Starlight+: stable light lab


The oft-used statement that “the 21st century will depend as much on photonics as the 20th century depended on electronics” may be cliché, but the impact of photonics on human life is indisputable; Europe has even formally recognised the importance of photonics by naming it a Key Enabling Technology.  Photonic related activities are essential for the competitiveness and industrial renewal.

Among photonic technologies, lasers are crucial tools for a variety of applications. This project mainly focuses on the investigation high-power stable fibre-based lasers in continuous wave operation with only a single longitudinal mode, emitting quasi-monochromatic radiation with very narrow linewidth and low noise. This class of lasers has been thoroughly investigated in many aspects of fundamental research due to their competing applications in atom cooling, atomic clocks, laser spectroscopy, among other, but also in an ever increasing number of real-world applications (coherent LIDAR, holography, industrial instrumentation, high resolution spectroscopy……), where fine control of amplitude, frequency and phase is extremely important.

Starlight+ is a fully-integrated Academia/Industry shared laboratory initiated in the fall 2014 between Azur Light Systems (ALS) and LP2N. ALS is a 7-year-old SME with 16 employees developing industrial/scientific and medical high-power fibre laser systems at new wavelengths. This joint photonics laboratory was founded after being selected by a competitive ANR program (ANR LabCom) and is strongly supported by the Conseil Régional Nouvelle Aquitaine (Recherche Nouvelle Aquitaine). Today, eight people (researchers, Ph.D. students, post-docs and engineers) work together in the LabCom to challenge the state of the art in high-power fibre lasers, taking advantage of the close proximity with ALS and its industrial expertise.The LabCom is financially supported by the ANR but also by the  Laphia Cluster, the Labex First-TF and the Fonds Unique Interministériel (FUI).


The scientific program of Starlight+ is organized around three main research themes:

  1. Research and development of new stable laser systems based on MOPA fiber architectures in the spectral range from 976 – 1120 nm.
  2. Development of systems for laser stabilization and frequency control, optimized specifically for fiber laser architectures.
  3. Development of new architectures for agile lasers systems suitable for precise frequency sweeping in the visible and Deep Ultra Violet spectral regions using optimized resonant frequency conversion schemes.

This new laboratory is housed within the Institute d’Optique d’Aquitaine facility. It benefits from close proximity to the technical center ALPhANOV which represents a major resource for industrial transfer and also proximity to the Institute of Optics Graduate School, both of which are housed in the same building.

A parallel approach to the three main R&D themes is implemented within an initial 3 year program.

The first year of the program was  dedicated principally to set-up and organization of the joint laboratory, the study of the fundamental properties in term of noise of optoelectronic seeding systems and applied to fiber amplifiers and the development of electronic and optical laser stabilization systems. The second and third years focus on the development of ultra-stable and tunable laser systems and innovative frequency conversion architectures. Beyond the initial 3-year period, the joint laboratory will be evolved towards a permanent structure, via public and private financing of research, development and industrialization activities.



  • J. Zhao
  • L. Antoni-Micollier
  • G. Guiraud
  • G. Santarelli
  • F. Floissat
  • B. Gouhier
  • C. Dixneuf
  • S. Rota
Starlight+ Team

Neodymium doped fiber laser @922nm

Multi-Watt blue laser @488nm

All fiber 1W frequency stabilized laser @852nm

High power (120W) all fiber low noise laser @1064nm

Green laser multi-Watt @ 532nm



In the framework of a new collaboration with the Public University of Navarra (Pamplona, Spain) we have initiated the study of the random lasers noise properties with the visit of Daniel Leandro ( 16-20 October).


The first Ph.D thesis develepped in the framework of the LabdCom has been presented on July  21st by G. Guiraud at the Institut d’Optique d’Aquitaine with the title “Development of high power low noise fiber  laser sources”.

A presentation ceremony of the LabCom has been held on June 16th with the partecipation of Mr. Alain Rousset President of the Région Nouvelle Aquitaine, Mr. Jean-Louis Martin Chairman of the Institut d’Optique Graduate School, Madame Hélène Jacquet Director of the Mission d’Investissement d’Avenir Université de Bordeaux, Mr. Jean-Luc Pozzo  Director of the Science and Technology Departement of the Université de Bordeaux, Mr. Nicholas Traynor ALS Founder togheter with the representative of CNRS and ANR.

Photo © CNRS

Dr. Sergio Rota, Starlight+ post-doc, has been selected by the prestigious European post-doctorate program Marie Skłodowska-Curie Individual Fellowship
Marie Skłodowska-Curie actions


G. Guiraud, N. Traynor, G. Santarelli, “High-power and low-intensity noise laser at 1064  nm,” Opt. Lett. 41, 4040-4043 (2016)
J. Zhao, et al., “Gain dynamics of clad-pumped Yb-fiber amplifier and intensity noise control,” Opt. Express 25, 357-366 (2017)
S. Rota et al.”Watt-level single-frequency tunable neodymium MOPA fiber laser operating at 915–937  nm,” Opt. Lett. 42, 4557-4560 (2017)


Azur Light Systems

Youtube video on what is a laser
Youtube video on fiber lasers by the NUFERN company


Giorgio Santarelli (email)