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Laboratory for Optical Diagnostics


The Fraunhofer-Stepanov Joint Laboratory for Optical Diagnostics - Development of Fundamental and Applied Principles for Optical Diagnostics and Instrumentation

Tech Area / Field

  • PHY-OPL/Optics and Lasers/Physics

8 Project completed

Registration date

Completion date

Senior Project Manager
Malakhov Yu I

Leading Institute
B.I. Stepanov Institute of Physics, Belarus, Minsk


  • Fraunhofer Institute Zerstörungsfreie Prüfverfahren, Germany, Saarbrücken

Project summary

Objective of the Project.

The main goal of the project is the foundation of the joint Fraunhofer-Stepanov laboratory of optical diagnostics (LOD), which is the first example of an international cooperation in scientific programs in this research area. LOD will be founded for the realization of research programs by means of cooperation between the Fraunhofer society, Institute of Nondestructive Testing, Germany, and National Academy of Sciences of Belarus, Institute of Physics. The scientific and technical program of LOD is directed towards the creation of optical (including laser) methods, devices, and the equipment for diagnostics and testing of quality of materials, technological processes, and production, as well as for medical diagnostics. The mission of the cooperation consists in carrying out research on creating optical instruments and methods to provide higher quality and safety of materials, components, processes, and devices, and to widen opportunities of existing and essentially novel methods of medical diagnostics.

State of the Affairs in the Research Area.

An important condition of efficiency of optical nondestructive testing (NDT) and diagnostics is usage of light beams with optimal spatio-angular and spectral-temporal characteristics. Currently the mostly used light beams for optical nondestructive testing and diagnostics are the beams of Gaussian type. Using light beams of a new type, especially of quasi-diffractionless Bessel light beams (BLB), is promising for these applications. BLB is characterized by such unique properties as the absence of diffracting spreading over relatively long distances and high stability against amplitude and phase distortions. By now there are only fragmentary data about the investigation of the precision of BLB generation using axicons, holograms, ring diaphragms, and other methods. The aberrations of the wavefront of the light beams of Bessel type, which are produced using these methods, are not sufficiently studied and classified. This prevents from applying of quasi-diffractionless beams in systems of optical NDT and diagnostics. In applications on diagnostics of scattering media and biological tissues the important task is the suppression of peripheral Bessel rings, which has practically not been investigated yet. This direction of research will make possible to create a unique optical probe, which is characterized by a smaller diameter and larger length in comparison with the probe based on the beam of Gaussian type. This probe will be an effective optical tool for solution of various tasks of optical NDT, which is confirmed by our preliminary studies that have shown that BLBs have the higher penetrability and spatial resolution in scattering and absorbing media than Gaussian beams. At the present time the heterodyne (two-frequency) interferometry is finding an every-widening application for NDT due to its essential advantages over the traditional single-frequency (homodyne) one. The noticeable progress in this region can be resulted from using the two-frequency lasers with a wide range of beat frequency values. The topic of the day in the modern optical diagnostics is the development of new optical schemes of the speckle interferometers with enhanced operating performance, the elaboration of more efficient processing techniques for analysis of the recorded speckle fields, the increase of the amount of useful information. It was demonstrated in recent years that kinetic femtosecond spectroscopy methods can be used for the nondestructive testing of surface and bulk properties of various materials. This allows purposeful creation of materials with predefined characteristics, synthesis and optical diagnostics of novel nanoscale materials as well as rapid analysis of industrial samples. Besides, the femtosecond diagnostics of conformational state of various biostructures and their concentrational and transport properties is of great importance for the early detection of pathological changes in human or animal living tissues, including diagnostics of these changes at an intracellular level.

Project and Expected Scientific Technological Progress.

As a result of this project, a new generation of devices and systems of optical NDT on the basis of quasi-diffractionless BLB will be created. Application of BLBs will increase the resolution and, at the same time, the probing depth by at least several times as compared to the commercial equipment traditionally used for NDT. These new optical probes will find applications in creation of novel devices for NDT in industry and in diagnostics of biological tissues in medicine. The heterodyne interferometer with high noise resistance and convenience in information processing for measurement of the residual mechanical stresses in object developed in the frameworks of the project will find the use in machinery, precision positioning systems in electronic industry and different measuring tools. On the base of developed photometry and interferometry methods the number of the new devices for quality surface control in different branches of industry will be constructed. The non-invasive control of a state and dynamics of human and animal biological structures by means of femtosecond spectroscopy and confocal laser scanning microscopy will allow the monitoring of haemoglobin glycoform content in diabetic patients’ blood as well as a number of other pathologies followed by the increase of glucose content in human blood. On the basis of these techniques it is possible to develop new methods of the estimation of radiobiological effects influence on the conformational state of biostructures and their interaction with medical products. In application to energy migration processes and charge transfer in biological tissues the developed techniques offer the challenge of their use for photodynamic therapy. Thus, as a result of research in the framework of this project, nine experimental prototypes of devices will be created for NDT and diagnostics in industry, biology and medicine.

Competence of Project Participants.

