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Superpowerful Laser Research Facility

  • A superpowerful laser research facility based on ultrahigh output and high energy has been deemed essential to lead the breakthrough not only in the field of national science and technology, but also in an array of regional business sectors, such as those of semiconductors, optical devices, nano parts processing, new material development, and medical biology.
Superpowerful Laser Research Facility
A future landmark in Jeollanam-do that will become a new growth engine through the collaborative efforts with the Korea Institute of Energy Technology, a leading research institute ready to leap forward as one of the world’s top 10 engineering colleges.

Project Overview

  • Location: Nearby Bitgaram Innovation City in Naju (500,000 ㎡)
  • Project Budget: KRW 900 billion (estimated) (to be determined after the confirmation of the project plan and preliminary feasibility study by the Ministry of Science and ICT)
  • Period : 2024 – 2033 (2 phases, 10 years)
    - Phase 1 (5 years): Construction of high-powered and high-energy facilities and research on the localization of the laser’s core parts
    - Phase 2 (5 years): Performance upgrade, commercialization of the laser parts, and research on the applied technology
  • Details: Establishment of a research infrastructure for basic science and convergence technology using lasers and a research-supportive industrial complex
  • Basic and applied science research
    • Establishment of the foundation for basic research using ultrahigh-powered and high-energy lasers
    • Establishment of a system for applied research, such as medical biology, defense technology, etc.
    Nurturing the laser application industry
    • Establishment of a laser application research institute
    • Support for semiconductor processes and development of new materials and parts
    • Development of ultraprecision processing technology, etc.
    Development of original technology
    • Development of laser devices and localization of key parts
    • Establishment of laser technology standards
    • Professional manpower training and expansion of the curriculum
    Setting up a laser research complex

Why It’s Needed

  • Key to new high-tech science and industry: Lasers are used as core technology in all fields of the 4th industry* and are the basis for future scientific technology and development of the new industry.
    * Semiconductors, displays, autonomous vehicles, new materials, medical biology, secondary batteries, etc.
  • To strengthen global technological competitiveness: Major developed countries are building state-of-the-art laser facilities, and investment is urgently needed to secure leadership in new technologies worldwide.
  • To reinforce basic science: Enhance the country’s capabilities in basic science (physics, chemistry, biology, etc.) at a national level through extreme environmental research using lasers
  • To become independent with laser-related original technology: Major countries restrict the export of lasers by designating them as strategic goods, and Korea’s technological level is less than 50% of that of the more advanced countries.

Areas of Application

  • Research on basic science
Development of laser technology
  • Development of potent ultrashort lasers
  • Application of optical parametric chirped-pulse amplification (OPCPA) laser technology
  • Development of high-powered femtosecond laser technology with high repetition rates
Extreme scientific research
  • New academic research in extreme environments
  • Observation of molecular rotation, bonding, dissociation, and electron motion
  • Experiments on the interaction of superpowered lasers with matter
Creation and utilization of secondary sources
  • Development of pulse-type secondary sources
  • Development of X-ray-free electron lasers
  • Ultrashort atomic, molecular, solid spectroscopy
  • Research on applied technology
New industry
  • Semiconductor processes (exposure, marking, dicing, cleaning)
  • Development of new materials (Secondary battery materials, metal (ceramic) materials, etc.)
Ultraprecision processing
  • Production of solar cells, secondary batteries, nano parts materials, power semiconductors, etc.
Medical biology
  • Manufacturing of miniature ultraprecision diagnostic and treatment devices
  • Development of high value-added medical devices for cancer treatment and bioimaging
Defense and space
  • Next-generation laser weapon, object tracking and optical communication in space
Optical measurement and communication
  • Laser scanning, Self-driving car sensor (LIDAR)
  • Transmission of large-capacity data and information through lasers


  • Conducted a feasibility analysis for the construction of a superpowerful laser center (Feb. 2021)
    - Jointly placed a service order from Jeollanam-do, the Korea Institute of Energy Technology, and City of Naju
  • Jeollanam-do signed an agreement with universities, research institutes, and academic groups (Jun. and Dec. 2021)
    - Universities (2) : Korea Institute of Energy Technology, Gwangju Institute of Science and Technology
    - Research Institutes (7) : IBS (Institute for Basic Science), ETRI (Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute), KRISS (Korea Research Institute of Standards and Science), KERI (Korea Electrotechnology Research Institute), KIMM (Korea Institute of Machinery & Materials), KITECH (Korea Institute of Industrial Technology), KIDA (Korea Institute for Defense Analyses)
    - Academic Groups (7): Physics, optics, laser processing, astronomy, welding, space science, aerospace
  • Formation and operation of the Superpowerful Laser Research Facility Promotion Committee (Dec. 2021 onwards)
    - Five divisions of approximately 100 members, including committees and advisors, have been serving as the center of the efforts to promote the project.
  • Establishment of a cooperative system with related institutions and experts to promote the justification of the project plan mainly by the academic society (Apr. 2022)

Action Plan

  • Public bid for the project location and selection of Jeollanam-do (Ministry of Science and ICT, Jan. 2023)
  • Preliminary feasibility study (May – Dec. 2023), final confirmation of the winner (2024), start of construction (2025)
Lasers are a familiar and useful kind of technology used in a wide range of fields.
The development of laser technology can contribute to the growth of the country’s advanced science and industry.
Jeollanam-do will take the initiative for the development of laser science and technology in Korea.