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Thorlabs and Boston Micromachines’ AO Toolkit Used by Researchers Around the World
Vision Science, Laser Beam Shaping, and Astronomy Research Being Furthered

San Jose, C.A., January 26, 2009 — Thorlabs, Inc. and Boston Micromachines Corporation (BMC) today announced at the SPIE Photonics West conference that their Adaptive Optics (AO) Toolkit is being used around the world for vision science, laser beam shaping, and astronomy research by leading organizations including the University of Murcia in Spain and the University College Dublin in Ireland.

The AO Toolkit, a finalist for the first annual Prism Award for Photonics Innovation, is a complete turnkey solution that makes adaptive optics easy, affordable, and widely available for researchers. The toolkit allows researchers to integrate adaptive optics into their research systems in hours rather than months.

At the University College Dublin in Ireland the AO Toolkit is being used for closed-loop wavefront correction in retinal imaging.  “We chose the AO Toolkit for its low cost, high speed, and accuracy, and we are very satisfied with the performance of the kit,” said Dr. Brian Vohnsen, Stokes Lecturer, at University College Dublin.

At Spain’s University of Murcia, the AO Toolkit is enabling researchers to pursue a new research direction in vision science: a wavefront-guided multi-photon microscope to image ocular tissues.  “We expect that the AO Toolkit will be beneficial for this application due to its small size and low cost,” said Professor Pablo Artal at the University of Murcia.

“After designing, building, and releasing the ASOM imaging system, which utilizes an adaptive optic to provide a large field of view without limiting the image resolution, it became apparent that adaptive optics was a tool that needed to be available to the photonics community at large. Hence, Thorlabs partnered with Boston Micromachines to release the AO toolkit,” said Alex Cable, president and founder of Thorlabs.

 “With the AO Toolkit, researchers are quickly realizing the benefits of adaptive optics in their projects,” said Paul Bierden, president and CEO of Boston Micromachines. “We hope that this kit will spur researchers to develop a new generation of novel applications for the commercial market.”

The Adaptive Optics Toolkit includes BMC’s 140 actuator, 3.5 micron stroke, MEMS-based, Multi-DM deformable mirror system; Thorlabs’ WFS150C Shack-Hartmann Wavefront Sensor; all necessary imaging optics and 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. Together, these components provide out-of-the-box functionality for real-time wavefront compensation.

The AO Toolkit is available from Thorlabs.
For more information, please contact Thorlabs at 1-973-579-7227.

About Thorlabs
Thorlabs is a leading designer and manufacturer of photonics equipment and advanced imaging systems for research, manufacturing, and biomedial applications. Founded in 1989, Thorlabs is headquartered in Newton, New Jersey with over 500 employees at manufacturing and design centers as well as sales offices located throughout the United States, United Kingdom, Germany, Sweden, Japan, and China. For more information, visit

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