Complex systems made out of single monoliths

Prof. Yves Bellouard

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Prof. Yves Bellouard, Head of the Galatea Lab
Non-contact laser actuated positionners

In micro-devices, achieving assembly and packaging with sub-micron resolutions is often a daunting challenge and a bottleneck for further integration and reliability.

3D Laser‐matter interaction offers an new opportunity for contact-less repositioning of elements with ultrahigh accuracy.

We have demonstrated that femtosecond laser can induce controlled and localized nano-volume changes, down to a fraction of nanometer. By locally distributing these local changes of volume, one can induce local and distributed displacements in microscopic devices.

Here, we explore how this principle can be used in complex optical assembly for contact-less, fine positioning of optical elements.

Staff members involved in this research

Pieter Vlugter, Saood Nazir

New actuating principles

Three‐dimensional machining allows for testing new actuator principles such those based on dielectrophoresis.

The key question is to explore how to move non-conductive objects using electrostatic fields. The working principle is to use a non-linear effect by creating a non-uniform electrostatic field.

This principle is well-known for moving dielectric particles for instance using electrodes carrying travelling-wave field distributions. Here, we investigate its use for moving more complex objects as well as for monolithic glass actuators.

The rationale is to be able to actuate optical elements without the need for depositing electrodes directly on it.

Staff members involved in this research

Enrico Casamenti


The integration of laser-written optical elements like waveguides and fluidic channels allows for new concept of monolithic optofluidics devices.

We explore the use of these technologies in the context of environmental monitoring and more specifically, for algae population monitoring.

One of our sensor will be deployed on the LExplore platform in Lake Geneva to help scientist to learn more about algae population interaction in the context of global warming.

Staff members involved in this research

Manon Tardif