Winner in the Category Bachelor Thesis, 2019
»Schnelle Strahlablenkung mittels akustooptischer Deflektion zur Laser-Mikrobearbeitung«
(Fast beam deflection by acousto-optical deflection for laser micromachining)
What induced you to your field of research and the topic of your thesis?
Chance or fate. I came to the field of research via an internship at the Laser Zentrum Hannover. It challenged me to program and build an FPGA-based delay generator in two months without any significant electronic or programming skills. Against many expectations, the development was more than successful and I was encouraged to tackle particularly demanding topics. When it was time for the bachelor thesis, I asked my department about topics that there were to work on. I chose the topic that was most challenging for me.
What was the topic of your thesis? What fascinated and inspired you about it?
My bachelor thesis is about scanners for laser micromachining, where the highest precision and high process speed are required. The development of more powerful ultrashort pulse lasers with high pulse repetition rates requires the use of fast scanners so that the process can be scaled. However, many commercial systems are not up to the task. Therefore, a combination of an acousto-optical deflector and a galvanometer scanner, in which the best of both worlds was successfully combined, was the most appropriate solution. Particularly exciting for me was the interdisciplinary work in the field of programming, electronics, control, regulation and at the end to merge all areas to a successful process.
How did you become aware of the Applied Photonics Award and what motivated you to participate?
I learned about the Applied Photonics Award and the Photonics Days from my department head at that time after he had already left the Laser Zentrum Hannover, by forwarding an e-mail to my supervisor. It was very short notice to complete all necessary documents and get the professor's signature by the deadline within only 4 days. I was particularly motivated by the opportunity to present my work to a wider audience and thus give the topic greater relevance.
What does the Applied Photonics Award mean to you? Would you recommend participation in the award?
Before the award ceremony, I did not really know what has awaited me. In hindsight, it gave me recognition and network with new people and companies. For me, it is a gigantic motivation to remain faithful to the academic path. In any case, the successful participation in the award is a milestone in my life, which I will certainly remember frequently and gladly.
I strongly recommend the price to every student. After all, you cannot lose anything when you participate. Every person who has put heart and soul into their work should seize this opportunity and see where the journey takes them.
What are your plans for the future?
My work is currently taking me away from the earth: in the Moonrise project, 3D printing is brought to the moon by using a laser to melt the lunar regolith. For this, I develop space-suitable boards and software. Afterwards, I will continue my results of the bachelor thesis in a perennial Eurostars project.