Laser light sources for science and industry

Any wavelength – from UV to MIR

OPOs are known for being widely tunable and for maintaining the same high level of performance across the entire wavelength range. This makes them the ideal light source for spectroscopic experiments and means they have been used for many years in diverse areas, such as molecular spectroscopy, photochemistry and trace gas analysis. Among other things, OPOs are used for spectroscopic applications in basic research or as wavelength-flexible light sources for interferometric lithography.

© Fraunhofer IPM
Tuning ranges of optical parametric oscillators

OPOs for continuous wave operation (cw-OPOs)

Fraunhofer IPM focuses on developing continuous-wave optical parametric oscillators (CW OPOs). Through skillful combination of specially developed optics, mechanics and electronics, light sources with high conversion efficiencies, mechanic stability and reliable performance are created. Depending on the requirements, the systems cover a spectral range from 350 nm to 5500 nm - i.e. VIS, NIR, MIR. Other wavelengths can also be provided on request.

An example is the »C-WAVE«, which was awarded the Photonics Prism Award 2014 and is distributed by the company Hübner. The C-WAVE provides wide spectral coverage in the visible wavelength range without the need for users to manually change components, making it a very attractive alternative to dye lasers.

© Fraunhofer IPM
Conversion efficiency of a typical non-resonant converter

SHG and SFG modules

Moreover, Fraunhofer IPM develops SHG and SFG modules with conversion efficiencies of over 50 percent for the UV, VIS, NIR and MIR range. Depending on the power range (milliwatt to many Watt), resonantly enhanced systems, non-resonant conversion or waveguide technologies are used. Our services range from feasibility studies, product development for manufacturers and pilot series production to individual devices for end customers.


Optical dual-frequency combs

Dual-frequency comb spectrum
© Fraunhofer IPM
Typical spectrum of a beat signal of two superimposed frequency combs with an optical mode spacing of 250 MHz

As a new option, Fraunhofer IPM develops optical dual-frequency combs for gas analysis. Fiber-based components from the telecommunications sector are used to generate these dual-frequency combs in the NIR at 1550 nm wavelength. Due to the spectrometer's versatile design, the repetition rates of the combs can be freely selected between 250 and 500 MHz (0.008 – 0.016 cm-1). Spectral coverage is variable from 200 to 700 GHz (6 – 23 cm-1) with optical output powers up to 300 mW.

To cover a wide range of applications, the frequency combs generated in the NIR are converted to the MIR (3 to 5 µm) by nonlinear optical interactions, with output powers up to 2 mW. The spectral conversion range can be extended up to 10 µm with the help of additional nonlinear-optical materials.

Further information


frequency converters

Unique waveguides for unique applications


Tailor-made wavelengths

Nonlinear-optical frequency conversion for generating customer specific wavelenghts


Crystalline High-Q

A versatile platform for light generation and manipulation


Optical Parametric Oscillators

Continuous wave, single frequency

Continuous wave lasers are powerful tools for a wide range of applications such as spectroscopy, gas analysis, holography or interferometry.


Dual-frequency-comb spectroscopy

We have developed a spectrometer based on dual-frequency combs that fills the gap between classical FTIR and QCL/ICL-based spectrometers, combining the advantages of both domains.


Optical Parametric Oscillator C-Wave

The award-winning C-Wave was developed in cooperation with the Laboratory for Optical Systems at the University of Freiburg and Hübner GmbH & Co. KG.


Close cooperation with University of Freiburg

In the field of nonlinear optical frequency conversion Fraunhofer IPM closely collaborates with the Laboratory for Optical Systems at the Department of Microsystems Engineering (IMTEK) at the University of Freiburg. This way, fundamental research leads to novel tunable light sources such as cw OPOs.



Prism Award 2014

The optical parametric oscillator »C−Wave« receives the Photonics Prism Award at »Photonics West« in California.