model excimer laser model/colouring with doubler and tripler.
Excimer laser for ablation and IR time-resolved spectometer.
TOF mass spectrometer, vacuum systems, turbomolecular and rotating pumps, supersonic expansion systems, etc., and their electronics.