LabCom_2022 - V2 - Laboratoires communs organismes de recherche publics – PME/ETI - Edition 2022 - Vague 2

Labcom Laser Smart Surfaces Fonctionnalisation – LaserSurf

Submission summary

To meet the challenges of our society, such as guaranteeing human health and curbing climate change and soil pollution linked to human activities, the overall improvement of machine efficiency (motors, turbines, photovoltaic cells...) and the limitation of synthetic chemicals are the leitmotivs of innovation and sustainable manufacturing. Sustainable and intelligent manufacturing therefore implies the development of processes that improve energy performance and rationalize resource consumption. Among the means to meet these challenges, surface functionalization is of great interest to industry for its ability to control essential physico-chemical properties such as wettability, tribology, or biocompatibility. To this end, lasers, and particularly ultra-short pulse lasers, are a major innovation. Indeed, they open the possibility to micro-texture any material thanks to their high peak powers (~GW) obtained by concentrating relatively low energies (1-100 µJ) on ultra-short durations (10-500 fs). The low energy per pulse limits the damage due to thermal effects. These lasers, now used in industry, allow to texture surfaces either by point-by-point etching, or at a sub-wavelength scale at the level of the surface of a whole laser spot by self-organization of the irradiated material (LIPSS). They also allow innovative materials for which conventional processes are not adapted (e.g. biosourced polymers, composites, technical ceramics) to be to machined. This ability to functionalize surfaces is now well established, but the approach suffers from extremely long cycle times, and its inability to process surfaces having complex geometry.

The challenge today lies in the possibility of functionalizing with these ultra-fast lasers ever larger surfaces with complex geometries, in cycle times compatible with those of the industry, in the sectors in demand that are aeronautics, defense and health. This is the problem that the Labcom LaserSurf ICube /IREPA LASER addresses.

The increase in the average power of ultra-short lasers in recent years from ~10 W to several kW indicates that the technological lock is no longer in the energy available, but in the ability to control the process. The objective is to allow the rapid and functional development of a laser texturing process compatible with industrial requirements. The Labcom program is therefore divided into 4 research areas: (1) the space-time strategy for parallelization of the process, (2) predictive control of the effects of energy distribution at the scale of the part, (3) instrumentation of the production station for in situ and a posteriori control of the texture and positioning of the part, and (4) the implementation of fast feedback algorithms using deep learning approach. The program is based on the articulation of existing laser technologies, information technologies, including AI and robotics, and metrology technologies. The Labcom allows the mutualization on this common objective of the efforts of two structures of excellence: IREPA LASER is a company of R&D recognized for its know-how and its material park in particular dedicated to the functionalization of surface by laser for the industry and ICube is a research laboratory in engineering and information technology which has expert teams on the development of laser processes (IPP), the robotics and the servoing of systems by vision (AVR) and the AI, transverse axis (DSAI) of the laboratory. The expected innovations concern many sectors, including transport and aeronautics, with which IREPA LASER works on a long-term basis, and the biomedical field, a major axis of ICube.

Project coordination

Sylvain Lecler (Laboratoire des sciences de l'Ingénieur, de l'Informatique et de l'Imagerie (UMR 7357))

The author of this summary is the project coordinator, who is responsible for the content of this summary. The ANR declines any responsibility as for its contents.


ICube Laboratoire des sciences de l'Ingénieur, de l'Informatique et de l'Imagerie (UMR 7357)
IREPA LASER Jean-Paul Gaufillet

Help of the ANR 363,000 euros
Beginning and duration of the scientific project: February 2023 - 54 Months

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