Thorlabs Inc

Newton, NJ 07860


About Thorlabs Inc



56 Sparta Ave
Newton, NJ 07860
United States

More Info on Thorlabs Inc

Thorlabs designs and manufactures system-level solutions as well as building-blocks for the industry, including optomechanics, motion control, optical components, fiber, lasers, optoelectronics, and imaging components in our 20,000 product catalog.



(Photo credit: Justine Murphy/Endeavor Business Media)
Jennifer Cable, president of Thorlabs, sat down with Laser Focus World Editor in Chief Peter Fretty to discuss how Thorlabs continues to successfully navigate an evolving marketplace.
Executive Forum

Thirst for the future

Jennifer Cable sits down with Laser Focus World to discuss the Thorlabs culture and efforts to build a skilled workforce.
(Courtesy of R. Kato/Tokushima University)
In a schematic of a robust, long-duration TERS imaging technique, a metallic nanotip images several points in a large area of a WS2 monolayer placed on a gold thin film (a). A superposition of two different intensity images, pure WS2 at 422 cm-1 and defect scattering of WS2 at 410 cm-1, reveals a high density of nanoscale protrusions in a large-area far-field confocal Raman image (b). A histogram of the same modes shows a defect density of 5.2% in the WS2 sample (c).
Science & Research

Improving the stability and imaging time of TERS

Advances in tip-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (TERS) can improve spatial resolution and stability, enabling longer imaging and spectroscopic characterization of sub-diffraction-...
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Executive Forum

From bootstraps to leadership: Panel offers financial perspectives

The Lasers & Photonics Marketplace Seminar rounded out the day with a panel discussion, moderated by John Dexheimer, president of LightWave Advisors.
American Chemical Society
A new multimodal tool combines OCT, fluorescence lifetime (FLIM) imaging, and Raman spectroscopy for rapid and efficient diagnosis (a); the FLIM and OCT data is also shown, with image details correlated with histology results (b).
Bio&Life Sciences

Compact multimodal imaging to aid rapid clinical diagnosis

A newly developed imaging tool combines optical coherence tomography (OCT), Raman spectroscopy, and fluorescence lifetime imaging (FLIM) in a single multimodal scanning microscope...
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Executive Forum

Thorlabs appoints Jennifer Cable as its president

Jennifer succeeds her father Alex Cable, who founded the photonics equipment company in 1989.
(Image credit: J. Zhang, MIT)
Fiber-coupled endoscopic probes scan surrounding tissue at high rates, enabled by a megahertz-range MEMS-VCSEL variable wavelength source (a). The high rates enable angiographic imaging without administering any contrast agent, as in the image of swine esophagus vasculature shown here (b).
Lasers & Sources

MEMS swept-wavelength laser enables new OCT capabilities

Optical interferometry is accurate and noninvasive, making optical coherence tomography (OCT) a valuable clinical diagnostic tool.
FIGURE 1. Attenuation of optical fibers made of fluoride glasses, showing a significantly wider transmission window into the mid-IR as compared to silica fibers. Indium fluoride (InF3) glass has a wider transmission window in the mid-IR than zirconium fluoride (ZrF4) glass.
Lasers & Sources

Mid-IR supercontinuum laser covers key spectral bands for spectroscopy

A commercially available mid-IR supercontinuum source has a broadband output from 1.3 to 4.5 μm, providing orders-of-magnitude higher brightness than thermal IR sources.
Lasers & Sources

Correlated photon-pair source integrates a 405 nm pump source

A Correlated Photon-Pair Source produces >450 kHz photon pairs at 810 nm.
(Image credit: Nanjing University)
FIGURE 1. Device architecture and metalens fabrication: a schematic of the optical setup for MIID (a), a photograph of the highly compact MIID (b), and a top-view optical microscope image and side-view SEM image of the fabricated α-Si metalens with a diameter of 200 μm (c).

Metalens enables mini microscopic imaging prototype

Researchers at Nanjing University have developed a metalens-integrated imaging device (MIID) and centimeter-scale microscopic imaging prototype that breaks FOV constraints.
Test & Measurement

Thorlabs swept-source OCT system is based on MEMS-VCSEL technology

The Atria swept-source optical coherence tomography (OCT) system produces wavelengths centered at 1060 nm and comes in 60 and 200 kHz versions.