The majority of project participants from Stepanov Institute of Physics are the specialists in weapon research and were previously involved in High-Tech weapon industry. Almost all of them were involved into activities immediately bordering the project’s field, namely: high-power lasers development, the study of the propagation of optical radiation in linear, nonlinear, transparent and scattering media, the development of interferometric techniques for production control, the development of various methods of linear and nonlinear kinetic spectroscopy and their application to the investigation of structural and dynamic processes in supramolecular systems. New effective methods of quasi-nondiffractive light beams and optical vortices formation were proposed and implemented by the project participants. The project research team involves 16 Candidates of Sciences, в 4 Doctors of Sciences, including 2 Professors.

Expected Results and Their Application.

The following results will be obtained as an outcome of this project. New effective methods of generation of quasi-diffractionless light beams will be elaborated. These methods will allow a laser probe for NDT to be created, which will have higher transversal resolution and higher depth than the probes based on the Gaussian beams. Effective engineering solutions for increasing the probing depth and spatial resolution for propagation of the probe beam in scattering media and biological tissues will be found, which will make possible to improve the parameters of the existing devices and to create new devices in coherent tomography, acousto-optical defectoscopy, and other systems of NDT in the industry, medicine, and biology. For the purpose of the control of vibrations of real constructions, parameters of the fast processes and flows, analysis of the surface microstructure disruption in machinery and electronic industry the heterodyne interferometers will be constructed and some variants of schemes of correlation speckle-interferometers will be developed. Novel resonant and nonresonant techniques of femtosecond linear and nonlinear spectroscopy will be elaborated and applied to nondestructive testing of surface and bulk ultrafast processes in various materials. On the basis of femtosecond spectroscopy various techniques of conformational changes detection of biological objects will be developed in order to estimate the degree of their pathological changes and to define the pathways of their medical treatment. Further outlook implies the creation of compact high-brightness soft X-ray and extreme UV pulsed sources on the basis of femtosecond set-up having applications in the field of UV-lithography, X-ray holography, medicine and biology.

Meeting ISTC Goals and Objectives.

The Proposal will provide an opportunity for weapons scientists and specialists from the Institute of Physics of the NAS of Belarus to redirect their talents, knowledge, and previous experience to peaceful activities in the research related to laser and optical diagnostics in industry, biology, and medicine. The activity on the Proposal will promote integration of its participants from Belarus into the international scientific community. The Proposal will support the basic and applied research and technology development exclusively for peaceful purposes at the Institute of Physics of the NAS of Belarus, in particular, for the applications of laser systems and technologies in the nondestructive testing and quality assurance of products, as well as components and devices. The Proposal will contribute to the solution of national and international technical problems, in particular, it will promote a wider use of laser systems and technologies in various peaceful applications and make a contribution to the conversion of a part of the military industry of Belarus to output of products for exclusively peaceful purposes and to the creation of new working places that are not related to the production of weapons. The Proposal will reinforce the transition of the Laboratory employers to a market-based economy responsive to civil needs.

Scope of Activities.

The project duration is planned for 36 months. The total amount of effort will be 21609 person-days. The solution of the three following interconnected tasks is planned: 1) Investigation of quasi-diffractionless and other light beams of the new type for using them in NDT, diagnostics, and modern technologies; 2) Development and optimization of photometric and interferometric methods of NDT, including speckle-interferometry; 3) NDT of the surface of different materials and diagnostics of biological objects using femtosecond laser technologies. The main directions of LOD activities will be concentrated on development of systems based on and connected with laser methods and systems for: 1) nondestructive testing and quality control of production, new materials, components, and devices; 2) nondestructive monitoring of the state of quality of industrial devices and processes; 3) noninvasive medical diagnostics for disease prevention and more effective clinical therapy.

Role of Partner/Collaborator.

Cooperation with foreign collaborators is planned in the following forms: systematic information exchange in the course of project implementation; providing comments to the technical reports (quarterly, annual, final) submitted by project participants to the ISTC; shared use of experimental devices and samples for carrying out joint research relevant to NDT and diagnostics; participation in the technical monitoring of Project activities; holding joint annual workshops; cross-checks of the results obtained in the course of the project activities; preparation of joint scientific papers and reports.

Technical Approach and Methodology.

For execution of the project the participants will bring their many years of experience and the previously obtained results in the areas of laser physics, generation of quasi-diffractionless beams, photometric and speckle-interferometric methods. Already verified technical solutions, patents, opto-mechanical components, and electrical blocks, previously created by project participants, will be used on all stages of the work. For testing of materials and biological objects the most advanced optical methods will be applied. These methods will employ a confocal laser scanning microscope, equipped by a femtosecond laser and an argon laser as a part of optical tweezers.


The International Science and Technology Center (ISTC) is an intergovernmental organization connecting scientists from Kazakhstan, Armenia, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Georgia with their peers and research organizations in the EU, Japan, Republic of Korea, Norway and the United States.


ISTC facilitates international science projects and assists the global scientific and business community to source and engage with CIS and Georgian institutes that develop or possess an excellence of scientific know-how.

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