Newton, NJ – February 9, 2010. In a continuing effort to provide easy and affordable adaptive optics (AO) solutions for research and teaching labs, Thorlabs is pleased to announce the extension of its current line of Adaptive Optics (AO) kits to include the AOK2 series of Mini AO kits. The Mini AO kits are the result of a partnership between Thorlabs and Boston Micromachines Corporation (BMC). Designed to be integrated within research systems in hours rather than months, these systems enable real-time, high-precision wavefront measurement and correction.
Each Mini AO kit includes your choice of a gold- or aluminum-coated 32-actuator MEMS-based Mini Deformable Mirror (DM) manufactured by BMC, Thorlabs’ Shack-Hartmann wavefront sensor, all imaging optics and associated mounting hardware, fully functional stand-alone control software for immediate control of the system, and a low-level support library to assist with tailored applications authored by the end user. When combined, these components are designed for use in the 600 – 1100 nm range and the 400 – 1100 nm range, respectively, and provide a closed-loop frame rate of 8 Hz when in correction mode.
With a $12,000 price tag that offers savings of about 50% compared to previously available AO solutions, these Mini AO kits will enable Adaptive Optic technology to be employed in a greater number of commercial and research applications.
Micro-electro-mechanical (MEMS) deformable mirrors are currently the most widely used technology in wavefront shaping applications given their versatility, maturing technology, and high resolution wavefront correction. The Mini-DM included with these new AO kits consists of a mirror membrane that is deformed by 32 electrostatic actuators (a 6 x 6 actuator array), each of which offers 3.5 microns of stroke and can be individually controlled. Unlike piezoelectric mirrors, the electrostatic actuation used with BMC’s mirrors ensures deformation without hysteresis.
Thorlabs, an active member of the international Photonics community for 20 years, manufactures core and system-level equipment for the photonics industry, including optomechanics, optics, laser diodes, tunable lasers, optical detectors, motion control equipment, OCT, confocal, adaptive optics, and vibration isolation systems. As our community’s needs change, we are eager to bring new products and services to market that facilitate the adaptation of new ideas, technologies, and experimental techniques. To that end, Thorlabs recently extended its weekday sales, technical support, and shipping hours in the US to 8 PM EST Monday through Thursday and 7 PM EST on Friday, and added Saturday hours from 9 AM – 1 PM EST. With offices based in the US, UK, Germany, France, Sweden, Japan, and China, Thorlabs is focused on providing fast response to customer inquiries and same-day shipment for stock items. For more information, visit
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