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Thorlabs Announces Acquisition of Femtosecond Laser Product Line from idesta QE

Newton, NJ- March 5, 2012. Thorlabs, a leading worldwide manufacturer of photonics tools, is pleased to announce the acquisition of the Octavius line of ultrafast lasers from idesta Quantum Electronics (IQE). IQE was founded in April 2010 and has been a member of Thorlabs’ Strategic Partnership Program from its inception. This program allows new companies to leverage Thorlabs’ resources during their early stages of growth. The transfer of the Octavius lasers and ultrafast pulse characterization products will allow IQE to focus on the development of advanced synchronization and timing distribution products, while Thorlabs can broaden its portfolio with advanced lasers and diagnostic tools that complement existing strengths as a manufacturer of photonics components and imaging systems.

The Octavius family includes ultrafast lasers with 85 MHz and 1 GHz repetition rates and pulse widths of less than 6 femtoseconds. The systems are ideal for both photonics and biological applications. In addition, the Octavius-2P laser, currently under development, is designed specifically for multiphoton microscopy. The Two-Dimensional Scanning Interferometer (2DSI), developed in collaboration with MIT, is also being transferred to Thorlabs. This technology allows the characterization of pulses of a few cycles by interfering neighboring spectral components with 50 attosecond spectral phase precision. All of these products will enhance Thorlabs’ ability to provide a complete set of research tools to the photonics and imaging communities.

Meanwhile, IQE will focus on the development of ultrafast laser timing synchronization and distribution systems under the direction of Dr. Li-Jin Chen. IQE’s products include solutions for long-term stable, pulsed optical timing and synchronization below 10 femtoseconds. These products include an RF-to-optical system and an optical-to-optical phase detector. Such solutions are needed for the operation of state-of-the-art free electron laser systems.

About Thorlabs:
Thorlabs, an active member of the Photonics community for over 20 years, manufactures equipment for the photonics industry, including optomechanics, optics, laser diodes, tunable lasers, fiber optics, optical detectors, motion control equipment, and vibration isolation systems. In addition to core photonics equipment, we also provide system-level solutions such as our complete OCT, confocal, and multiphoton imaging systems. With over 700 employees at offices based in the US, UK, Germany, France, Sweden, Japan, China, and Brazil, Thorlabs is focused on providing fast response to customer inquiries and same-day shipment for stock items.

About idestaQE:
Idesta Quantum Electronics (IQE) was founded in April 2010 by Professors Jim Fujimoto and Franz Kärtner from the Research Laboratory of Electronics at MIT; Dr. Peter Fendel, General Manager of Menlo Systems Inc.; Amy Eskilson, Director of Business Development at Thorlabs; and Alex Cable, founder and president of Thorlabs, Inc. The IQE team is comprised of highly-motivated, competitive individuals, driven by the objective to not only provide ‘best in class’ products but also by the deep desire to satisfy our customers. IQE is a small, strong, and flexible yet proven group, configured to react quickly to customer needs and to innovate on the most modern trends in laser technology.