Thorlabs has made two moves to increase its product range, by acquiring OFR, and by licensing technology invented by researchers at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. The Adaptive Scanning Optical Microscope (ASOM) allows scientists to view large areas of a sample without sacrificing resolution, and will be suitable to automate difficult tasks in the laboratory areas such as cancer diagnosis and drug discovery.
The system can capture information that would be difficult or tedious for humans, such as tracking moving organisms or processing large numbers of samples automatically. However, there is usually an inherent trade-off between field of view and magnification. The ASOM overcomes this by scanning a mirror over the sample, while a camera captures a series of small, distinct snapshots, which are then assembled into a mosaic, allowing a high resolution with a large field of view. A MEMS deformable mirror was used to correct for off-axis aberrations that could cause blurring.
Thorlabs has also acquired OFR, bringing a broad array of products to its catalogue, that include: free space and fibre-based optical isolators and circulators; high performance objective lenses for laser machining and marking; and a set of optomechanical building blocks. The products cover market segments that are considered key to Thorlabs development.