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AMS Technologies Presents Optical Parametric Oscillator

05.04.2022

1700 nm OPO for photoacoustic imaging in the life science sector: At LASER World of PHOTONICS 2022 (Munich, Germany, April 26-29, 2022), AMS Technologies will present the "17OPO-1-50 S", an "Optical Parametric Oscillator" (OPO) that generates very short laser pulses in a wavelength range that is particularly interesting for applications like biomedical diagnosis.

Optical parametric oscillators (OPOs) are based on nonlinear crystals in an optical resonator. By changing the temperature of this nonlinear crystal in AMS Technologies’ new OPO 17OPO-1-50 S, the wavelength of the emitted laser pulses can be tuned in the range from 1700 nm to about 1750 nm (mid-infrared, MID-IR). This makes the laser system particularly suitable for cardiovascular diagnoses using photoacoustic imaging – since arterial plaque typically has an absorption maximum at 1725 nm.

In photoacoustic imaging, very short laser pulses are directed at biomedical samples. The absorption of the laser energy instantaneously increases the temperature of the samples causing rapid expansion which in turn generates an ultrasound wave, which can be picked up and imaged by a suitable detector.

Not least through the use of an electro-optical Q-switch, the developers at AMS Technologies’ subsidiary Elforlight succeeded in generating very short laser pulses of only about 3 ns duration – an important step, as shorter pulses lead to higher-frequency ultrasound and thus to higher resolution of the resulting image.

From the higher resolution image, the user can identify the structure and chemical composition of substances such as arterial plaque with much higher resolution and thus produce a more differentiated diagnosis. The high pulse repetition rate of 10 kHz also allows imaging of rapidly changing scenarios.

AMS Technologies and Elforlight are continuously working on advancing their laser systems – in the case of the MID-IR OPO presented here, with the aim of increasing the pulse energy and the repetition rate.

For more information please visit the AMS Technologies Portal.