IOP Project

From the universe to the cell-level: Compact modelocked laser for divergent applications

Projectnumber: IPD083346
Contact: Dr. E.A.J.M. Bente
Phone: +31 (0)40 247 51 06

A telemetry device for measurement under vacuum, both accurate and compact... It would be most welcome during space missions. At the same time, better microscopy in live cells is what biologists wish for. Particularly the distinction of specific matter to visualize processes in 3D – without the use of potentially disturbing tracers and markers – is high on their wish list. Both very divergent applications start from the same point: a very compact mode locked short pulse laser source. This is what the project ‘Frequency comb laser devices’ (IPD083346) aims to deliver. The Optoelectronic Devices group at Eindhoven University (TU/e) develops this device in co-operation with the Laser Centre at the Free University Amsterdam (VU) and laser manufacturer Toptica Gmbh from Germany.


The project already led to a nine millimeter laser source on an indiumphosphide chip. This means a big step towards replacement of the present 19” rack short pulse laser devices. In the microscopy part of the project, Twente University acts as both developer and user. The aim is to get enhanced functionality as compared to presently used Confocal Laser Scanning Microscopy (CLSM). A non-linear microscope is developed on the basis of the new laser source. It only targets the part of the sample that is in focus. As a result the thermal load can remain low, enabling to work with live cells.


In order to realize this, a pulse shaper is necessary. It splits the laserlight into fifty separate frequency lines. These separate signals are then corrected in phase and amplitude before reuniting them again. The project develops a dual semiconductor solution for this. Xio-Photonics at Enschede develops the silicon chip to split the laser signal, TU/e and Eindhoven-based Cedova develop the second ‘check, correct and reunite’ indiumphosphide chip.

The description of this project is available as an Adobe Acrobat PDF file:

Adobe Acrobat PDF file  SN PD 8 (73 KB)


Eindhoven University of Technology
VU University Amsterdam
Lionix BV
University of Twente
Toptica Photonics AG
Cedova BV