Interview: Yves Hernandez, MULTITEL

Yves Hernandez is the Head of the Applied Photonics Department at MULTITEL. He tells us about the crucial role of lasers in ESSIAL and what challenges he has to tackle.

Q: Yves, can you tell us a little more about Multitel and its role in ESSIAL?

Multitel is a private research institute of about 70 persons. The Applied Photonics department is active in lasers, sensors, terahertz and micromachining. Within the  ESSIAL project, our role is to develop the laser process for an optimal magnetic domains refinement. Thanks to our versatile platform we explore all the possibilities from femtosecond pulses to continuous wave. Multitel is one of the laser expert of the consortium, along with Lasea.

Q: How do you cooperate with this SME and the other partners?

We have been collaborating with LASEA for many years, more than a decade. It is an important and complementary partner for us. Besides the process development we can also develop and prototype fibre laser sources that for instance LASEA can implement into their system. Despite the exciting aspects, proper to EU projects, like meeting new partners, discovering new fields and new ways of working etc., it can be sometimes also helpful to have within the consortium a partner that you know well and with whom you will be able to proceed rapidly to the goals of the project.

Besides this collaboration, the interactions with partners regarding application needs and functional tests like ESIEE, CRM, IRT M2P, Jeumont, Andaltec… are very interesting and rewarding as they give us the possibility to learn about new applications of lasers in material science that we would probably not have explored by ourselves without ESSIAL.

Q: Finally, what would you say is the main challenge of the project regarding lasers?

From the point of view of lasers, the most challenging in the project will certainly be related with up-scaling of the process. Depending on the final choice for the laser technology, the technical challenges for transferring the process to large surfaces in an efficient way will be different but will have to be overcome in any case. This is why it will be important for MULTITEL to collaborate closely with LASEA to deal efficiently with this aspect.