Articles about Optics and Photonics, Lasers, Fiber Bragg gratings and FBG sensors

New nano-sized optical fiber determines waves from live cells

on February 1, 2019

Recently, researchers from California have developed a totally new nanofiber device that is almost 100 times thinner than a human hair. Moreover, the nano-sized optical fiber is highly sensitive and is able to determine forces down to 160 femtonewtons that are ten trillion times smaller than a newton.

Thus, the researchers put the optical fibers in a solution with live Helicobacter pylori bacteria. And they discovered on the example of beating heart muscle cells from mice that the nano-sized optical fiber system allows detecting sound waves down to -30 decibels that are 1.000 times below than human ear can hear.

The nano-optical fiber is made from a highly thin fiber of tin dioxide, coated with a thin layer of polyethylene glycol and studded with gold nanoparticles. The principle of work includes placing the nano-optical fiber system into a solution of live cells, then the researchers send a light beam down the fiber and analyze the light signals it sends out.

While light goes down the optical fiber, it cooperates with the gold nanoparticles which diffuse the light as signals that is possible to see with a traditional microscope. Herewith, the more live-cells in which the optical fiber bundle placed, the more changes in the intensity of the light signals. And this signal intensity shows the level of force or sound that the fiber is getting from the surrounding cells.

Also, forces and sound waves from the live cells influence the gold nanoparticles, pushing the nanoparticles into the polymer layer that separates them from the optical fiber‘s surface. In this case, the researchers adjust the device so the intensity of the signals could correspond to various levels of force or sound waves.

The main option of the nano-sized optical fiber system is not only picking up the tiny forces and sounds but the nanomechanical probing of high resolution. Moreover, the polymer layer of the device can be adjusted. For example, for large forces measurement, a stiffer coating is ideal, a softer polymer such as a hydrogel is ideally fit for increased sensitivity.

According to the researchers, the main advantage of the optical nanofiber is that it is about ten times more sensitive than an atomic force microscope. Also, the one more difference is the compact size, because the nano-optical fiber is only several hundred nanometers in diameter.

The researchers confirm that their device is a compact AFM with the sensitivity of an optical tweezer. The field of the device future applications include detecting the presence and activity of a single bacterium; monitoring bonds forming and breaking; sensing changes in a cell’s mechanical behavior that might signal it becoming cancerous or being attacked by a virus, or as a mini stethoscope to monitor cellular acoustics in vivo.

Optromix is a provider of top quality special fibers and broad spectra optical fiber solutions. The company delivers the best quality special fibers and fiber cables, fiber optic bundles, spectroscopy fiber optic probes, probe couplers and accessories for IR fiber spectroscopy to clients. If you have any questions, please contact us at info@optromix.com

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editorNew nano-sized optical fiber determines waves from live cells

Cheap diode laser system for accurate measurements

on January 25, 2019

Nowadays Russian scientists have developed a totally new way of the emission spectrum narrowing of a conventional diode laser, similar to a laser pointer. Thus, their tool is able to replace more complicated and very expensive single-frequency lasers, and consequently, allow manufacturing of small chemical analyzers that can be used for smartphones, cheap lidars for self-driving cars, security and structural health monitoring systems etc.

Their initial prototype shows that now it is possible to create a cheap narrow-linewidth laser that is more efficient and has a compact size comparing to a single-frequency laser system. Herewith, the device with no additional modification can be used for generating of optical frequency combs that are the key component of a spectroscopic chemical analyzer.

Moreover, the fields of diode laser application include practically all areas of human life, for example, laser eye surgery, laser sights, fiber optic communication, satellite navigation, accurate time data transfer, and the radial velocity method for detecting extrasolar planets, even spectroscopy whose main option is the precise measurement of chemical composition.

To be precise, the method of optical frequency comb is based on laser spectroscopy where a laser system device creates optical radiation at numerous stable frequencies. Thus, its function includes the accurate measurement of light frequency similar to a ruler and it is also able to make spectrometric measurements.

Nevertheless, not every laser systems are appropriate to pump optical frequency combs in a microresonator because they have to be both very powerful and monochromatic that means the ability of light emitting to fall into narrow frequency band. The solution is the use of cheap non-monochromatic diode lasers with additional devices – external resonator or a diffraction grating to make the laser linewidth narrower but in this case diode laser system stops being cheap and compact.

