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Dr. Rüdiger Paschotta, Founder and Managing Director of RP Photonics AG

Picture of Dr. Rüdiger Paschotta

Dr. Rüdiger Paschotta has an international reputation as a distinguished expert in technical areas such as lasers and amplifiers, nonlinear optics, fiber technology, ultrashort pulses, and noise in optics. He is author or coauthor of many publications, in particular of over 100 articles in scientific journals, over 120 presentations at international conferences, and of several books and book chapters. Also, he is the author of the well-known RP Photonics Encyclopedia.

Dr. Paschotta originally started his career in scientific research. In 2002, he achieved the habilitation at ETH Zürich and received the Fresnel Prize of the European Physical Society (EPS) in 2002. Despite his success as a researcher (see his CV with publication list), in 2004 he started the company RP Photonics Consulting GmbH in Zürich, Switzerland. (The company moved to Bad Dürrheim, Germany, in 2010, and to Frauenfeld, Switzerland, in 2022, and is now RP Photonics AG.) He serves companies in the photonics industry worldwide. Typical tasks are to work out feasibility studies and designs for lasers and other photonic devices, to identify and solve technical problems, to find suitable laser sources for specific applications, and to do tailored staff training courses on specialized subjects. Dr. Paschotta regularly achieves very high levels of customer satisfaction.

He is also a thought leader and influencer in photonics, a strong advocate of simulation as a powerful method for understanding technology and achieving improvements, and has become an expert in digital marketing of photonics products.

Online Presence of Dr. Paschotta
Core Competencies
Research Experience
Titles and Honors
Scientific Key Achievements
Publication Record in Numbers
Staying Involved in Science

Online Presence of Dr. Paschotta

The main online presence of Dr. Paschotta is this website, the RP Photonics website.

However, see also his LinkedIn profile. Some examples for his postings:

Core Competencies

  • very deep and broad scientific and technical expertise in fields like laser physics, nonlinear optics, fiber technology, ultrashort pulses, noise in optics, etc.
  • extensive experience with industrial development projects and systematic methods to achieve efficient progress
  • highly developed analytic capabilities, used for problem assessment, structuring of information, comparison of options, etc.
  • strong motivation for hard work to reach highest standards
  • broad interests and broad view
  • very cooperative style: enjoying fruitful team work, open communication, absolute reliability, motivating coworkers
  • steady further improvement in all areas by permanent monitoring of results

Research Experience

  • 01/1992 to 09/1994: doctorate at the University of Konstanz, Germany, in the group of Prof. J. Mlynek. Obtained the Ph. D. degree with "summa cum laude" (highest distinction) for work in quantum optics (squeezed light) and nonlinear optics.
  • 10/1994 to 01/1997: post-doc in the Optoelectronics Research Centre, Southampton, UK, with Prof. A. C. Tropper and Prof. D. C. Hanna, working on fiber lasers, upconversion lasers, laser spectroscopy, laser modeling and simulation, ultrashort pulse generation. After that period, a fruitful research collaboration was continued for many years with the mentioned persons and others in the institution.
  • 02/1997 to 10/1997: post-doc at the University of Paderborn (Germany), with Prof. W. Sohler, working on quasi-phase-matched integrated nonlinear optical devices.
  • 11/1997 to 06/2005: leader of a research group in the Institute of Quantum Electronics, ETH Zurich, within the group of U. Keller, working on all-solid-state picosecond and femtosecond lasers, mode-locked high power lasers, mode-locked semiconductor lasers (VECSELs), nonlinear frequency conversion of ultrashort pulses, laser noise, computer modeling in laser physics and nonlinear optics.
    In her official report of Jan. 2002, concerning R. Paschotta's habilitation, Prof. Keller wrote: “I consider him as the best scientist in this field within his peer group world-wide and he has been my best post-doc I have had so far. Presently, he is in charge of eight graduate students in my group and everybody is speaking very highly of him and enjoys working with him.”
  • Since 07/2005: further scientific work (not related to ETH Zurich) while working as a technical consultant (see below).

Titles and Honors

Scientific Key Achievements

(You can also download a Powerpoint presentation on the main scientific achievements of Dr. Paschotta.)

