Research axes

Lasers-matter interaction

Laser science is central to all optics-photonics research. Since its advent in the 60s, discoveries have constantly broadened its spectrum to reach many areas of human activity. Applications include laser spectroscopy for the detection of environmental pollutants, advanced manufacturing of electronic and optical components, laser-assisted ophthalmic surgery, and LIDAR for agriculture, forestry and autonomous driving. As technological advances have enhanced their performance in terms of pulse duration, peak power, spectral purity and wavelength tunability, lasers have also helped push back the limits of our understanding of the universe through the detection of gravitational waves (“LIGO – Laser Interferometer Gravitational Wave Observatory”), as well as the observation of ultrafast phenomena with a temporal resolution as short as the attosecond (10-18 s).

The Lasers and Interaction with Matter axis proposes new sources for the mid-infrared (MIR) and terahertz (THz), as well as lasers emitting at high repetition rate, high-energy, and ultra-short pulses. Research is based on three mutually complementary themes, maximizing the benefits in terms of innovation. It focuses on the interaction of lasers with matter and the design of customized lasers to drive the revolution in advanced manufacturing, biophotonics, environmental monitoring and fundamental research. The fiber optic manufacturing facilities at ULaval and the Advanced Laser Light Source (ALLS) at INRS are the infrastructures underpinning this research.

Head of research

François Légaré

Professeur, INRS-ÉMT


Research Themes



Innovative laser architectures and gain media
Powerful ultra-short pulses in the near infrared (NIR and MIR)
Synthesis and characterization of the electromagnetic field of laser pulses


Interaction with matter

Developing sources from THz to the far infrared
Accelerating electrons at kHz and multi-kHz laser rates
Controlling and probing the properties of matter



Advanced manufacturing and industrial processes
Laser sources for biomedical and environmental applications

COPL members

The COPL brings together talented scientists who are distinguished by the excellence of their research and by their dedication to the training of the next generation of highly qualified personnel in optics-photonics. 

Our members