MULTITEL is a Belgian private, non-profit research centre, leading applied research and development activities for industry leaders, SMEs and spin-off companies. It was initiated by the “Faculté Polytechnique de Mons” and “Université Catholique de Louvain” in 1999 under initiatives supported by the European Commission and the Walloon Region. Multitel is constituted of about 60 persons active in five interrelated R&D areas: photonics, signal processing and data fusion, image processing and coding, speech technologies and local networks. Multitel is a technology transfer medium. Many spin-off companies have already emerged from the centre: BABEL Technologies (now ACAPELA Group), IT-OPTICS, SMARTWEAR, ACIC, POLYMEDIS. Multitel has an international reputation with the industrial services offered in the field of the optical metrology (field characterisation of optical networks, reliability of optical sub-systems and components, periodical calibration of optical tests equipment, etc.). Multitel also participated in various European projects, mainly focused on measurement technologies, reliability, as well as on optical fibre sensors and lasers. One of the most relevant projects is the on-going IP NextgenPCF from the sixth framework program. In this project Multitel is developing high power pulsed and CW fibre lasers seed sources for supercontinuum generation and Raman lasers. Another running project from the 7th work program is ALPINE. This project is dedicated to high power Q-switched and MOPA lasers for photovoltaic processes.

Role in the project: MULTITEL is coordinating CHARMING and contributes to the development of mode-locked fibre lasers and amplifiers.

The Optoelectronics Research Centre (ORC) at Southampton University has been at the very forefront of optical technology for well in excess of 30 years. The ORC is the UK’s government’s centre of excellence in optoelectronics. The ORC has a total research staff of well in excess of 130 (academics, research fellows and students) and runs research programmes spanning most applications of optical technology including telecommunications, lasers and optical sensors. The ORC has performed pioneering work in many areas of optical waveguide development including amongst the others: the erbium doped fibre amplifier, polarisation maintaining fibre, fibre Bragg-gratings and poled fibres. The centre has full fibre fabrication facilities, including 2 lathes and pull towers. Planar facilities include sputterers, electron-beam and thermal evaporators, reactive ion beam etchers, mask aligners as well as wet benches stations.

Role in the project: In particular ORC leads the work on Second Harmonic Generation (SHG) devices. They contribute to the development of the devices and to their integration with the fibre laser sources.

Acreo is a non-profit driven Swedish Research Institute devoted to increasing the competitiveness of its industrial partners in the general area of ICT. It bridges the gap between academia and industry, by refining and further developing new ideas and technologies for their application in the real world. Since 1999, Acreo carries our applied research as well as small scale production, but the bulk of the activities is in development. Projects also range from those funded by governmental sources to commissioned work from the industry. Acreo participated and presently takes part in several EU projects. It has four technical departments working on 1) organic electronics, 2) telecom network and transmission, 3) nano-electronics and in particular detector technology and 4) optical fibres. The present project will be carried out in the latter, the Department of Fibre Photonics. The Department runs Acreo Fibre Optic Centre, an Excellence centre that congregates four research groups at Swedish Universities and a pool of ~20 industries. The activities of the Centre are divided into a Research Program, with a long term platform of technologies perceived as strategically interesting for the industrial partners, an Applied Program, where work of developmental character is carried out, and a Communications program.

Role in the project: Acreo’s role in CHARMING is mainly focused on the development of functional fibre components for single pulse selection and their integration in high performance laser systems for biomedical imaging applications. The work goes far beyond the research carried out over the last 7 years on electrically driven fibre components for the control of light.

PicoQuant was founded in 1996 at the research campus in Berlin Adlershof. It is dedicated to development and production of advanced scientific instrumentation. Furthermore PicoQuant is strongly engaged in the training of young researchers as well as the support of scientific knowledge exchange. PicoQuant is the world market leader for picosecond diode lasers. Furthermore PicoQuant is the leading company in the field of time correlated single photon counting and single molecule specific instrumentation based on fluorescence. Activities cover the full range from high frequency electronics, physics, chemistry, biology, informatics and engineering. PicoQuant operates also comprehensively equipped application labs for its research activities. These labs offers the complete instrumentation for time resolved fluorescence and microscopy and can be partly used also by other consortia members as well as life science scientists visiting PicoQuant. PicoQuant has many long term research collaborations with German and European biomedical and life science institutions allowing close access for relevant samples and applications. PicoQuant has also a long experience in organizing training courses covering a wide range of different spectroscopic and microscopic methods. These methods are introduced by well known experts in the field from Europe and US. Furthermore PicoQuant is organizing for 17 years the leading European conference dedicated to ultrasensitive fluorescence and single molecule detection in Berlin as well as supports SPIE running a similar annual event in California during Photonics West.

Role in the project: PicoQuant develops ps laser sources (based on gain switching), laser combining units and integration of these components into biomedical imaging / spectroscopy systems. PicoQuant contributes as well to the dissemination of the scientific results.

