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Tiny ultraviolet DPSS laser debuts at Photonics West

25 Jan 2006

French start-up Oxxius is developing a compact solid-state UV source to challenge today's bulky water-cooled gas lasers.

On a packed exhibition floor, one company catching the eye of Photonics West attendees was French start-up Oxxius. Not only has the company added a 561 nm source to its range of compact diode-pumped solid-state lasers, it has also unveiled a prototype continuous wave 355 nm source, which it plans to release this autumn.

Oxxius sees the 355 nm source as a direct replacement for bulky, water-cooled gas lasers and is targeting applications such as cell sorting, DVD mastering and wafer inspection. The firm hopes that the availability of a compact UV light source will also open-up new opportunities in the life sciences.

"Our 355 nm diode-pumped laser has no equivalent," Thierry Georges of Oxxius told Optics.org. "We will launch a 5 mW model in the third quarter and plan to scale-up the output to between 10 mW and 20 mW by the end of the year. We plan to introduce a new wavelength every quarter this year, including more UV wavelengths."

Both the 561 nm and the 355 nm source use the company's patented alignment-free monolithic resonator (AMR) technology. AMR relies on a set of optically-contacted crystals to convert the pump beam from a diode laser into varying wavelengths. While the 561 nm uses frequency doubling techniques, the 355 nm relies on intracavity frequency tripling.

The first 561 nm product is already available with an output of 25 mW and according to Georges this can be easily scaled up to 50 mW as 100 mW has already been demonstrated in the lab. Applications for the 561 nm source include confocal microscopy and Raman spectroscopy.

Oxxius is showing both the 355 nm demonstrator as well as its SLIM range of sources at 473 nm, 532 nm and 561 nm at booth 1847.

Founded at the end of 2002, the firm has already completed one round of venture capital funding. "We hope to complete a second round of funding in mid-2006 and are also looking to establish a presence in the US," revealed Georges.

Jacqueline Hewett is technology editor on Optics.org and Opto & Laser Europe magazine.

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