DFF Young Elite Researchers Award 2009 given to Morten Bache

This year, associate professor Morten Bache from DTU Fotonik was among the receivers of the prestigious “Young Elite Researchers Award”. It was handed out by The Danish Councils for Independent Research (DFF) on January 29, 2009. The award is given to highly talented young researchers (below the age of 35) who have submitted proposals to one of the scientific research councils under DFF.

The award was handed out at a grand ceremony at Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek in the centre of Copenhagen, where among others HRH Crown Princess Mary and Minister of Science Helge Sander participated. The award includes a grant of 270,000 DKK, which can be used for travel, stays abroad, research equipment or other research-related expenses.


The award was given to Morten Bache in relation to his recently approved 3-year research project “Few-cycle femtosecond optical pulses in the visible and near-infrared (Femto-VINIR)”, funded by the Danish Research Council for Technology and Production Sciences.


Elite Scientists 2009 from DTU

The 2009 EliteForsk prize winners from DTU. From left: Frank Møller Aarestrup, Morten Bache, Thomas Eiland Nielsen, Sara Laustsen, Kasper Planeta Jensen, Cathrine Frandsen, Jonas Bækby Bjarnø and Kaspar Kirstein Nielsen. Foto: Thorkild Amdi Christensen


The goal of the project is to develop a cheap, compact, stable and efficient source of sub-20 fs pulses both in the visible and the near-IR (VINIR). This will be achieved by compressing pulses from a high-power femtosecond fibre laser in a quadratic nonlinear crystal, where phase-mismatched (cascaded) second-harmonic generation takes place. Single-cycle pulses can be reached, which have applications in ultra-short pump-probe spectroscopy, micromachining with nanoscale precision, nanosurgery, generating attosecond pulses, and generating broad-band frequency combs.


“The technology for generating ultra-short femtosecond pulses is mature,” explains Morten Bache, “but the lasers are too bulky, fickle and expensive. On the other hand, fibre lasers offer a compact, rugged and cheap platform, only they are not able to generate such short pulses. Our aim is to develop a compression technique to boost the performance of high-power femtosecond fibre lasers to the ultra-short domain.


The award is a recognition of what hopefully is just the early stage of my scientific career, and of my ability to receive funding from various research councils. The grant is a most welcome stress-reliever: the project is experimental and they always have unforeseen costs related to them.”


Read more about it in Danish here. To see the other prize winners, visit the EliteForsk website.