JULY 10, 2009--During last month's mega trade event Laser World of Photonics (June 15-18; Munich, Germany) Fraunhofer Institute for Photonic Microsystems (IPMS; Dresden, Germany) presented a super compact laser scanning microscope (LSM) prototype based on a 2D micro scanner mirror also developed by the institute. The robust LSM targets situations requiring mobile application.
The miniaturized LSM operates similar to larger systems based on classical optics, but uses a microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) -based scanner mirror for light deviation as core component. The prototype measures 200 x 100 x 40 mm and weighs 800 grams (1.75 pounds). The optical bench has been designed to direct the light of a semiconductor laser onto the scanner mirror, then through a beam splitter, and finally through a telecentric objective and onto the specimen. The scattered light is gathered through the objective in reverse direction by a detector behind the beam splitter. The resulting image can measure up to 1000 x 1000 pixels and up to 10 x 10 mm². Selected light sources and detectors with suitable filters could enable feature fluorescence imaging. An aperture stop can be used to produce dark field images instead of the standard bright field imagery.
In addition to the scanner mirror, Fraunhofer IPMS created the optical bench, the complete system electronics, and software the system uses for operation and image reconstruction.
Fraunhofer IPMS carries out customer specific developments, serving as a business partner that supports the transition of ideas into new products. Employing about 240 scientists, the institute develops and fabricates CMOS technology products in its own clean room facilities, up to small pilot series production; its range of projects and expertise covers sensor and actuator systems, microscanner, spatial light modulators, "lifetronics" and organic materials and systems.