Adaptive Scanning Optical Microscope

The Photonic Applications, Systems and Technologies (PhAST) Conference and Laser Focus World magazine are pleased to announce that Thorlabs, Inc. has been selected as the recipient of this year's PhAST/Laser Focus World Innovation Award.

The award recognizes the company for integrating adaptive optical technology with microscopic imaging to provide micrometer resolution across a large and dynamically configurable field of view. Thorlabs will be accepting this award and presenting the science behind the development of the Adaptive Scanning Optical Microscope (ASOM) at the CLEO/PhAST Plenary Session on Monday, May 7 at 6:30 p.m. in Ballroom III-IV of the Baltimore Convention Center in Baltimore, Md.

"The PhAST Conference is all about innovative applications in the field of photonics and Thorlabs characterizes this through their cutting-edge products," said Mike Duncan, PhAST co-chair. "The ASOM is truly a unique innovation in microscopy. Its application will have a significant impact in a variety of areas ranging from biomedical research to industrial inspection."

The Adaptive Scanning Optical Microscope (ASOM) combines classical microscopy principles with state-of-the-art adaptive optic technology to eliminate the traditional trade-off between magnification and field of view. The ASOM system offers an unprecedented 40mm diameter field of view with consistent resolution of ~1£gm throughout. A unique optical scanning technique completely eliminates mechanical motion of the object (specimen) during the image capture process, making it significantly faster than translation stage-based approaches.

This optical, rather than mechanical, nature of the scanning process necessitates constant use of the system's scan lens at "off-axis" trajectories, an operating condition that introduces distortion of optical waves reaching the microscope as the scan axis departs from the microscope's optical axis. In a conventional optical design, such a condition would result in visual distortions and blurriness of captured images, thereby reducing the system's capability to resolve images.

By contrast, the ASOM employs a MEMS deformable mirror in order to correct wavefront distortions prior to image capture, thus preserving the effective resolving capability of the system throughout its entire optical scan range. Analogous to those used in telescopes at certain astronomical observatories, the deformable mirror, whose surface is adjusted during the scan process, is capable of introducing precise wavefront distortions that are equal to, but cancel out, those distortions introduced by the system's optics. This process effectively nullifies the adverse distortions introduced by the optics themselves, thus providing a crisp image throughout the microscope's entire scan range.

This unique dynamically adjustable optical scanning technology will provide immediate benefit to a wide range of applications from biological research and pharmaceutical investigation to machine vision and quality control systems, its inventors say.

In addition to the award given to Thorlabs, four honorable mention products were chosen from all entries. The honorable mentions are as follows:

  • Biophotonic Solutions, Inc.
    Unlocking the Power of Femtosecond Lasers Using MIIPS
    For developing a pulse shaper that can automatically measure and compensate phase distortions that broaden femtosecond laser pulses.
  • Discovery Semiconductors, Inc.
    Kitty Hawk Ultra-Fast Coherent Optical Receiver
    For creating the first commercial coherent optical receiver system.
    The PHAZZLER: A Unique Dual Mode Ultrafast Pulse Shaping and Ultrafast Pulse Measurement System
    For developing a commercial ultrafast pulse shaping and measurement system that enables the collection and comparison of measurement results using a single instrument.
  • PolarOnyx, Inc.
    The World's First 10 W Femtosecond Fiber Laser Product
    For the development of a high-power, ultrashort pulse fiber laser.

The honorable mentions will be recognized by the PhAST chairs during the CLEO/PhAST Plenary Session.

The PhAST/Laser Focus World Innovation Awards Program honors the most timely, ground-breaking products in the field of laser science. Entries are evaluated on criteria critical to product success: impact, functionality, life expectancy, effect on the optics industry, innovation and patents or trademarks.

Tell Us What You Think

Do you have a review, update or anything you would like to add to this news story?

Leave your feedback
Your comment type

While we only use edited and approved content for Azthena answers, it may on occasions provide incorrect responses. Please confirm any data provided with the related suppliers or authors. We do not provide medical advice, if you search for medical information you must always consult a medical professional before acting on any information provided.

Your questions, but not your email details will be shared with OpenAI and retained for 30 days in accordance with their privacy principles.

Please do not ask questions that use sensitive or confidential information.

Read the full Terms & Conditions.