The solution is the use of diode lasers with microresonators generating optical frequency combs.  As a result, it is possible to save the same cost, laser power, and compact size, and at the same time, the microresonator increases the laser monochromaticity by almost 1 billion.

Today small inexpensive diode laser systems are available for the whole optical spectrum, and moreover, they enlarge their application fields. For example, one of them is telecommunication where the bandwidth of the fiber optic network is highly important. Also, diode lasers will be quite useful in sensor manufacturing, for example, reflectometers used in security and monitoring systems for the detection of a fiber optic cable break. Finally, the demand for this type of diode laser will continually increase.

Optromix is a fast-growing fiber laser manufacturer and a vendor of optical fiber sensors and optical monitoring systems. The company offers fast turnkey solutions and creates sophisticated fiber laser systems for special purposes. Optromix uses only its own technologies and develops a broad variety of fiber lasers. If you have any questions or would like to buy a laser system, please contact us at info@optromix.com

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editorCheap diode laser system for accurate measurements

Annual laser system market review

on January 18, 2019

Nowadays laser systems became a usual technology that is worldwide used for electronics production, especially, smartphones and autonomous vehicle lidar that force laser manufacturers and laser materials equipment providers to produce more lasers.

laser chrimera

The main drivers of 2018 laser market are consumer electronic devices and China and the most popular technologies are fiber laser systems, lidar lasers, and vertical-cavity-surface-emitting lasers or VCSELs. Also, lasers are the key element of semiconductor manufacturing, for example, semiconductor wafers and consumer appliances.

Moreover, the previous year is a great time for the laser system industry and worldwide laser revenue reached almost twenty percent over 2017. It should be mentioned that the biggest part of growth is due to increasing use of lasers and optics, for example, for smartphone manufacturing because its construction includes numerous laser-based processes as well as VCSELs for 3D sensing and ranging applications.

Now laser systems become more and more universal in human everyday lives. Sometimes people even do not know that their devices include laser stuff. One more field of laser application is Light Identification Detection and Ranging or LIDAR, those market is planned to double over the next 5 years.

LIDAR is often used in self-driving vehicles, rangefinders, aerial mapping, 3D scanning of objects and spaces, and aerosol velocity monitoring. However,  autonomous vehicles will increase laser market revenue due to lidar sensors in spite of the fact that this type of vehicles has already a large market share comparing to all other lidar applications.

Two other fields of laser application are quantum technologies and augmented reality/virtual reality (AR/VR) applications. For example, lasers are used as cooling element for atomic clocks, laser materials play a crucial role in equipment manufacturing for photonic crystals, optoelectronics, and diffractive optics.

Also, industrial laser systems experience high growth due to excimer lasers, ultrafast pulse and CO2 lasers that are highly used for:

  • metal processing (welding, cutting, annealing, drilling);
  • semiconductor and microelectronics manufacturing (lithography, scribing, defect repair, via drilling);
  • marking of all materials;
  • other materials processing (cutting and welding organics, rapid prototyping, micromachining, and grating manufacture).

Optromix is a fiber laser vendor that develops and manufactures a broad variety of fiber lasers. The company offers fast turnkey solutions and creates sophisticated fiber laser systems for special purposes. If you have any questions or would like to buy a fiber laser system, please contact us at info@optromix.com

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editorAnnual laser system market review

Raman spectroscopy improves the future of water quality

on January 11, 2019

Water is an essential component that plays a crucial role in human health and worldwide society. Unfortunately, now the quality of potable water remains on the quite low level because of numerous natural and human activities, especially, such as industrial and transport emissions.

Moreover, the number of persons that do not have any access to safe potable water is increasing. That is why the issue of water quality monitoring takes pride of place. However, the possible solution can be the use of Raman spectroscopy that is a highly promising monitoring technology.

 

All the time it was necessary to develop compact, easy-to-use, fast and very sensitive tool for water quality control. Nevertheless, most of the techniques for water analysis used in laboratories demand skilled personnel,  they are also quite expensive, and samples should be transported to the laboratory.

 

For example, vibrational spectroscopy is touchless, non-invasive tool for fast detection of the most typical chemical and microbial pollutants in water that requires minimal sample preparation.