NANOPLUS is a SME that was founded 1998 as a spin off from Würzburg University. The company focuses on the development of customer specific optoelectronic devices for telecommunication and sensor applications. The company has currently two production sites in Gerbrunn and Meiningen. Both sites feature class 100-10000 clean rooms with 250m² and 300m² respectively. The technology labs at the two sites comprise complete laser processing capabilities including semiconductor epitaxy for laser layers, electron beam lithography, optical lithography, evaporators, mirror passivation, laser mounting facilities etc. A key product of nanoplus is the complex coupled distributed feedback laser. In these lasers complex coupling is obtained by combining a ridge waveguide with metal gratings on top of the waveguide layer on both sides of the ridge. DFB lasers realized by this technique in the InGaAs/AlGaAs material system have a high single mode yield (>90%), high side-mode suppression ratio (>40dB), low back reflection sensitivity and both thresholds and efficiencies which correspond to those of Fabry Perot lasers realized from the same layers. The nanoplus GmbH manufactures and sells DFB and Fabry-Perot laser diodes in the wavelength range from 0.7 up to 2.9µm for sensing and spectroscopic applications. As base material for the lasers GaAlAs/InGaAs, InGaAsP, GaInAsN and GaInAsSb heterostructures are used. Previous work within international cooperation has allowed NP to acquire significant experience in DFB and tunable laser processing for telecommunication applications based on InGaAs/GaAlAs quantum dot active material.

Role in the project: NANOPLUS is a technical contributor to the project developing semiconductor laser sources for Gain-Switching in close collaboration with PicoQuant. Based on existing concepts, pulsed laser diodes suited for SHG with improved farfield and power characteristics will be developed in the 1.1 – 1.22µm wavelength range.

Since 2006, iXFiber is a leading independent manufacturer of active and passive specialty optical fibres, components based on Fibre Bragg Gratings (FBG) technology, and subassemblies modules for a diverse range of industries: telecom, sensing, defence, space, fibre laser, harsh environment… Since 2010, iXFiber is part of iXBlue, a new industrial group of highly innovative and responsive companies serving customers in the defence, geosciences, offshore, aeronautic and space industries. iXFiber main products include rare earth doped fibres, double clad fibres, gyroscope fibres for terrestrial and space application, polarization maintaining fibres, photo-sensitive fibres, ultra high numerical aperture fibres, custom design preforms, fibre Bragg gratings, fused long period gratings, packaged components, active doped fibres sub-assemblies. These products are produced in environmental control production areas to ensure high proof strength, tight tolerances and high quality. With manufacturing facilities located in Lannion, France, iXFiber is offering more than one century of combined experience to design, draw, produce and characterize high performances products.

Role in the project: iXFiber’s role in CHARMING is to contribute to the development of a package to ensure the required athermicity, mechanical stability and fine wavelength tuning. This work appears as an extension of know-how in packaging activities of FBG components. It relies on a strong experience acquired over several years in packaging for athermal and adjustable FBG-based products. The company also benefits the consortium of its fibres for Raman amplification.

FORC (Fiber Optics Research Center of the Russian Academy of Sciences) was founded in 1993 on the basis of the Fiber Optics Department of the General Physics Institute. The FORC carries out fundamental and applied research on a variety of problems of modern fibre optics. Since 1975, a number of pioneering works on optical fibre technology, nonlinear fibre optics, and fibre lasers and amplifiers have been performed at the centre. FORC is the principal research centre in this field in Russia and is recognized as one of the world's leaders. FORC has wide experience in cooperation with end-product companies and research establishments throughout the world. In this project FORC is developing new fibre designs and fabricating fibres, which will provide all-in-fibre SHG after thermal poling processing. FORC has wide experience in investigations of the second-order nonlinearity in fibres. The most relevant results include explanation of the “optical poling” mechanism and recent progress in fabrication of low-twist homogeneous fibres for thermal poling. FORC possesses standard and unique equipment for fabrication, characterization, and investigation of optical fibres; in particular, MCVD, SPCVD, and POD installations for fabrication of optical fibre preforms, two fibre drawing towers, an extrusion set-up for fabrication of crystalline IR fibres, set-ups for inscription of in-fibre refractive index gratings, a Raman spectrograph, Fourier and multi-range UV/VIS/NIR spectrometers, high-performance spectrum analyzers and many other devices.

Role in the project: FORC contribution into the project consists in the development of fibre designs and drawing for new functional devices (in particular for all-in-fibre SHG). Improvement of the quality of the fibres and design optimization are among the key points for increasing efficiency of the PPSF devices. FORC will fabricate twin-holes fibres with low twist and improved homogeneity, Bismuth fibres for lasers and amplifiers in the 1.1-1.2µm band and micro-structured fibres for efficient Second Harmonic Generation.