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Additional content from Thorlabs Inc

(Images: University of Texas)
FIGURE 1. Visible light curing, with the general mechanism (oxidative quenching) for a three-component system (left) and chemical structures of photoinitiator (PI) and photoredox catalysts (PRCs), and corresponding pictures of photocured films with qualitative gel times (right) all shown (a). Chemical structures of iodonium acceptor (A) and borate donor (D) coinitiators (b); chemical structures of opaquing agents (OAs) (c); and photons absorbed vs. wavelength for PI and PRC compounds at optimal photocuring concentration (d) are also shown. OA at 0.5 mM (red) and 1 mM (green, blue, and violet). Light exposure was from calibrated violet (405 nm), blue (460 nm), green (525 nm), and red (615 nm) LEDs at the DLP 3D printer image plane.
Lasers & Sources

Photopolymer resins boost visible-light curing speed

Researchers at The University of Texas, Austin have developed novel photopolymer resins that contain a three-component light-reactive system to enable rapid and efficient curing...
(Image credit: ANU)
A hologram of fibroblast cells taken at a light intensity substantially above the shot-noise limit has relatively low noise (top). A shot-noise-limited hologram of the fibroblast cells has obvious high noise (center). A Holo-UNet-restored shot-noise-limited hologram has an image quality comparable to the hologram taken at a high intensity. These images are stills from an ANU video that can be found at

Neural network greatly improves shot-noise-limited microscopy holograms

Quantitative phase microscopy (QPM) systems operating under low light to preserve cells can now have high-quality digital-holographic images, thanks to machine learning.
A ball lens with a small pass-band-creating air gap (center) can be rotated to move the passband across a large spectral region; here, the ball lens is part of an optical system that can be used in hyperspectral imaging.

Bandpass imaging filter in ball lens is simple and widely tunable

Based on frustrated total internal reflection, a tunable filter is compact, has a large range, and can be easily designed into optical systems.
Chrolis L
Lasers & Sources

Thorlabs introduces six-color light engine for fluorescence excitation

The Chrolis six-color light engine for fluorescence excitation applications features a configurable design.
Lasers & Sources

Thorlabs semiconductor lasers have use in remote sensing

The ULN15PT 1550 nm ultra-low-noise semiconductor laser from Thorlabs provides output power >100 mW.

Thorlabs UV focusing objectives have utility in microimaging

MicroSpot focusing objectives are designed for UV excimer lasers and other UV sources in on-axis laser focusing and microimaging applications.
University of South Carolina
Thomas Crawford parlayed his research experience with disk drive technology into a startup company that eventually caught the eye of Thorlabs

University of South Carolina startup breaks ground in nano-optical manufacturing

Acquisition by Thorlabs facilitates continued university-industry partnership in Columbia, SC.
Coda Devices
The Thorlabs acquisition of Coda Devices will include Coda’s portable Raman spectroscopy products, such as this analyzer that can detect heroin and fentanyl inside clear baggies, protecting the lives of first responders who can avoid direct contact with unknown substances.
Test & Measurement

Thorlabs ramps Raman spectroscopy expertise through Coda Devices acquisition

The companies will work together to expand the market reach of Coda Devices' coded-aperture Raman Spectroscopy techniques.
(Courtesy of Thorlabs)
FIGURE 1. A spectral transmission curve for a high-LIDT polarizing beamsplitter (PBS) cube made by Thorlabs designed for use at 532 nm has a high polarization selectivity. A similar cube designed for use at 1064 nm is shown in the inset.

Optical Coatings: Coatings for laser optics achieve high LIDT

For optics used with high-power and high-energy lasers, a high laser-induced damage threshold (LIDT) is crucial.
FIGURE 1. A schematic depicts the MagAssemble pattern writing process, in which the write head rasters back and forth across the perpendicular magnetic recording medium within each track. By selectively changing the magnetic-field direction of each bit, the charge transition boundaries create a custom 2D template (a). When the template is introduced into a magnetic nanoparticle solution, nanoparticles self-assemble along the magnetic charge transitions (b).

