Light Delivery

Lumencor light engines offer a variety of options for efficient output coupling into microscope illumination pathways.

Lumencor’s primary light delivery options (Table 1) are direct mounting and coupling through a liquid light guide or optical fiber to a microscope input collimator.

Table 1. Microscope coupling options for Lumencor light engines.

Light Engine* Liquid Light Guide# Optical Fiber#
AURA II◇ 3 mm 1 mm
SOLA SM 3 mm
SOLA SE 3 mm
SPECTRA X◇ 3 mm, 5 mm 1 mm, 0.2 mm
SPECTRA◇ 3 mm, 5 mm 1 mm, 0.2 mm

*MIRA, PEKA and LIDA light engines mount directly to microscope epifluorescence or transmitted light illumination ports.
# Dimensions are diameters of the optical transmission cores.
◇ The light engine must be equipped with the appropriate liquid light guide or optical fiber output adapter. SPECTRA X and SPECTRA light engines are supplied with one output adapter. Replacement output adapters are available for purchase and can be installed in the field. The output adapter of the AURA II light engine is built-in and is not field-replaceable.

Collimators

Lumencor collimators are designed for optimized connection of Lumencor light engines to Nikon, Olympus, Zeiss and Leica microscope epifluorescence illumination input ports via 3 mm liquid light guides (LLG). The collimators are designed to provide control over the size of the illuminated area at the sample plane. This design allows the user to maximize the illumination intensity and uniformity for the field of view (FOV) of the eyepiece or camera sensor by adjusting the relative positions of two achromatic lenses within the collimator. Instructions for installing Lumencor collimators and making adjustments to achieve the smallest and largest uniformly illuminated areas within the FOV can be downloaded from the links below.

Lumencor collimators for coupling to Nikon, Olympus, Zeiss and Leica microscope epifluorescence illumination input ports via SMA-terminated optical fibers are also available. Additional information on Lumencor collimators is available on our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page. For questions concerning compatibility of Lumencor collimators with particular microscope models, please e-mail our Technical Support desk.

Liquid Light Guides

A liquid light guide is like a single silica fiber in that it has a single continuous optical transmission medium. However much larger diameters are possible, allowing delivery of higher power levels (Table 2). Furthermore, transmission is not limited by the dead volume (packing losses) associated with large-diameter fiber bundles. The light guide consists of a non-toxic, high refractive index liquid enclosed in a sealed fluoropolymer tube with polished fused silica windows for light input and output at the ends. The exterior packaging consists of a PVC jacket with stainless steel end caps. Both end cap dimensions are the same, as are the connecting receptacles, so the direction of installation between the light engine and the collimator is unimportant. Thermal motion in the liquid light guide constantly alters the optical path and scatters light so that any spatial and temporal coherence introduced by the light source is eliminated. The major damage mechanisms for liquid light guides are heating of the end caps and ultraviolet (UV) light-induced degradation of the liquid transmission medium. Since Lumencor light engines do not generate either UV or significant heat levels at the output port, the normal service lifetime of a liquid light guide is many years. Note however that although liquid light guides are very flexible, bending beyond the minimum bend radius (Table 3) may cause a permanent kink, causing significant transmission losses and non-uniform spatial distribution of the light output.

Table 2. SPECTRA X light engine outputs from liquid light guides and optical fibers

Channel Filter# 3 mm liquid light guide 1 mm optical fiber
Power (mW)◇ Irradiance (mW/mm2)* Power (mW)◇ Irradiance (mW/mm2)*
Violet 395/25 295 42 106 135
Blue 440/20 256 36 82 104
Cyan 470/24 196 28 58 74
Teal 510/25 62 9 19 24
Green 550/15 260 37 78 99
Yellow 575/25 310 44 98 125
Red 640/30 231 33 65 83
nIR⦿ 740/20 74 10 19 24

# Filter center wavelength (CWL)/full width at half maximum (FWHM) in nm.

◇ Specimen measurement of SPECTRA X light engine output power through 3 mm liquid light guide or 1 mm optical fiber. These values represent averages of measurements on multiple SPECTRA X light engines. Values for individual SPECTRA X light engines will vary. Specific power output values for individual SPECTRA X light engines are reported on the Certificate of Conformance issued to the customer.

⦿ Requires SPECTRA X with near-IR source option.

* Irradiance at the output window of the light guide or optical fiber.


Table 3. Characteristics of Lumencor liquid light guides

Sizes* 3 mm, 5 mm
Transmission >75% 400–700 nm
Minimum bend radius 40 mm (~1.5 inches)
Numerical aperture 0.59

* Dimensions are diameters of the optical transmission cores

Optical Fibers

Although silica core optical fibers deliver less output total power than liquid light guides, they provide higher levels of irradiance (power density; Table 2). This makes them particularly suitable for applications where the light engine output must be concentrated upon small target areas. However, they are structurally less flexible than liquid light guides. Lumencor supplies optical fibers with 1.0 and 0.2 mm core diameters with SMA+SMA or SMA+FC/PC terminating couplers. SMA terminations are used for connection to light engine output adapters, with SMA or FC/PC options for connecting to microscopes, scanners and other bioanalytical instruments. Typical outputs from SPECTRA X light engines delivered by 1 mm optical fibers are listed in Table 2. For 0.2 mm fibers, the power output delivered is about 4% of the corresponding value for a 1 mm fiber.

Table 2. SPECTRA X light engine outputs from liquid light guides and optical fibers.

Channel Filter# 3 mm liquid light guide 1 mm optical fiber
Power (mW)◇ Irradiance (mW/mm2)* Power (mW)◇ Irradiance (mW/mm2)*
Violet 395/25 295 42 106 135
Blue 440/20 256 36 82 104
Cyan 470/24 196 28 58 74
Teal 510/25 62 9 19 24
Green 550/15 260 37 78 99
Yellow 575/25 310 44 98 125
Red 640/30 231 33 65 83
nIR⦿ 740/20 74 10 19 24

# Filter center wavelength (CWL)/full width at half maximum (FWHM) in nm.

◇ Specimen measurement of SPECTRA X light engine output power through 3 mm liquid light guide or 1 mm optical fiber. These values represent averages of measurements on multiple SPECTRA X light engines. Values for individual SPECTRA X light engines will vary. Specific power output values for individual SPECTRA X light engines are reported on the Certificate of Conformance issued to the customer.

⦿ Requires SPECTRA X with near-IR source option.

* Irradiance at the output window of the light guide or optical fiber.

Additional information on Lumencor optical fibers is available on our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page or from our Technical Support desk.

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14940 NW Greenbrier Parkway | Beaverton, OR 97006 USA | 503.213.4269 | info@lumencor.com