Plenary Sessions

Plenary Sessions Wed. 22 April, 16:00 – 17:55 <Room 501+502>

Gérard Mourou

Professor, École polytechnique Palaiseau, France

Theme:"Passion Extreme Light"

16:10 – 16:55

Extreme-light laser is a universal source providing a vast range of high energy radiations and particles along with the highest field, highest pressure, temperature and acceleration. It offers the possibility to shed light on some of the remaining unanswered questions in fundamental physics like the genesis of cosmic rays with energies in excess of 1020 eV or the loss of information in black-holes. Using wake-field acceleration some of these fundamental questions could be studied in the laboratory. In addition extreme-light makes possible the study of the structure of vacuum and particle production in "empty" space which is one of the field’s ultimate goal, reaching into the fundamental QED and possibly QCD regimes.
Looking beyond today’s intensity horizon, we will introduce a new concept that could make possible the generation of attosecond-zeptosecond high energy coherent pulse, de facto in x-ray domain, opening at the Schwinger level, the zettawatt, and PeV regime; the next chapter of lasermatter interaction.


Gérard Mourou is Professor Haut-Collège at the École polytechnique. He is also the A.D. Moore Distinguished University Emeritus Professor of the University of Michigan. He received his undergraduate education at the University of Grenoble (1967) and his Ph.D. from University Paris VI in 1973. He has made numerous contributions to the field of ultrafast lasers, high-speed electronics, and medicine. But, his most important invention, demonstrated with his student Donna Strickland while at the University of Rochester (N.Y.), is the laser amplification technique known as Chirped Pulse Amplification (CPA), universally used today. CPA revolutionized the field of optics, opening new branches like attosecond pulse generation, Nonlinear QED, compact particle accelerators. It extended the field of optics to nuclear and particle physics. In 2005, Prof. Mourou proposed a new infrastructure ; the Extreme Light Infrastructure (ELI), which is distributed over three pillars located in Czech Republic, Romania, and Hungary. Prof. Mourou also pioneered the field of femtosecond ophthalmology that relies on a CPA femtosecond laser for precise myopia corrections and corneal transplants. Over a million such procedures are now performed annually. Prof. Mourou is member of the U.S. National Academy of Engineering, and a foreign member of the Russian Science Academy, the Austrian Sciences Academy, and the Lombardy Academy for Sciences and Letters. He is Chevalier de la Légion d’honneur and was awarded the 2018 Nobel Prize in Physics with his former student Donna Strickland.

Berthold Schmidt

CTO Laser Technology, TRUMPF Lasertechnik GmbH, Germany

Theme:"Market Perspectives and Applications driven by Laser Intensity and Functionality"

17:05 – 17:50

The industrial laser market for laser sources and integrated systems continuous to grow despite the current slowdown in certain areas. Exceeding the market size for lasers in telecommunication the increasing field of high-power applications is an important industrial factor not only in the field of metal processing. Broadening the scope of laser applications, e.g. by evolving traditional CO2 lasers to ultra-high-power laser systems powering EUV light generation is just one example that will be discussed. To create a sustainable customer value, enhancements in laser system functionality are of similar importance such as driving cw lasers to higher powers, more efficiency, compactness, robustness and reliability. In parallel, ultra-short pulsed (USP) lasers based on thin disk, fiber and slab amplification gain growing interest from industry due to their higher average power levels, increasing pulse energies and more flexible repetition rates and pulse durations. To keep up with this development TRUMPF serves this market with a broad portfolio of new lasers e.g. ns-pulsed high-power lasers in combination with line beam focusing optics for laser lift-off applications, while TRUMPFs enlarged USP-laser portfolio enables applications ranging from transparent material processing to the control of lightning with Joule level femtosecond laser pulses at kHz repetition rates utilizing CPA.


Dr. Berthold Schmidt is CTO of the business unit TRUMPF Laser Technology, Germany. Earlier he was CEO and President of TRUMPF Photonics Inc., the production center for III-V high power diode lasers and subsystems located near Princeton, NJ as well as Head of Corporate Research establishing the basis of the TRUMPF Venture GmbH to promote disruptive technologies in early startup companies. Before joining TRUMPF, he was CEO of Intense Ltd. in Scotland, UK and active in various management roles at Bookham, Switzerland. He received his PhD from the Technical University in Munich (TUM), the “Diplom” from the Julius-Maximilians-University in Würzburg, Germany and the MSc from SUNY Albany, USA. He has published multiple papers and patents mainly related to the design and manufacturing of semiconductor laser diodes and higher integrated laser systems for telecom, industrial and medical applications. From 2005 to 2018 he supported the Swiss Commission for Technology and Innovation (CTI) in the field of micro and nano technologies as technical expert.