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514 nm laser diode offers low-cost alternative to argon ion lasers

14 Oct 2022

Compact source from ams Osram offers precision wavelength for life science applications.

ams Osram has launched its first commercial off-the-shelf semiconductor laser emitter that delivers the precise 514nm wavelength output (±1 nm)required by many applications for life science in research and diagnostics.

The developer says that the Metal Can® PLT5 522FA P-M12 source as a standard, non-custom product “enables manufacturers of scientific and measurement equipment to replace the argon-ion lasers which have traditionally been used to generate laser emission at a peak wavelength of 514.5 nm”.

It adds, “a semiconductor laser such as our new P-M12 is in general more cost-effective and much smaller than an argon-ion laser, has a longer operating lifetime, and eliminates the need for a cumbersome water cooling mechanism. The weight of a single-mode laser diode is just a few grams, compared to several kilograms for cooling and the power supply of an argon-ion laser.”

Narrow bandwidth

Previous attempts to produce laser-diode based 514 nm emitter modules have been hampered by the substantial logistics effort required in the past to customize laser diodes binned by a specific wavelength. The new laser diode will enable users to produce a narrow-bandwidth using a volume Bragg grating or external cavity design, reducing the bandwidth even further to < 0.1 nm for applications including Raman spectroscopy and holography.

The laser diode, with 50 mW optical power output, is compatible with fluorescent dyes in the 514 nm range as well as with various third-party lenses. This makes the laser diode suitable for many applications in the field of life science, including: flow cytometry, confocal microscopy and spectroscopy; material identification and analysis; diagnostics; DNA sequencing; and forensic analysis.

Thomas Brandes, senior product marketing manager at ams Osram, commented, “The scientific equipment market will benefit from a sustainable, production-friendly option to replace bulky, expensive argon-ion lasers with no loss of optical precision or performance.

“The 514 nm version of the PLT5 522FA_P laser diode family, which maintains performance within its operating parameters with a high degree of precision, provides exactly this option, enabling customers to reduce their materials cost and save space while enjoying the much longer lifetime before replacement of a high-quality laser diode.”

Samples of the PLT5 522FA_P-M12 laser diode are available now. ams OSRAM is also developing a demonstrator module which combines the laser emitter with a driver and a lens to produce a collimated beam.

ECOPTIKMad City Labs, Inc.Optikos Corporation Berkeley Nucleonics CorporationHÜBNER PhotonicsTRIOPTICS GmbHHyperion Optics
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