From the automotive or shipbuilding industry to tattoo removal, the research that Augustė Černeckytė and her colleagues are carrying out today could be applied to such areas in the future.
She is a third-year undergraduate student at Faculty of Physics of Vilnius University and has also been working at Center for Physical Sciences and Technology (FTSC) for almost a year and a half as a technician in the Department of Laser Technologies.
Augustė had the opportunity to present her work publicly at the international conference for students and young scientists Open Readings 2023, which took place on 18-21 April at FTMC building. At the end of the event, two authors of poster and oral presentations were awarded the Prof. Piskarskas Award for the best presentations on photonics and laser technologies (sponsored by Light Conversion).
The winner of the poster presentation category was A. Černeckytė (assisted by Dr. Paulius Mackonis and Dr. Aleksej Rodin, specialists of the Department of Laser Technologies). She was awarded a prize of €500.
(A poster presentation by Augustė Černeckytė)
"A poster presentation is a great opportunity to share our research results outside the walls of the laboratory. Anyone with questions, who wants to know more about a particular topic, can approach the author and have a face-to-face conversation," says Augustė.
The posters had to reflect the purpose, methodology, results and conclusions of the research. The preference is for visual rather than textual information.
What was the researcher's presentation about? To understand this, we have to try to imagine extremely short periods of time - a nanosecond (a one-billionth of a second) and a picosecond (a one-trillionth of a second!).
"The aim of our study was to compress a 1.05 nanosecond laser pulse to 100 picoseconds, using a non-linear phenomenon called stimulated Brillouin scattering. We tested several different schemes and managed to compress the pulse to 93 picoseconds, so the pulse was shortened more than eleven times!
And we will use this kind of short pulse, high-energy laser for further research, which will be of more interest not only to scientists but also to the public.
Our plans include interference tagging of metallic surfaces to produce a water-repellent metallic surface. Such a surface could be used in a variety of applications where the interaction of water and metal leads to some undesirable result. For example, cars: water-repellent metal surfaces could be used in the automotive industry to prevent water from accumulating on the car body and to reduce the risk of corrosion.
Another area is ships: water-repellent metal surfaces can help to prevent the accumulation of organisms and debris on the surface of a ship. This could reduce fuel consumption and stave off corrosion. Our laser would be attractive to industry because of its comparatively low cost and faster surface structuring," says the FTMC technician.
Another area where this technology could be applied, she said, is laser tattoo removal. This is already happening, and often clients only need a few visits to remove the tattoo - but a little scar left by the laser remains. So FTMC team's laser should reduce the risk of such scars.
Augustė is delighted with her successful participation in the Open Readings event: "It's great to have your work noticed. It's one of the first conferences for me, and this recognition is a great encouragement to learn, work, deepen my knowledge and interest in laser technologies."
(Top right: Augustė Černeckytė. Photo from personal archive)