The evolution of laser technology towards a compact, robust, wide-spectrum apparatus that delivers brief pulse durations for the latest advancements in photonics uses.
Traditional supercontinuum lasers, often called wideband lasers, offer a broad spectrum with high coherence and minimal noise. Yet, the conventional models used in industry are bulky and heavy, need more durability in various environments, and consume a considerable amount of power. Additionally, despite their broad spectrum, these lasers typically emit one prominent colour, with the rest of the spectrum’s colours present at much lower power levels, barely justifying their “wideband” label.
The SuperLight Photonics SLP-1000 marks a groundbreaking shift as a transportable wideband laser that boasts a small, lightweight (only 900 grams or 32 ounces) and tough design that’s battery-powered and occupies less than one litre in volume.
The SLP-1000 utilises the proprietary PAD – Patterned Alternating Dispersion technology to deliver a reliable and coherent spectral output that spans a significant range from 400 nm at -3dB to 1500 nm at -20dB, particularly in the Near Infrared (NIR) region, with a consistent 100 MHz repetition rate and ultra-short 20-femtosecond pulse durations. This unit incorporates a precision seed laser produced by Menlo Systems, renowned for its high-precision photonics metrology instruments. Moreover, the laser’s output is designed with a Thorlabs-compatible SM05 screw thread, facilitating effortless integration with a broad array of Thorlabs’ photonics equipment.
The SLP-1000’s capability to produce pulses as short as 20 femtoseconds not only demonstrates the efficiency of its supercontinuum generation but also allows for lower pulse energies at the input stage. This reduces the need for pulse broadening typical in amplification processes, cuts down on noise usually introduced by amplifier stages, and minimises the need for additional optical components. As a result, the SLP-1000 excels in delivering superior nonlinear pulse compression, making it ideal for specialised applications like third harmonic surface imaging and transient absorption spectroscopy.
Haider Zia, the visionary founder and CTO of SuperLight Photonics, reflects, “The SLP-1000 is the result of the journey from a spark of an idea, kindled during my tenure at Twente University, to an industrial product reality. The industry demand for a portable, high-quality wideband laser has spanned over a decade, and today, we proudly answer that call.”