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We are
Class 5 Photonics

Our story

Our mission at Class 5 Photonics is to deliver ultrafast, high-power laser systems and EUV technology at outstanding performance to advance demanding applications from bio-imaging to ultrafast material science and attosecond science.
Class 5 Photonics GmbH is a private company founded in 2014 as spin-off of the world-leading EUV/X-ray synchrotron laboratory Deutsches Elektronensynchrotron DESY and the Helmholtz-Institute Jena.

Since over 10 years the Class 5 Photonics team builds robust optical parametric chirped pulse amplifiers (OPCPA) which already won several awards for their high performance.

Our managing team

Dr. Robert Riedel

CEO & founder

Dr. Michael Schulz

president & founder

Our homebase
at the DESY campus, Hamburg

A typical day at Class 5

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Our values

Driving technology & innovation

We offer award-winning products and continously innovate to enable researchers in physics, chemistry, and biology to conduct outstanding research at the frontiers of technology.


Our experienced team has a strong background in ultrafast research with the goal to achieve the maximum benefit for our customer‘s application by a tailored laser design and user-friendly operation.

Excellence in service

We offer high quality, solution oriented service to solve our customer’s problems with very fast response times and remote service capabilities.

Our growth story

  • 2021
    Class 5 Photonics moved to the Start-up Labs Bahrenfeld.
  • 2020
    Class 5 Photonics continues to grow and has now 14 full time employees.
  • 2019
    Growing and moving again – now to the DESY Innovation Village.
  • ​2018
  • ​2017

    Move to new headquarter at DESY campus.
    Launch of Supernova OPCPA and Supernova IR OPCPA.

  • ​2016

    Launch of White Dwarf IR OPCPA.
    First delivery of a White Dwarf dual OPCPA to life-science customer.

  • ​2015

    First customer contracts.

  • ​2014

    Winner of the OptecNet Photonics Award (StartUp Challenge).
    Class 5 Photonics was founded as a spin-off company of the German particle accelerator facility Deutsches Elektronen-Synchrontron DESY in Hamburg and launched the first product (White Dwarf OPCPA).

  • ​2013

    First demonstration of a 112 W burst-mode OPCPA system for the Free-Electron Laser FLASH at DESY.

  • 2010

     First demonstration of a 60 kHz repetition rate sub-10 fs, OPCPA with 2 W average power and 3 GW peak power in collaboration with the Institute of Applied Physics in Jena.

  • 2008

     Helmholtz Young Investigator Group for high power laser development at DESY founded. The group leader, Dr. Franz Tavella, and his group members are the later founding team of Class 5 Photonics.


Finalist 2022
Winner 2018
Gold Winner 2018


Join us!

Become part of our success story as a new member of our growing Class 5 Photonics team. We share motivation and fascination for innovative laser technology. We want to grow professionally and personally. We are committed to create a modern, diverse and family-friendly workspace. We share responsibilities and support flexible working models. We invest in each other.