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Chairholder Profile

Réal Vallée

Réal Vallée

Université Laval

Chair Title

NSERC-Coractive-TeraXion-LaserAX-TLCL Industrial Research Chair in femtosecond photo-inscribed photonic components and devices

Chair Program

Industrial Research Chairs Program


Senior Chairholder since 2014


Over the past decade femtosecond laser sources has paved the way to a variety of new industrial processes based on the so-called non-linear absorption of high intensity light beams in dielectric materials. In fact, it now appears that a variety of new applications based on femtosecond interaction are suddenly within reach, such as writing waveguides (3D waveguides, couplers, splitters, etc.) or reflecting structures (volume gratings, fiber Bragg gratings, FBG) in glasses; welding transparent dielectric materials together or with other materials such as crystals (sapphire, diamond, YAG, ZnSe, etc.) or metals; cutting or piercing slab dielectric materials, and so on. In fact, in a number of application areas like optical communications, entertainment, defence and security and the biomedical sector, the current trend is to integrate the most rugged and compact (dense) photonic components at minimum cost.

In telecommunications for example, the need for rugged 3D interconnect modules compatible with optical fiber networks is growing more urgent. Photo-induced 3D photonic components offer a very attractive alternative in this regard. As for flat display devices, structures that call for stacking glass slides require assembly solutions (welding) that can potentially be adapted in an industrial setting. For sensing applications, the use of optical fiber segments equipped with FBGs is now commonplace for hostile environments (bridges, drilling platforms, robots, etc.). However, several of these applications present physical constraints for which current components are inadequate. Therefore, new processes are required for their fabrication.

The Chairs main objective is to coordinate university research activities that will lead to a better understanding of the mechanisms behind nonlinear light-matter interactions with a view to adding value for the benefit of the Canadian photonic industry and in particular of the chair partners: Coractive, TeraXion, LaserAX and TLCL. The Chair will have three research thrusts addressing not only the development of photonic components with the femtosecond approach, in particular FBGs and monolithic infrared fibre lasers, but also the mastering of the underlying femtosecond laser based material processes.

The chairholder, Prof. Réal Vallée has pursued in recent years research activities in fiberoptic components leading to major contributions, namely in the area of photo-inscription of photonic components in glass by femtosecond laser pulses and in the area of fibre laser development. This research group was the first to demonstrate that Bragg gratings could be written in fluoride glass fibre with femtosecond pulses. This seminal contribution led to the development of the very first monolithic fibre lasers operating in the mid-infrared, specifically at 3 m. More recently, Prof. Vallées group demonstrated the first Raman fiber lasers in both fluoride glass fibre and in a chalcogenide fibre.


  • CorActive High Tech
  • TLCL
  • TeraXion
  • LaserAX

Contact Information

Université Laval
2375, rue de la Terrasse, local 2104
Québec, Québec
G1V 0A6

Tel.: 418-656-2698
Fax: 418-656-2623

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