The main attraction of the International Training School on "Fibre Lasers and Fibre Optic Technology" were the lectures given by the leading European experts from both academia and industry, as well as by the "hands-on" laboratory exercises, during which they participated in the preparation of optical fibres or fibre lasers build-up.

The International Training School on was organized within the frame of the European project COST MP1401 "Advanced Fibre Lasers" from August 30 to September 1, 2016 in Prague, Czech Republic, in the Institute of Photonics and Electronics of the Czech Academy of Sciences (UFE Prague). 

Fibre lasers are booming thanks to their high average power, excellent quality of the laser output beam, low maintenance requirements and other benefits. At the same time, however, fibre lasers are still far from being well understood topic of laser physics and technology. The European project COST MP1401 "Advanced Fibre Lasers" is the first European COST action targeted specifically at fibre lasers. International Training School organized by UFE Prague under the Action COST MP1401 was focused mainly on laser glass materials and optical fibres for fibre lasers. Lectures on fibre optic technology and laser glass materials were appropriately complemented by lectures about the ultrafast fibre lasers and fibre gratings that serve as mirrors for high-power fibre laser resonators. Lectures reflected the deep experience of collaboration of academia with industry and the overlap of basic material research with practical use. Creating spin-off companies directly in the research institutes or universities, or at least very close collaboration with an industrial partner becomes a clear trend in Europe.

A hot topic of research is currently expanding the spectrum of wavelengths of fibre lasers into the mid-infrared region. Virginia Nazabal presented chalcogenide-based fibre doped with dysprosium for sensors of CO2 in underground storage of so-called greenhouse gases that are blamed for global warming.

Hands-on lab exercises were chosen from research areas in which the researchers of UFE Prague belong among the pioneers in the field, specifically in the areas of preparation of optical fibres doped with rare earth elements and ceramic nanoparticles by MCVD method, thulium-doped fibre research and fibre laser instabilities.

Lab exercise devoted to study of fibre laser instabilities, e.g., the spontaneous laser line sweeping and spontaneous generation of giant laser pulses. A handful practical experience for experiments in the lab back home, it can save number of measuring instruments from destruction.

In the fibre technology lab, the trainees began the preparation of an optical fibre with manufacturing the optical fibre preform (a glass rod with a diameter of a few centimetres) on a special glass lathe. Afterwards, the preform was melted in a graphite oven on the top of a two-floor high tower and pulled into a fibre with a diameter of one eights of millimetre.

43 trainees participated in the Training school; this number was limited by room allowed in the hands-on labs. Responses to the school from participants were very positive. Summer school provided them not only with an insight into innovations in fibre optic technology for fibre lasers, but also with many opportunities to build-up the professional and friendly relationships that often last a lifetime.

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IPE carries out fundamental and applied research in the scientific fields of photonics, optoelectronics and electronics. In these fields, IPE generates new knowledge and develops new technologies.

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