The NCLA research group has developed considerable expertise in the application of laser technology in advanced manufacturing sectors. These activities have been largely supported by collaborations at a regional level with industry (including SMEs) across electronics, medical device, and aerospace sectors. While some understanding of the laser-material interaction has been developed for specific materials and laser systems, a programme of knowledge transfer in materials science, specifically targeting therm o-physical and thermodynamic simulations, is required to underpin the future activities of the NCLA.
To progress the fundamental understanding in the science of laser-assisted fabrication, a transfer of knowledge is proposed on process modelling and imp roved understanding of the novel use of assist gases that can improve laser ablation through chemical or physical interaction, and on the accelerated development of skills in the use of new laser sources (i.e. femto-second, UV diode-pumped solid-state lase rs operating at 266nm, 355nm).
The group is already engaged with industry partners on laser processing projects, leading to significant process improvements. While centre personnel have proposed a number of models, researchers have been unsuccessful in obt aining detailed insight into the fundamental thermo-physical processes involved in the laser-assisted processing step. Accurate models, if verifiable experimentally, will be valuable in optimising processes and identifying new applications of the technology.
The host has recently acquired new sources and, to maximise their impact, requires expertise and guidance from experienced researchers, from laboratories already proficient in the use of short-pulse (especially femto-second) laser systems. The project will develop linkages with the institutions of incoming researchers, share collateral knowledge with participants, and identify new applications of laser technology in industry.
More information can be found here.