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Broadband Laser Developer Recognized
Nov 2012
BIRKERØD, Denmark, Nov. 9, 2012 — NKT Photonics’ Lasse Leick has been recognized by the Danish National Advanced Technology Foundation with its 2012 Pasteur Award for the work he did on developing a broadband infrared laser that emits between 2 and 4 µm.

The Pasteur Award, named after French chemist and microbiologist Louis Pasteur, is presented to a project manager “who is particularly able to translate high-tech knowledge into social value,” the foundation said, and “who can lead research even when it moves in unforeseen directions.” It comes with a cash prize of DKK 75,000 (about $13,000).

The supercontinuum laser known as the IR SuperK was created under a three-year project partially funded by the foundation and led by Leick from 2006 to 2009. Other partners on the project were Aarhus University and the Technical University of Denmark.

“I am extremely proud to receive this honor,” said Leick, project manager at NKT Photonics. “It is a symbol of the positive and constructive collaboration we have had on this project with the universities and the Danish National Advanced Technology Foundation. We combined skills and challenged each other to the utmost to reach the frontiers of what is technologically feasible. For me the greatest pleasure lies in inventing new technology, applying it to a concrete project and seeing it used in the market. We have managed to achieve this with this project.”

The IR SuperK emits IR light between 100,000 and one million times more powerful than conventional infrared sources do, which enables molecules to be identified and analyzed significantly faster than before. And the widened spectrum makes it possible to examine tissue samples and determine if cells will subsequently develop cancer, NKT said.

“Several of our customers have already shown great interest in the IR SuperK, and they intend using it in very diverse applications,” said NKT Photonics CTO Christian Vestergaard Poulsen. “But in fact only our imagination sets the limits for where this technology can be utilized. I am certain we have not yet seen all the possibilities.”

Denmark-based NKT Photonics was formed in 2009 from the merger of Crystal Fibre A/S and Koheras A/S.

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An instrument consisting essentially of a tube 160 mm long, with an objective lens at the distant end and an eyepiece at the near end. The objective forms a real aerial image of the object in the focal plane of the eyepiece where it is observed by the eye. The overall magnifying power is equal to the linear magnification of the objective multiplied by the magnifying power of the eyepiece. The eyepiece can be replaced by a film to photograph the primary image, or a positive or negative relay...
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