New 'supercontinuum' laser from NKT has breakthrough potential  

2009.05.20
NKT Photonics has hit the headlines with a white light laser that The Scientist journal judged one of the top innovations of the past year
The Photonics division of Danish industrial group NKT has hit the headlines with a white light laser that US scientific journal The Scientist judged one of the top innovations of the past year, writes the company on its website.
 
The unique feature of the SuperK white-light or 'supercontinuum' laser from NKT Photonics is its powerful yet broad spectrum light emission characteristics, that previously required an unwieldy combination of five or six separate coloured lasers to achieve. One area of optics where this breakthrough has major significance is microscopy; NKT Photonics' SuperK laser is being used as a core component in a totally new type of microscope developed in partnership with Germany's Leica Microsystems.
 
The new microscope offers an important new benefit in the study of cell samples in cancer screening work, for example. Whereas previously the sample illumination was restricted to the five or six colours of the combined laser system, the new Leica microscope with the SuperK laser has complete freedom across a broad illumination spectrum, providing far greater sample clarity.
 
NKT Photonics' white light laser could well find profitable applications in other areas too. Project manager Carsten Thomsen comments in a press release: "It is not only in the field of biomedicine that the SuperK represents a paradigm shift. Lucrative markets like semiconductors, DNA sequencing, optical tomography and food scanning can already see the benefits of the SuperK - just as Leica Microsystems did. It is only a question of time before supercontinuum becomes an established light source technology in its own right."
 
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