Coherent has introduced the Sapphire 568, a solid-state laser with output at 568nm. The laser is available in models offering 50mW, 75mW, 100mW, 150mW and 200mW of CW output, and provides a stable, high quality beam (M²<1.1) with low noise (<0.25 per cent rms from 20Hz to 2MHz). The Sapphire 568 is packaged in a compact laser head, measuring just 125 x 70 x 34mm - identical in dimensions to the company's other Sapphire laser models, emitting at at 561nm, 488nm, and 460nm.
The 568nm wavelength, which is traditionally obtained from an ion laser, is widely used in a variety of bioinstrumentation applications based on fluorescence excitation. However, the large size, low efficiency, high heat dissipation, background discharge light and limited lifetime of ion lasers pose significant practical and cost disadvantages to systems builders. With its extremely low power consumption (<60W), excellent beam characteristics, all solid-state reliability and small size, the Sapphire 568 is a more economical and easier to integrate alternative for life science applications such as confocal microscopy and drug discovery.
Because the Sapphire 568 is wavelength compatible with legacy ion laser technology, instrument manufacturers can use the same optics and filters as employed in their existing designs. However, the Sapphire is available with much higher output power than most ion lasers (which typically only provide about 20mW at 568nm), thus enabling higher sensitivity, improved signal-to-noise, and increased throughput speed.