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PoC grant

A team directly involving Sphere Ultrafast Photonics has been awarded a Proof of Concept (PoC) Grant from the European Research Council. The research in attosecond science performed by our partner group in Lund University, Sweden, supported by the ERC advanced grant ALMA “Attosecond Control of Light and Matter”, has led us to develop a simple technique to fully characterize and control ultrashort laser electric fields. The characterization and subsequent control can be divided into two parts: i) Measurement of the spectral phase of short light pulses by measuring second-harmonic generation as a function of dispersion introduced by e.g. a pair of glass wedges (the d-scan technique). From the “dispersion scans”, the spectral phase of the pulse can be retrieved and then adjusted to perform compression of the laser pulses. ii) Ultrafast measurement of the Carrier Envelope Phase offset of amplified laser pulses (Ultrafast-CEP technique). It is based upon interferometry, where the second-harmonic of the red edge of an octave-spanning spectrum is spectrally interfered with the blue edge. In our implementation, the detector is a linear photodiode array and Field-Programmable Gate Array based electronics enables us to determine the CEP at a rate of up to 100 kHz. The d-scan technique was invented in 2011 as a collaborative project between the University of Porto and Lund University. An international patent application was filed on 11 October 2011 and published on 18 April 2013. The Ultrafast-CEP technique was invented in Lund in 2010 and nicely complements the d-scan technique. Through this grant we will build and market a device for characterization and control of femtosecond pulses by combining both techniques. This device will be useful for the ultrafast laser community, which includes university laboratories and research institutes in physics, chemistry, biology and medicine as well as biomedical and materials science industry.

IUP25k: Ultrafast laser technology wins first prize

The project Sphere Ultrafast Photonics, presented by Rosa Romero and Helder Crespo, researchers from the Faculty of Sciences of the University of Porto (FCUP) was awarded the first prize, in the amount of 15 000 euros, of the 2013 edition of iUP25k - business ideas competition of the University of Porto. The presented technology for ultrafast laser applications enables improving advanced diagnostics in ophthalmology and process materials with high precision.

Held last Friday at the Faculty of Fine Arts of the University of Porto, the finale of iUP25k showcased the top ten ideas from a total of about 70 projects in competition this year. In the end, the arguments from the duo of researchers of the University of Porto have stood out, from their patent pending idea to their intention to manufacture and market the simplest and more precise ultrafast laser control technology ever".

The iUP25k is an initiative launched in 2010 by the University of Porto, through its Entrepreneurship Club (CEDUP) and the University of Porto Innovation Office (UPIN), with the main objectives of distinguishing entrepreneurial initiatives and promoting the emergence of business projects promoted by UPorto's community of students and alumnae. After four editions, iUP25k is already one of the most important higher education awards fostering entrepreneurship in the country.