Summary of June 17-18, 1999 Laser Processing Consortium Workshop

(Jefferson Lab, Newport News, VA)

As of this meeting the Laser Processing Consortium has been six years on the journey toward a productive FEL facility for R&D. The year since the last meeting has seen much of the critical transition from plans to operating reality. The major task now is to get the user labs productive for good work. Information about the on-going progress of the Jefferson Lab FEL and the user program can be found at The next workshop meeting is planned for January 13-14, 2000.

The major milestones reached for the FEL itself are:

Further milestones can be expected before the January meeting.

The recent user tests and most of those planned for the summer run seek to use the laser beam as a tool for removing material. The specific applications deal with pulsed laser deposition of thin film magnetic materials, selective drilling of multi-layer polymer/metal films, precision drilling of metals and intentional beam damage to defense-related materials. In particular, the researchers sought to demonstrate that the FEL can indeed operate in each of the three ablation regimes: long pulse - thermal (as YAG and CO2 lasers); nanosecond "percussion" (as excimers and Cu Vapor); "ultra-fast" high-peak power (as Ti:sapphire). Only the first was achieved with certainty.

The FEL coming to operational status is attracting growing attention from basic science researchers interested in spectroscopy and related science.

The other major group of researchers was interested in both fundamental and applied aspects of materials processing:

The next workshop (Jan. 13-14, 2000) is expected to include the results of the first two extended running periods (July and November) as well as reports similar to the above.

Fred Dylla

FEL Program Manager

Jefferson Lab

Michael Kelley, Chair

Laser Processing Consortium

College of William & Mary