Infrared or IR spectroscopy is one of the most often used vibration technique that allows analyzing the structure of a molecule. It includes the middle infrared or MIR spectroscopy that is considered to be the most advanced method, but it is highly effective only for liquid samples.

The near infrared or NIR spectroscopy is a type of vibrational spectroscopy that is more suitable for inorganic material detection and direct water monitoring than MIR due to its weak water absorption despite the fact that NIR is less well-established.

Thus, Raman spectroscopy leaves other vibrational spectroscopy methods behind, especially, in such fields of application as biomedicine, tissue imaging, and liquid samples monitoring. Raman spectroscopy is ideal for organic pollutant detection because the technique has a high level of detection efficiency, uses low noise, stable and high power laser diodes, spectrometers with high throughput and resolution. Moreover, Raman spectroscopy has greatly improved the detection limit.

In spite of the fact that this method is the best way for water monitoring because water is a weak Raman scatterer, Raman spectroscopy has a low cross-section and high fluorescence background, it also requires complex, huge devices, that is why the use of this type of spectroscopy is limited to laboratory only.

Nevertheless, new surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy or SERS is the solution of the above difficulties. The development of nanotechnologies opens new opportunities for the spectroscopy and makes the detection of very low concentration detection in water possible.

Optromix is a provider of top quality special fibers and broad spectra optical fiber solutions. The company delivers the best quality special fibers and fiber cables, fiber optic bundles, spectroscopy fiber optic probes, probe couplers and accessories for IR fiber spectroscopy to clients. If you have any questions, please contact us at info@optromix.com

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editorRaman spectroscopy improves the future of water quality

10 wonderful applications of laser system technology

on December 28, 2018

laser chrimera

Laser technology continues to expand new opportunities for modern devices in human life, in spite of the fact that the precursor of the laser module has been developed just a little more than 50 years ago. Today the use of fiber laser systems is growing as well as the fields of their application – from traditional cutting and welding to more advanced 3D printing and surface texturing.

 

  • Barcode readers

Laser system for barcode reading is a universal mean for item identification. In the past, all the items had to be registered manually or it was necessary to create new non-traditional methods for different industries and even within the same depot. Now fiber lasers made it possible to record items automatically.

  • LIDAR

Light Identification Detection and Ranging (LIDAR) is the most remarkable application of laser system technology. The ways of its use are not limited and vary from the laser rangefinder to a mean that is able to record the distance to the Moon as well as the creation of high-resolution maps that we use today.

  • Optical tweezers

Fiber lasers make it possible to manipulate and turn molecules, and even atoms can be separated or caught. Thus, laser technology expands opportunities for all kind of nanotechnology, including chemistry and medicine, engineering and physics.

  • Laser Scalpel

Laser systems continue to advance every sphere of the medicine, especially, they are often used in surgery.  Laser scalpels are highly useful for surgery at the cellular level where it is very important not to damage a vital organ.

  • Laser cutting system

Laser cutters are an integral part of the modern metal industry because they allow making the process more efficient and precise. Also, laser cutting modules are able to cut complex shapes and items from metal sheets.

  • Laser welding system

It should be mentioned that welding plays a crucial role in the industry for centuries. Nowadays laser welding system allows creating of precise and controlled joints made with different types of metals that was impossible before.

  • Fiber optics

Fiber optic cables are the main part without which the modern Internet would be impossible to operate. Moreover, fiber laser systems ensure fast data transmission using fiber cables for a rapid download and upload speeds.

  • 3D scanners

3D laser technology is a relatively new way of modeling a physical object that is low-cost and easy-to-use. The technology allows scanning of a physical object, sending it to a scanner and reproducing the precise item in a short period.

  • Ultra-fast photography

The use of laser systems for a rapid illumination of the subject in rapid sequence causes higher resolution imaging of a really fast moving object.

  • Discovery of gravitational waves

Astronomy is one of the main applications of laser systems. Recently, it became possible to identify gravitational waves as passed by Earth with the help of laser shot over long distances.

