NKT Photonics’ Project Manager Lasse Leick has received the 2012 Pasteur Award for the work on a new infrared supercontinuum laser that can throw light on what was previously invisible. The laser was developed in partnership with Aarhus University and the Technical University of Denmark and the project was part-funded by the Danish National Advanced Technology Foundation The supercontinuum laser, called the IR SuperK, is capable of emitting infrared light between 100,000 and one million times more powerful than conventional infrared light sources. The powerful light makes it possible to see what was previously invisible – a breakthrough that can be used in areas such as cancer research, disease identification and food safety.
The three-year research project which has now culminated in the IR SuperK laser was led by award winner Lasse Leick: “I am extremely proud to receive this honour. It is a symbol of the positive and constructive collaboration we have had on this project with the universities and the Danish National Advanced Technology Foundation.
We combined skills and challenged each other to the utmost to reach the frontiers of what is technologically feasible. For me the greatest pleasure lies in inventing new technology, applying it to a concrete project and seeing it used in the market. We have managed to achieve this with this project.”
New perspectives in research and analysis The IR SuperK laser’s powerful infrared light enables molecules to be identified and analysed significantly faster than before. The widened spectrum makes it possible for example to examine tissue samples and see whether cells will subsequently develop cancer. The infrared light can also reveal the molecular composition of a food product and thereby show immediately whether it is safe. NKT Photonics CTO Christian Vestergaard Poulsen describes the future perspectives for the IR SuperK: “Several of our customers have already shown great interest in the IR SuperK – and they intend using it in very diverse applications. But in fact only our imagination sets the limits for where this technology can be utilised. I am certain we have not yet seen all the possibilities.” NKT Photonics has a long tradition of collaboration with universities nationally and internationally on technology and product development. For further information, please contact Christian Vestergaard Poulsen.