  • Fiber lasers and fiber amplifiers:
    • R. Paschotta et al., "Characterization and modeling of thulium:ZBLAN blue upconversion fiber lasers", J. Opt. Soc. Am. B 14 (5), 1213 (1997)
    • R. Paschotta et al., "230 mW of blue light from a Tm-doped upconversion fibre laser", IEEE J. Sel. Topics on Quantum Electron. 3 (4), 1100 (1997) (invited)
    • R. Paschotta et al., "Ytterbium-doped fiber amplifiers", IEEE J. Quantum Electron. 33 (7), 1049 (1997)
    • R. Paschotta et al., “Passively Q-switched 0.1 mJ fiber laser system at 1.53 μm”, Opt. Lett. 24 (6), 388 (1999)
  • Understanding of ultrashort pulse formation:
    • C. Hönninger et al., "Q-switching stability limits of cw passive mode locking", J. Opt. Soc. Am. B 16 (1), 46 (1999)
    • R. Paschotta and U. Keller, "Passive mode locking with slow saturable absorbers", Appl. Phys. B 73 (7), 653 (2001)
    • B. Schenkel, R. Paschotta, and U. Keller, "Pulse compression with supercontinuum generation in microstructure fibers", J. Opt. Soc. Am. B 22 (3), 687 (2005)
    • R. Paschotta and U. Keller, "Ultrafast solid-state lasers", book chapter in "Ultrafast Lasers: Technology and Applications", Marcel Dekker, Inc., New York, 2003. ISBN: 0-8247-0841-5
  • Development of mode-locked lasers with extremely high powers:
    • E. Innerhofer et al., "60 W average power in 810-fs pulses from a thin-disk Yb:YAG laser", Opt. Lett. 28 (5), 367 (2003)
    • F. Brunner et al., "Powerful RGB laser source pumped with a mode-locked thin disk laser", Opt. Lett. 29 (16), 1921 (2004)
    • R. Paschotta et al., "Passive mode locking of thin disk lasers: effects of spatial hole burning", Appl. Phys. B 72 (3), 267 (2001)
    • D. Müller, A. Giesen, R. Paschotta, and U. Keller, "Ultrashort pulse thin-disk lasers and amplifiers", book chapter in "Femtosecond technology for technical and medical applications", Springer, Topics in Applied Physics, ISBN 3-540-20114-9
    • R. Paschotta and U. Keller, “Passively mode-locked solid-state lasers”, chapter 7 in “Solid-State Lasers and Applications”, CRC Press, Taylor and Francis Group, LLC, pp. 473–510, 2007, ISBN 0-8493-3589-2
    • See also: R. Paschotta et al., "Passively mode-locked thin-disk laser", US patent 6,834,064 (2004)
  • Development of mode-locked lasers with ultrahigh pulse repetition rates:
    • L. Krainer et al., "Compact Nd:YVO4 lasers with pulse repetition rates up to 160 GHz", IEEE J. Quantum Electron. 38 (10), 1331 (2002)
    • S. C. Zeller et al., "Passively mode-locked 50-GHz Er:Yb:glass laser", Electron. Lett. 40 (14), 875 (2004)
  • Development of nonlinear optical devices with very high output power and/or ultrahigh repetition rates:
    • T. Südmeyer et al., "Novel ultrafast parametric systems: high repetition rate single-pass OPG and fiber-feedback OPO", J. Phys. D: Appl. Phys. 34 (16), 2433 (2001)
    • S. Lecomte et al., "Optical parametric oscillator with a 10-GHz repetition rate and 100-mW average output power in the spectral region near 1.5 μm", Opt. Lett. 27 (19), 1714 (2002)
    • S. Lecomte et al., "Synchronously pumped optical parametric oscillator with a repetition rate of 81.8 GHz", IEEE Photon. Technol. Lett. 17, 483 (2005)
    • T. Südmeyer et al., "Nonlinear femtosecond pulse compression at high average power levels using a large mode area holey fiber", Opt. Lett. 28 (20), 1951 (2003)
    • E. Innerhofer et al., "Analysis of nonlinear wavelength conversion system for a red-green-blue laser-projection source", J. Opt. Soc. Am B 23 (2), 265 (2006)
  • Development of a novel type of mode-locked semiconductor laser (VECSEL) with very high output power:
    • R. Häring et al., "High-power passively mode-locked semiconductor lasers", IEEE J. Quantum Electron. 38 (9), 1268 (2002)
    • R. Paschotta et al., "Soliton-like pulse shaping mechanism in passively mode-locked surface-emitting semiconductor lasers", Appl. Phys. B 75, 445 (2002)
    • A. Aschwanden et al, "2.1-W picosecond passively mode-locked external cavity semiconductor laser", Opt. Lett. 30 (3), 272 (2005)
  • Understanding and optimization of noise in optics and electronics:
    • R. Paschotta et al., "Bright squeezed light from a singly-resonant frequency doubler", Phys. Rev. Lett. 72 (24), 3807 (1994)
    • R. Paschotta, "Noise of mode-locked lasers. Part I: Numerical model", Appl. Phys. B 79, 153 (2004)
    • R. Paschotta, "Noise of mode-locked lasers. Part II: Timing jitter and other fluctuations", Appl. Phys. B 79, 163 (2004)
    • R. Paschotta et al., "Relative timing jitter measurements with an indirect phase comparison method", Appl. Phys. B 80, 165 (2005)
    • R. Paschotta et al., "Optical phase noise and carrier–envelope offset noise of mode-locked lasers", Appl. Phys. B 82 (2), 265 (2006)
    • R. Paschotta, “Timing jitter and phase noise of mode-locked fiber lasers”, Opt. Express 18 (5), 5041 (2010)
    • R. Paschotta, H. R. Telle, and U. Keller, “Noise of solid-state lasers”, chapter 12 in “Solid-State Lasers and Applications”, CRC Press, Taylor and Francis Group, LLC, pp. 473–510, 2007, ISBN 0-8493-3589-2

