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Diode laser offers 'almost infinite' modulation capability

27 Jun 2006

Laser developer Omicron Laserage, based in Rodgau, Germany, announced at last week's Optatec show in Frankfurt that it has created "what no other manufacturer has achieved".

Omicron's new diode laser, known as Deepstar, does not exhibit residual fluorescence content in the "off" moment during modulation, even at very high modulation rates, and thus it achieves "almost infinite" modulation capability.

This temperature-stabilized diode laser, which is part of the LDM series, permits high-speed modulation at above 100 MHz. Omicron's development team believes it has created a breakthrough in diode laser modulation technology.

The Deepstar laser, which is an analog and digitally-modulated laser diode module, offers a modulation depth of significantly above a 100,000 to one ratio. The lasers are suitable for fluorescence excitation and all applications where remaining light is permitted in the "off" modulation period. Deepstar is a suitable source of light, for example for confocal laser scanning microscopy and flow cytometry.

With the ultradeep analog modulation greater than 10 MHz, digital modulation greater than 100 MHz and a signal rise and signal fall time of less than 2 s, Deepstar is also suitable for high-performance applications which previously were possible only with CW lasers and AO modulators.

"Typical applications of the new laser diode are in microscopy analysis of, for example, how drugs behave in a cell," Ralf Dietzel, Omicron Laserage's product manager, told optics.org. "The high speed modulation enables a type of freeze-frame technique to stop the action and observe such processes. Two significant microscope systems developers requested Omicron Laserage to develop this capability for integration into their systems."

The Deepstar diode laser is available with various combinations of wavelength and output power: 20 mW at 375 nm; 60 mW at 405 nm; 50 mW at 442 nm; 20 mW at 473 nm and with various powers up to 150 mW at 635 to 980 nm.

The laser has a controller equipped with an RS232 interface and is operated with 24 V positive dc voltage. The analog and digital signal inputs can be configured with respect to voltage and impedance so that adaptation to the existing signal sources can be implemented easily.

Omicron says that the modular principle of the laser heads of the LDM Series offers further possibilities for customer-specific adaptation, such as single-mode fiber coupling with an efficiency of up to 75%, collimation for 0.5 to 15 mm of beam diameter, focusing objectives down to under one micrometer and a lot more.

About Omicron

Omicron has been developing laser systems since 1989. The company specializes in the development of individual customer solutions in medicine, research and biotechnology, digital imaging and optical data storage, as well as quality assurance and measurement. Development and production correspond to both the European and the US-American directives.

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