Pattern-transfer nanomanufacturing for micro-optics and spectroscopy

Programmable self-assembly of nanoparticle patterns enables a low-cost platform for nanoscale to mesoscale structures such as life-science substrates, custom diffraction gratings...
FIGURE 1. The attenuation curve of state-of-the-art, telecommunications-grade silica fiber is contrasted with space-produced ZBLAN and the theoretical ZBLAN attenuation.

Optical Fiber Manufacturing: Gravity-free optical fiber manufacturing breaks Earthly limitations

Alternatives to relatively high loss silica optical fibers like ZBLAN have historically been limited by the confines of gravity fed manufacturing processes. However, this could...
Fiber Optics

Thorlabs acquires Norland's fiber-optic product portfolio

Norland develops UV curing adhesives and interferometric test equipment for the fiber-optic industry.
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Detectors & Imaging

Thorlabs scientific cameras available with monochrome or color sensor

CS505 scientific cameras offer pixel count of 2448 × 2048 and quantum efficiency of 79% at 600 nm with
FIGURE 1. A comparison (a) of the signal-to-noise ratio vs. photon intensity for two types of Zyla cameras made by Andor Technology to that of the company’s iXon back-illuminated electron-multiplying CCD (EMCCD) shows that the EMCCD is best for the lowest photon rates, including single photon counting, while sCMOS takes over for higher (but still very low) photon rates). The quantum efficiency (QE) of Andor’s Zyla cameras is optimized for use with a range of fluorophores (b).
Detectors & Imaging

Photonics Products: Scientific CMOS Cameras: sCMOS cameras reach new levels of capability

sCMOS cameras are now widely used in a variety of leading-edge microscopy techniques, as well as in astronomy and elsewhere.
Detectors & Imaging

Thorlabs CMOS camera offers passive thermal management

The 2.1 Mpixel Quantalux scientific CMOS camera is based on a high-performance 1 e- read-noise imager.
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Positioning, Support & Accessories

Thorlabs TEC driver incorporates a true bipolar 20 W stage

The OEM-grade MTD1020T TEC driver is a completely integrated digital temperature controller module that provides output currents up to 2 A.
(Courtesy of Pranalytica)
FIGURE 1. The VeloXscan QCL by Pranalytica shows simultaneous two-frequency operation.
Lasers & Sources

Photonics Products: Tunable Lasers: Commercial quantum-cascade laser technology matures

Four example innovations by quantum-cascade laser companies show us where the industry is going.

Thorlabs establishes PolySense R&D lab to advance optical gas sensing

Thorlabs established PolySense--a joint industry-university research lab in Italy--to advance optical gas sensing.
FIGURE 1. Absorption and emission cross-sections were determined for a Fe:CdMnTe sample at 80 K; the plot includes absorption features of water (H2O) and carbon dioxide (CO2).
Lasers & Sources

Mid-IR Lasers: Ternary-crystal mid-IR laser shows power-scaling promise

Specially grown Fe:CdMnTe crystal that emits in the 5 μm spectral region could be made wavelength-tunable in the future.
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Lasers & Sources

Thorlabs mid-IR supercontinuum source emits >300 mW average power

The SC4500 femtosecond-pumped supercontinuum source spans the wavelength range from 1.3 to 4.5 μm.
(Courtesy of Newport)
FIGURE 1. Perhaps the most common laser-safety product is laser-line-blocking eyewear.
Positioning, Support & Accessories

Photonics Products: Laser Safety Equipment - Laser safety is an industry unto itself

A variety of laser-safety products includes personal gear, a vast array of other hardware, software, and audits and training.
(Courtesy of Daylight Solutions)
FIGURE 1. A Daylight Solutions MIRcat QCL (upper right) is embedded as the laser source in an experimental apparatus used for conducting standoff IED detection research [1,2].
Lasers & Sources

Photonics Products: Mid-IR Quantum-cascade Lasers - QCLs cover the mid-IR spectrum

Small and rugged when packaged properly, the quantum-cascade laser is the light source of choice for many applications operating in the mid-IR.
Alex Cable

