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Single-Mode Diode Laser Supports Bioanalytics

Jul 2008
TOPTICA Photonics AGRequest Info
•  488 nm
•  up to 250-MHz modulation
•  >60% fibre-coupling efficiency

Toptica.jpgToptica Photonics AG has extended its iBeam/iPulse diode laser series to 488 nm, a crucial excitation line for biophotonics and bioanalytics. Typical applications include flow cytometry, confocal microscopy and high-throughput/high-content screening.

Previously, 488-nm excitation was obtained solely by argon lasers or by frequency-doubled solid-state types. The new product offers an attractive alternative, taking advantage of the 488-nm single-mode diodes.

The laser beam has a wavefront error <0.05 λ and M2 <1.2 beam quality. Other key specifications include ultrafast asynchronous pulse modulation up to 250 MHz (iPulse), high single-mode fibre-coupling efficiency (>60% guaranteed, >75% typical and 87% demonstrated) and good power stability of less than 0.5% drift within 48 h. Power level is ∼5 mW. The beam diameter of ∼1 mm 1/e2 is compatible with that of gas or solid-state lasers. The benefit of these diode lasers over gas or solid-state types is their direct modulation capability, with both fast digital and analog modulation possible, eliminating the need for external acousto-optic modulators or similar devices.

Optionally, the systems can be made switchable among three power levels within a few nanoseconds. Typical warm-up time is ≤5 min, significantly less than common argon lasers require. All lasers can be coupled to single-mode fibres by the company’s FiberDock unit, supporting easy adjustment, long-term stability and high coupling efficiencies. Control of all laser parameters and status reports is via the RS-232 serial interface and a standard terminal software package such as WindowsHyperTerminal.


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