Optromix is a fiber laser vendor that develops and manufactures a broad variety of fiber lasers. The company offers fast turnkey solutions and creates sophisticated fiber laser systems for special purposes. If you have any questions or would like to buy a fiber laser system, please contact us at info@optromix.com

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editor10 wonderful applications of laser system technology

Low-energy nanolaser system offers new opportunities

on December 21, 2018

Laser systems are used in every sphere of human life. The fields of their application are not limited and include laser cutting, drilling, fast optical data transmissions, medical operations and market, scientific research, biotechnology etc. Nevertheless, now there is a need to develop a scientific laser system that will have low cost, compact size and small power-consumption.

This is the main reason for creation of novel low-energy nanolaser system that is able to shine in all directions. The laser module is considered to open new visions for further potential applications because the key element of omnidirectional light emission is the use of irregularities in the materials that was undesirable for science researches before.

It should be mentioned that such irregularities and imperfections cannot be avoided because of the limit in control process but properly contained disorder can be highly useful for the development of new physical concepts and fields of application for scientific laser systems. The low-energy nanolaser is able to produce omnidirectional light thanks to a low degree of this disorder.

Nanoscale laser systems are thinner than a human hair and now it is very perspective field for scientific research. Traditional fiber lasers use photons that are multiplied in a medium that is located inside a cavity and every photons have the same characteristics.

The other type of laser systems is the polariton laser that does not clone photon but creates non-identical one. The main advantage is low lasing threshold that expand the potential opportunities but its main problem is the need for operation at quite low temperatures.

Nowadays novel nanoscale polariton laser system is able to operate at ambient temperature. Also this type of laser can use not only organic materials that allow obtaining polariton laser emission at ambient temperature but metallic nanoparticles instead of mirrors as in conventional laser modules.

The researchers consider that low-energy nanolaser can find a lot of applications due to its advantages. This laser is much brighter and better defined than a light-emitting diode (LED) and can replace it in microscopy lighting. Nanoscale laser module can be potentially used in Laser Imaging Detection and Ranging (LIDAR) that usually has several conventional lasers and fast moving mirrors for covering vast areas. New omnidirectional laser system is less complicated because does not have the moving mirrors in it. One more way of application is general illumination.

Optromix is a fast-growing fiber laser manufacturer and a vendor of optical fiber sensors and optical monitoring systems. The company offers fast turnkey solutions and creates sophisticated fiber laser systems for special purposes. Optromix uses only its own technologies and develops a broad variety of high beam quality fiber lasers. If you have any questions or would like to buy a fiber laser system, please contact us at info@optromix.com

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editorLow-energy nanolaser system offers new opportunities

New space laser system controls the environmental change

on December 14, 2018

Recently NASA has launched a new space laser system – IceSat-2 with the aim to measure the ice sheets shape within the accuracy of 2 cm. This laser module is considered to be one of the most effective and powerful tool for the observation that has been put in the Earth orbit. At the present moment the fiber laser continues gathering information about our planet.

Moreover, IceSat-2 laser system collects not only the data about the shape of the ice sheets, but additional information about the height of the land, of rivers, lakes and forests. It is interesting that the laser is mapping even 30m seafloor depth.

IceSat-2 was launched at the end of September and had only one tool that was half-tonne green laser system that fired about 10,000 pulses of light every second.

Also all these shots reach the Earth and goes back on a timescale of about 3.3 milliseconds.

Scientists from NASA plan to use this laser system for the observation of elevation changes in Antarctica and Greenland that can be an evidence of melting process. Also this new fiber laser system has the great advantage because it is able to detect the areas that have been unseen earlier by previous satellites. At the present time it is possible to detect every valley glaciers in the mountains. It was difficult to do in the past because satellites used radars instead of laser systems and they could demonstrate only a huge lump at the site of the mountains.

IceSat-2 is not a new project, but the continuation of IceSat-1 mission that has greatly helped in the further research. IceSat-1 measured sea-ice volume in the Arctic that included sensing the height difference between the top point of floating floes and the ocean surface. The main aim of the mission is the calculation of the ice part that is below water. However, the measurement needs to find out the cracks in floes and only then it can be made. Fortunately, new fiber laser system allows making the process easier because of the horizontal footprint of the laser module that equals about 25-30 m.

