Lasers and optical components, which encompass the many instruments and
accessories needed to harness the power of light, are found in almost
every scientific industry, in areas such as:
- Biological research
- Molecular diagnostics
- Particle analysis
- And more!
Unique properties of laser light include its ability to propagate over
long lengths without divergence and its very narrow optical bandwidth.
There are three primary components: an optical resonator comprising two
or more mirrors, a gain medium to amplify the light, and an energy
source or pump to excite the particles in the gain medium.
How do I choose a laser or optical component?
There is a laser suited for every application, including
- Solid-state varieties, such as Nd:YAG and Ti:Sapphire
- Gas lasers, including helium-neon (common in
- CO2 and N2 lasers, dye lasers, and semiconductor
lasers, or laser diodes.
Wavelength (UV, NIR, FIR); beam diameter, intensity, and divergence;
and output power are important parameters to keep an eye on. The laser
light can be emitted continuously or in pulses down to femtosecond
duration, a type commonly used in photochemistry. Optics such as
beamsplitters and mirrors are optimized for use with each type of
Lasers are very useful sources in spectroscopy, such as Raman, in any
operating range from the UV to the NIR. High power densities enable
laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS), a compelling technique for
a wide range of sample matrices.
Laser illumination has also taken optical microscopy to new levels of
resolution; techniques include confocal laser scanning, two-photon
excitation microscopy, and optical coherence tomography.
Accessories to facilitate this work include optical benches, filter wheels
, and stages
Advances in micromanipulation systems
nanopositioners, optical tweezers, and piezo scanners continue to push
this technology forward.
What’s new in lasers and optical components?
Through the integration of single-photon detectors with nanophotonic
chips, reliable detection of single photons for optical data
transmission and quantum computations has been achieved—a leap that may
further advance the noninvasive study of insulin-producing pancreatic
Also noteworthy are the introduction of an aberration-free imaging
spectrograph, the availability of portable, lower-cost Raman
spectrophotometers, and a multipurpose instrument with the ability to
analyze the Raman spectra of microscopic samples in addition to UV-VIS
-NIR and fluorescence microspectroscopy.
Discover and lasers and optical components:
Lumenera’s INFINITY3-1UR raises the bar for performance in ... read more
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Piezoelectric drives are meeting demands for medical applications. They are reliable and fast in precise operation with the ability to be incorporated in small installation requirements. Low in energy consumption and cost, piezo technology has ...
Piezo Technology for Microscopy, Life Sciences, and Metrology
Wednesday, February 19, 2014
ASI’s Fiber-Coupled Laser Scanner is a compact and versatile 2D galvo unit originally designed for generating SPIM light sheets. A user-provided light beam enters the scanner on a standard fiber optic connecter. The beam is steered in the sample plane using an electronically-controlled galvo ... read more
Tuesday, November 19, 2013
The I-3033 stage insert from ASI fits a standard 110 x 160 mm opening found in most automated XY stages. The unit offers autoclavable stainless steel dish chamber with replaceable 25 mm glass coverslip bottoms in both 20 & 25 mm diameter sizes. The glass is sealed in place by an O-ring. read more
Thursday, October 31, 2013
Palmaz Scientific, Spectra-Physics® and Innovative Laser Technologies (ILT) announce the demonstration of femtosecond laser micromachining of next-generation implantable medical devices. With Spectra-Physics’ femtosecond lasers and ILT’s precision machining systems, Palmaz Scientific has ... read more
FLIR Systems has expanded its range of highly affordable, entry level R&D grade thermal imaging kits for academic teaching and industrial research labs. read more
Thursday, August 29, 2013
A new applications report from FLIR Systems details how the Safe Oxygen Working Group at the Federal Institute for Materials Research & Testing (BAM), Berlin, Germany are using a FLIR SC-Series thermal imaging camera to test the reaction of different materials and component designs to oxygen at ... read more