Future Optics: Reaping the rewards of photonics in the lab and in business: Interview with Alex Cable

Working in the lab to assess the scientific, societal, and environmental potential of a new field or updating our business strategy are both fabulous, good fun.
Barbara G 720
BioOptics World View

Neuro15 exhibitors meet exacting demands: Part 2

Increasingly, neuroscientists are working with researchers in disciplines such as chemistry and physics. This trend has been noticed by exhibitors at the Society for Neuroscience...
Fiber Optics

Thorlabs to acquire fiber-optic processing company Vytran from NKT

Thorlabs entered into a definitive asset purchase agreement to acquire Vytran from NKT Photonics.
(Courtesy of TMC)
FIGURE 1. A large, massive Stage-Base vibration-isolation system from TMC is an example of the technology needed to satisfy the requirements for manufacturing precision and speed in the semiconductor industry.

Photonics Products: Vibration-Isolation Tables: Isolation tables support stable optical setups

Essential for many experiments in optics, the vibration-isolation table comes in many forms, including active and passive vibration isolation, as well as pneumatic and non-pneumatic...
Test & Measurement

Thorlabs and partners awarded ARPA-E contract to develop mid-IR methane-sensing lasers

Thorlabs wholly owned subsidiary Thorlabs Quantum Electronics (TQE) and Maxion Technologies in collaboration with partners from Praevium Research and Rice University have been...
(Courtesy of Edmund Optics)
FIGURE 1. Kinematic tip/tilt mounts by Edmund Optics use the classic cone, groove, and flat constraint system (left). Three adjustment screws fit into the cone, groove, and flat; two rotational axes (turning either of the black knobs) and one translational axis (turning all three knobs equally) remain adjustable.
Positioning, Support & Accessories

Photonics Products: Mounts and Accessories: Tip/tilt mirror mounts deliver accuracy, stability

Whether they are three-point kinematic mounts or another form such as flexure or gimbal mounts, tip/tilt mounts are essential for many optical setups.
Lasers & Sources

Thorlabs acquires Corning's quantum cascade laser business

Photonics products manufacturer Thorlabs acquired Corning Incorporated's quantum cascade laser (QCL) business and associated optical semiconductor technologies research group ...
Lasers & Sources

Thorlabs Ultrafast Optoelectronics established in Michigan

Photonics products maker Thorlabs has established a new business unit, Thorlabs Ultrafast Optoelectronics, to focus on the need for high-speed optoelectronic products with bandwidths...

Thorlabs acquires CompuCyte and its Laser Scanning Cytometry (LSC) portfolio

Thorlabs acquired CompuCyte Corporation, a developer of Laser Scanning Cytometry (LSC) products for high-content cellular and tissue-based analysis.
FIGURE 1. (a) The VCSEL is fabricated using semiconductor processing techniques (b) on wafers yielding many (c) single VCSEL devices. (d) Traditional OCT swept-source technologies tune many laser modes under the tunable filter envelope. (e) The VCSEL differs from previous technologies in that it tunes a single longitudinal mode. (F) A comparison of OCT technologies shows that the VCSEL does not lose appreciable imaging sensitivity over a 12 mm imaging range while previous technologies show significant sensitivity loss over only a few millimeters. (g) The VCSEL can be operated to achieve a 1.5 m OCT imaging range at high imaging speeds, much longer than previous OCT technologies.
Optical Coherence Tomography


Light sources based on vertical cavity surface-emitting laser (VCSEL) technology enable optical coherence tomography (OCT) to achieve long imaging range, high speed, and flexibility...
Images of a lily's anther (top) and a pinecone (right) at 100x magnification captured with the LegoScope.