It should be mentioned that the resolution of IceSat-2 laser system plays a very important role as 80 % of all cracks in floes are less than 50 m across and researchers require detailed data. Thus, the accuracy of the laser measurement reaches a little over 2 cm.

This laser module also enables to collect data about forested areas. It is able to detect the tree canopy and the ground underneath and, finally, this information allows scientists to estimate the amount of carbon kept in vegetation across the Earth. Moreover, the laser system is suspected to be able to calculate the depth of shallow coastal waters, but not so efficient.

Optromix is a fast-growing manufacturer and a vendor of fiber lasers, optical fiber sensors, and optical monitoring systems. The company offers fast turnkey solutions and creates sophisticated fiber laser systems for special purposes. Optromix uses only its own technologies based on the advanced research work and patents of international R&D team and develops a broad variety of high beam quality fiber lasers. If you have any questions or would like to buy a fiber laser system, please contact us at info@optromix.com

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editorNew space laser system controls the environmental change

Raman spectroscopy detects throat cancer at early stages

on December 7, 2018

Cancer is a difficult-to-detect disease, quite often with no early-stage symptoms that is why the majority of patients go undiagnosed until tumor formation and its spread. Oropharyngeal or throat cancers of the tonsils are not exclusion.

Fortunately, laser systems allow detecting, treating cancer cells and even efficiently removing tumors. The main task of scientific laser systems is specific cells detection with the help of laser technology. Cancer cells are very problematic to detect visually, for this reason laser systems are highly useful in detecting the difference in light reflection from healthy and cancer cells.

The best way of differentiation between healthy and cancer cells is the use of a specifically-designed device based on the Raman fiber laser. The Raman laser measures the way of different cells reflection with the help of laser light. The device is extremely precise; almost 90% accuracy of the Raman fiber laser improves locating stray cancer cells during surgery by 10%.

The advantages of Raman fiber laser system include:

  • Noninvasive and nonablative analysis;
  • High spatial resolution up to sub-micron scale;
  • In-depth analysis of transparent samples with the help of a confocal optical system;
  • No need for sample preparation;
  • Measurement of both organic and inorganic materials;
  • Measurement of samples in various states, for example, gas, liquid, solution, solid, crystal, emulsion;
  • Possibility of sample measurement in a chamber through a glass window;
  • 10 msec to 1 sec exposure for getting a Raman spectrum;
  • Possibility of imaging analysis by scanning the motorized stage or laser beam.

Recently a group of researchers from the USA found out the ability of Raman fiber laser to detect HPV-related cancers of the throat at early stages and, finally, it would reduce needs in biopsies and offer less-intensive therapies. Laser light from the Raman laser, a spectrometer and either a microscope or a fiber-optic probe are used to give an information about the tissue biochemistry for measurement of the molecular signatures change in a cell or tissue transformed by disease. Moreover, Raman spectroscopy allows diagnosing difficult-to-locate cancer cells in other parts of the body, for example, the cervix or gastrointestinal tract.

The researchers use a flexible fiber-optic probe for a tissue illumination with near-infrared light and the measurement of Raman scattered light with the same probe. This light shows a distinct biochemical profile from the tissue. Special detector records light intensity alteration as Raman spectra and sends them to a computer system where the data obtained are analyzed with the aim to find out whether the tissue is cancerous or noncancerous. It should be mentioned that there is no need for biopsies using Raman spectroscopy. According to the research team this technique is highly promising and does not have any side effects.

Optromix is a manufacturer of Raman fiber optic probes that is for multi-wave excitation in the range 690-785 nm and 1000-1064 nm. The probes are miniaturized without compromising its performance, which is enabled by the technology of direct deposition of the dielectric filters at the fiber end faces. It results in a small, cost-effective Raman probe for endoscopy and other applications. If you have any questions or would like to buy Optromix Raman fiber optic probes, please contact us at info@optromix.com

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editorRaman spectroscopy detects throat cancer at early stages

Totally new application of laser systems

on November 29, 2018

Today it is impossible to imagine our life without scientific technologies and, of course, without laser systems. The areas of scientific laser systems application continue to expand every day. The laser systems are used in laser cutting for engraving and marking a wide range of metallic materials. Also the fields of the use include gas and wind detection, oil and gas exploitation, pipeline integrity monitoring, perimeter security and medicine.

