The need for comfortably operable, precise, and in their color settable sources of light for the optical spectroscopy in research and industry is enormous due to the range of applications. For analyses in nuclear physics to environmental technology, dye lasers are the ideal source of radiation. However, they are so large, complicated in usage, and cost and maintenance intensive that their use has so far been limited to niche applications. Users therefore use systems, which filter out the required light from white light as an alternative. These systems work inefficiently and are not implementable for all applications.
The young firm Visolas GmbH sets out on a completely new path with an organic source of laser light. Visolas is a spin-off out of the Institute for Microstructure Technology and the Photometric Institute of KIT, whose scientists research both new kinds of lasers as well as the production of micro components. Starting from the fundamental research at the KIT, the Visolas founders have developed a tunable light source for the spectroscopy and integrated the advantages of dye lasers into a compact and comfortable device.
Unlike dye lasers, the color of choice is not set through the use of different fluid fluorescence dyes but rather via a continuously tunable laser chip. Through mechanical transfer of the credit card sized chip carrier, all wave lengths in the visible spectrum can be achieved, which are needed for food and blood analyses, ion tests to stimulate fluorescence markers, and many other applications.
In everyday use in the laboratory, the Visolas product has significant advantages. The device is compact and therefore mobile. Unlike dye lasers, it is ready to go in a very short period of time. Toxic liquid color dyes, heavy current and cooling systems are no longer necessary. The simple handling makes the use of specifically trained company personnel unnecessary. Through the less elaborate optic in micro format, the costs of the laser are significantly below those of comparable systems.
Visolas’ managing director Peter Greiner looks towards the future full of expectations: “The Visolas system is especially suitable for the use in research institutions and laboratories. But manufacturers of spectroscopy devices can also expand their product portfolio with our light source. With the technology of organic lasers, we want to and we can set new standards on the market. ”