An optical microscope so fun and intuitive, a kid could use it

Three University of California San Francisco (UCSF) researchers had a vision: to find a way to make optical microscopes much easier to understand and more fun to use, particularly...
(Courtesy of MIT)
Results of 1060 nm MEMS-VCSEL imaging show (a) 3D OCT data of the anterior eye with an axial eye length measurement to the retina; (b) a light bulb used in OCT imaging experiments; (c) OCT volumetric rendering of the light bulb showing long range imaging with a MEMS-VCSEL; (d) Doppler OCT blood flow measurement in the optic nerve head; and (e) a plot of total arterial blood flow vs. time. Each data point is obtained from a full 3D volumetric analysis, and (f) a wide-field OCT projection image shows 3D data from the human retina obtained at a 1.2 MHz scan rate.
Test & Measurement

OPTICAL COHERENCE TOMOGRAPHY: VCSELs accelerate new OCT applications

Lauded for its ability to noninvasively image to depths of several millimeters in medical and industrial applications, optical coherence tomography (OCT) is operating faster and...

Thorlabs acquires iGuide mid-IR optical fiber products from IRphotonics

Photonics product manufacturer Thorlabs acquired the mid-IR iGuide optical fiber products of IRphotonics.
MEMS-based VCSEL achieves 150 nm tuning range via movable suspended mirror
Lasers & Sources

MEMS-based VCSEL reaches record 150 nm tuning range

Last year, Laser Focus World reported on a microelectromechanical systems (MEMS)-based 1310 nm widely tunable vertical-cavity surface-emitting laser (VCSEL) that enabled 760 kHz...
(Image courtesy of collaborators at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology/Thorlabs)
FIGURE 1. Angiographic OCT fundus image of human retina obtained by swept-source optical coherence tomography (SS-OCT) using a 1050 nm MEMS-VCSEL. Retinal vasculature (red) is superimposed on rich choroidal vessels (green background). Total image size is 12 × 12 mm, and no dye was injected to obtain the image.
Optical Coherence Tomography

PRODUCT FOCUS: OCT systems for ophthalmology

Optical coherence tomography (OCT)—a biomedical imaging technology that can capture three-dimensional (3D) images in-vivo—has emerged as a leading technique in medical diagnosis...
FIGURE 1. A test object with scattering nanoparticles was used to compare the depth of field (DOF) and lateral resolution of optical coherence tomography (OCT), optical coherence microscopy (OCM), swept-source full-field OCT, and holoscopy. The DOF and lateral resolution are schematically shown (red) in relation to the corresponding Gaussian beam waist.
Detectors & Imaging

3D OPTICAL IMAGING: Holoscopy makes ultrafast lensless imaging of scattering tissues possible

By combining digital holography with optical coherence tomography (OCT) in a process known as holoscopy, 3D parallel image acquisition with extremely high data throughput at high...
The AgCl window holds the protein rhodopsin which is used in research at the BU Photonics Center to study the initial molecular events that occur in vision. Rhodopsin, which serves as a light receptor, is now being incorporated into nerve cells allowing researchers to selectively control the activity of specific nerves in a complex neural network such as the brain.

BIOSENSING/INSTRUMENTATION: Biosensor center supports pre-competitive research

Back in the early 1990s, the U.S. scientific and engineering communities started to feel the squeeze of global competition.
FIGURE 1. Depth and resolution are compared for various imaging techniques (a). OCT images of renal blood vessels were obtained in the X-Y (b), X-Z (c), and Y-Z (d) planes and used to construct a composite 3D image (e). Resulting depictions from visualization software include a 3D volumetric image of the segmented blood vessels (f), a measured and color-coded 3D image of the renal diameters (g), and a volume histogram of the distribution of blood-vessel diameters (h).

MEDICAL IMAGING: OCT finds value in both art and science

Known commonly as a retinal-imaging tool, optical coherence tomography has plenty of other uses for both medical imaging and nonmedical imaging.
FIGURE 1. Attendees at the BioOpto Japan conference in September.

BIOMEDICAL IMAGING, SPECTROSCOPY: Japanese research focus of BioOpto Japan

The inaugural BioOpto Japan (September 16–17, Yokohama) was held in conjunction with LED Japan Conference & Expo/Strategies in Light and OITDA 2009; together the events drew 7132...

Thorlabs and BMC partner on MEMS-based adaptive optics

NEWTON, NJ-Thorlabs and Boston Micromachines Corporation (BMC; Cambridge, MA) have announced a new partnership, which will allow BMC, a provider of advanced microelectromechanical...