Laser_moduleLight is at the core of laser systems operation or, to be precisely, light particles that emit energy and finally form the laser beam. It turns out that every energy can be controlled purposefully in the form of laser beams.

Researchers from South Africa have found a way of the laser beam application for control and manipulation of micro objects, for example, single cells in a human body, minute particles in chemistry or future on-chip devices. They use the scientific technique – holographic optical trapping and tweezing to elicit the full force of the laser beam and even vector light that was impossible to do before. This creates the first vector holographic trap.

The application of optical tweezers or optical traps includes different fields such as biological studies to study DNA sequences, interactions of proteins, to trap single atoms, viruses, single-cell organisms, bacteria, carbon nanostructure, etc. Nowadays this discovery became the most promising success.

The researchers have demonstrated the first vector holographic trapping and tweezing laser system that allows to capture and manipulate micro sized particles, such as biological cells with light. Finally, the device will trap multiple tiny particles at once and move them around only with vector states of light.

The trapping and tweezing laser systems are based on the light that is focused into a small volume with small particles, for example, biological cells. Thus, the light forces are so significant that particles can be trapped by the light and controlled. If the light moves, the particles will move with it. Moreover,  the device operation is possible not only with the traditional laser beams or scalar beams, but even with more complex vector beams.

It should be mentioned that in optical tweezing laser systems ytterbium lasers are often used because they produce a stable and high-power laser beam for interference-free optical trapping. Other advantages of ytterbium lasers contain a simple electronic structure, a small quantum defect, a capacity for wide wavelength tuning, a low-noise beam.

Optromix is a ytterbium lasers manufacturer who uses only its own technologies based on the advanced research work and patents of international R&D team. Optromix ytterbium lasers can be used in optical tweezing with great efficiency. If you have any questions or would like to purchase a ytterbium laser, please contact us at info@optromix.com

 

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editorTotally new application of laser systems

Gas Detection: Fiber Laser Sensing Trends

on November 23, 2018

Fiber lasers are mainly used in laboratory settings, however, there has been significant interest in fiber technology for mainstream applications. Multiple advantages that fiber lasers and FBG sensors offer make them highly desirable. Ever since the development of fiber optics, fiber-based technology, like fiber lasers and fiber Bragg grating sensors, have been at the forefront of innovations. Fiber lasers are highly customizable, provide high output power and high optical quality, compact in size, highly reliable, and cost-efficient. FBG sensors are also superior to other sensing techniques, like thermocouples and strain gauges – compact size, the passive nature, immunity to electromagnetic interference, the capability to directly measuring physical parameters such as temperature and strain.

One of the recent developments is a gas detection system that utilizes optical fiber technology. The system can detect a wide range of gases with very high sensitivity. The potential applications for this system are breath analysis and air quality monitoring

The system utilizes infrared fiber laser coupled to an ultra-broadband supercontinuum generator. The combined technology is able to detect a wide array of gases, including methane, carbon dioxide, and nitrous oxide. These gases are harmful to humans and have detrimental effects on the environments. One of the main advantages of the new system based on the fiber laser systems is its compact size. Generally, fiber laser scientific systems that are used for the detection of molecules are large and require optical laboratory conditions. The new developments have significantly reduced the size and simplified the use of fiber lasers systems for gas detection.

The fiber laser market is growing at a fast rate, and the demand for fiber laser scientific systems, FBG sensors, distributed temperature sensing systems is expanding. Fiber laser vendors need to provide top-of-the-line products and systems that meet the industry standards and are suitable for mainstream applications.

Gas Detection: Fiber Laser Sensing TrendsOptromix is a fiber laser vendor, which develops and manufactures a broad variety of fiber lasers, СО₂ lasers, Ti: Sapphire lasers, dye lasers, and excimer lasers. We offer simple erbium laser and ytterbium laser products, as well as sophisticated laser systems with unique characteristics, based on the client’s inquiry.

We manufacture lasers using our own technologies based on the advanced research work and patents of international R&D team. Laser processes are high quality, high precision, easily-automated manufacturing solutions that provide repeatability and flexibility.

If you would like to buy Optromix scientific laser systems, please, contacts us at info@optromix.com

 

 

 

 

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editorGas Detection: Fiber Laser Sensing Trends