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Thorlabs Extends Optical Spectrum Analyzer Product Line Into the Mid-IR

Newton, NJ—September 20, 2013—Thorlabs is pleased to introduce an Optical Spectrum Analyzer optimized for the mid-IR region from 1.0 to 5.6 µm (10000 to 1786 cm-1). Based on a Michelson interferometer geometry and equipped with a stabilized reference HeNe laser, the OSA205 provides quick, extremely accurate measurements of unknown spectra. By adding a free-space input aperture to our existing, proven fiber-coupled design, the OSA205 represents our most versatile optical spectrum analyzer yet, while maintaining the high precision and reliability that has led to nearly 100 field installations since the release of the first OSA in April 2012. Together with our easy-to-use software, the OSA205 is an outstanding solution for applications requiring precise, accurate, turnkey spectral measurements, and it comes in a compact, integrated package.

This MIR optical spectrum analyzer accurately measures the spectral power of both narrowband and broadband sources. Like all our optical spectrum analyzers, it features ±2 ppm (parts per million) accuracy and 1 ppm repeatability, corresponding to nearly 7 significant figures of precision. For narrowband sources (<10 GHz), we also include a wavelength meter mode that boosts the accuracy to 1 ppm and the repeatability to 0.2 ppm. This high accuracy is ensured by measuring the interferogram from a stabilized 632.991 nm reference HeNe laser simultaneously with the unknown spectrum, which provides real-time compensation for changes in the optical path. With a maximum spectral resolution of 7.5 GHz (0.25 cm-1) determined by the maximum optical path difference, the OSA205 is entirely capable of performing the most rigorous measurements with a very high level of confidence.
OSA205


For the first time in our optical spectrum analyzer product family, we are providing direct compatibility with free-space optical inputs, in addition to the fiber-coupled FC/PC connector. The free-space input port accepts collimated input beams and has a mechanical aperture of Ø6 mm. In order to ensure optimal measurement sensitivity, a red alignment beam is emitted when the door in front of the free-space aperture is open. When the optical system under test is collinear with this beam, the performance of the system is maximized. To aid with alignment and reduce setup time, the OSA205 includes four 4-40 taps for compatibility with Thorlabs' 30 mm cage systems, which help create linear beam paths. This feature makes the OSA205 an appealing alternative to FTIR spectrometers by helping investigators with their own light sources and sample chambers build stable, alignment-free, high-resolution setups for sample characterization.

With full compatibility with our upcoming line of fluoride optical fiber and fiber patch cables, which will offer high transmission up to 5.5 µm, the OSA205 provides a complete set of spectral characterization tools for the mid-IR spectral range. By taking advantage of Thorlabs’ expertise in optical systems modeling, advanced thin film deposition techniques, detector design, and more, the OSA205 fully realizes the benefits of Thorlabs' vertically integrated approach to photonics.

About Thorlabs:
Thorlabs, a vertically integrated photonics products manufacturer, was founded in 1989 to serve the laser and electro-optics research market. As that market has grown and expanded into new research areas, Thorlabs has extended its core competencies in an effort to consistently serve its industry at the research end, as well as the industrial, life science, medical, and defense segments. The organization’s highly integrated and diverse manufacturing assets include semiconductor fabrication of VCSEL lasers that are being integrated into OCT systems, fiber towers for drawing glass optical fibers (silica, fluoride, tellurite, and hollow core), brushless DC motor technology for advanced microscopy positioning stages, advanced thin film deposition capabilities, and optomechanical and optoelectronic shops.


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