Publication Record in Numbers

  • More than 100 articles in peer-reviewed scientific journals (>30 of them as first author)
  • More than 125 talks at international scientific conferences (15 invited talks)
  • 5 books (including the Ph. D. dissertation)
  • 5 book chapters

The by far most well-known publication of Dr. Paschotta is the RP Photonics Encyclopedia (formerly the Encyclopedia of Laser Physics and Technology), a freely accessible encyclopedia for photonics and laser technology. It is also available as a two-volume book. See also our website statistics.

You can obtain the complete CV with publication list as a PDF document. See also the list of recent publications.

Staying Involved in Science

Despite having left an academic career, Dr. Paschotta continues to stay active in the scientific world. In this way, he stays fully up to date in a wide range of topics and maintains useful relations. See the list of recent publications. He is also a much appreciate presenter of physics-based tutorials e.g. at scientific conferences.

Further Scientific Research

Dr. Paschotta remains actively involved in academic research, maintaining relations to various research groups and working in joint projects. This will be apparent from further scientific publications. For example, an article on resonator designs for optimum beam quality of lasers has been published: R. Paschotta, Opt. Express 14 (13), 6069 (2006); Another one treats the noise properties of mode-locked fiber lasers: “Timing jitter and phase noise of mode-locked fiber lasers”, Opt. Express 18 (5), 5041 (2010);

Observing the Scientific Literature

Dr. Paschotta continues to regularly read a number of scientific journals in the areas of laser physics and development, nonlinear optics, fiber technology, and alike. Also, he attends scientific conferences. He stays fully up to date in laser research.

Acting as a Referee

Dr. R. Paschotta occasionally serves as a referee for scientific journals like Optics Letters, Optics Express, Physical Review Letters, Physical Review A and E, Journal of the Optical Society of America B, Applied Optics, Applied Physics B, Optics Communications, Journal of Lightwave Technology, IEEE Journal of Quantum Electronics, and IEEE Photonics Technology Letters. So far, more than 180 referee reports have been delivered with the aspiration of supporting the scientific community with fair and well balanced judgment. Also, Dr. Paschotta occasionally reviews applications for research grants.

Involvement in Scientific Conferences

Apart from publishing own material, Dr. Paschotta occasionally serves the scientific community by participating in conference programme committees.