Thursday, June 20, 2019

June 2019. We at Clark-MXR are pleased to announce two new products at the Laser world of photonics trade fair.
In keeping with our tradition of “first-to-the-market” products, we will introduce SolaFab, a complete desktop machining station that integrates a source from our new SOLAS family of lasers. The SolaFab breaks both size and cost barriers for femtosecond laser machining.
Please see us at Hall 2, Booth 108 to discuss how we can help you explore, characterize and/or fabricate the very small.

Tuesday, October 2, 2018


Physics Nobel Prize

Clark-MXR would like to congratulate this year's Physics Nobel laureates, Professors Gerard Mourou and Donna Strickland for their invention of Chirped pulse amplification and Professor Arthur Ashkin for optical tweezers.
For Clark-MXR, this is a joyous occasion as Prof. Gerard Mourou is one of our co-founders and our CPA-Series laser, first introduced in 1992, is named after the Chirped Pulse Amplification technique that Profs. Gerard Mourou and Donna Strickland are honored for.
We congratulate all three recipients of the Physics Nobel prize and especially our co-founder, Prof. Gerard Mourou.

Friday, February 16, 2018

Using Label-free imaging techniques to further understanding of Multiple Sclerosis

Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is an autoimmune inflammatory disease that affects nearly 2.3 million young adults worldwide. In cases of MS, the immune system promotes an attack on the central nervous system (CNS), often leading to disability and degeneration.
The MS lesion is traditionally considered the leading indicator of CNS damage and thus has been studied for decades through various clinical pathological methods. However, it has been found that surrounding regions in the brain, known as 'normal-appearing' white matter (NAWM), also present some abnormalities in MS cases.
Label-free imaging techniques, such as coherent anti-Stokes Raman scattering (CARS) and Stimulated Raman scattering (SRS) have proven to be effective tools for investigating these NAWM abnormalities due to their ability to accurately examine lipid-rich structures like myelin. Prof. Peter Stys and his research group at the Hotchkiss Brain Institute at the University of Calgary studied these abnormalities in the NAWM regions with these methods: in their research, they utilized Clark-MXR's IMPULSE fiber laser coupled with novel dual-NOPA setup to perform spectrally chirped CARS (sCARS).

Read more: Further information can be found in "Lipid biochemical changes detected in normal appearing white matter of chronic multiple sclerosis by spectral coherent Raman imaging", K. W. C. Poon, C. Brideau, R. Klaver, G. J. Schenk, J. J. Geurts and P. K. Stys. Chem. Sci., 2018, Advance Article, DOI: 10.1039/C7SC03992A
Clark-MXR, Inc. |
W. Huron River Dr.
Dexter, MI 48130, USA
1 (734) 426-2803

Using lasers to produce faster electronics and better solar cells  
Recently, the concept of integrating photonics and electronics, with the goal of producing faster electronics and more effective solar cells, has been attracting a significant amount of interest. To properly understand this idea, the small-scale electronic and photovoltaic processes must be investigated on the atomic or molecular level.
Prof. Hrvoje Petek and his research group at the University of Pittsburgh are aiming to do just that, operating under the notion that processes cannot be controlled until they are adequately measured. To perform their investigations, the research group used a two-photon photoemission spectroscopy method, enabled by IMPULSE laser and NOPA from Clark-MXR.
The researchers specifically examined processes occurring at the interface of silver nanoparticles and TiO2, where a combination of optical, electronic and chemical properties are all taking place. The metal nanoparticles were efficient at absorbing light, due to Plasmon resonance, which concentrated energy before transferring to a semiconductor substrate. Some details of the exact mechanism remain unexplored, but the group's recent publication "Plasmonic coupling at a metal/semiconductor interface" examines the energy transfer mechanism in this metal/semiconductor heterojunction to understand the relationship between light and electronics.
For further in-depth reading, please see the full publication: Plasmonic coupling at a metal/semiconductor interface, Shijing Tan, Adam Argondizzo, Jindong Ren, Liming Liu, Jin Zhao and Hrvoje Petek, Nature Photonics,

Thursday, September 21, 2017

 Burning coal with femtosecond laser pulses 


Since before the industrial age, graphite materials have played an essential role in daily life: their properties are seen in everything from burning embers to the first electric bulbs. Even as technologies advance, graphite materials continue to pique interest in the human mind. 

One example is graphene, a two-dimensional material with remarkable optical and electronic properties, which has sparked a renewed interest in the field of semiconductor research, particularly in studies of solar energy conversion. Prof. Hrvoje Petek and his research group at the University of Pittsburgh are studying graphene to understand its hot electron dynamics. 

The researchers are particularly interested in how this material can be used to enhance the solar energy conversion process. With the help of Clark-MXR’s IMPULSE fiber laser, equipped with iNOPA, they were able to identify the fundamental properties of graphene and study the utility of the material in several applications. This research has produced two publications thus far, which appeared in Physical Review (DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevX.7.011004) and the Journal of the American Chemical Society (DOI: 10.1021/jacs.7b01079).

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Progress of industrial femtosecond machining
A rich 20-year history

Micromachining with femtosecond lasers (also known as ultrafast or ultra-short pulse lasers) is gaining popularity due to several advantageous properties, including the nearly athermal, or "cold," ablation process. For industries demanding smaller and more precise parts, this technology offers several benefits, including higher yields, tighter tolerances, little to no collateral damage, and no post processing.
While femtosecond lasers have begun gaining significant attention in recent years, they were originally showcased 20 years ago at the Laser World of Photonics in Munich, Germany by Clark-MXR, a company founded in 1992 in Dexter, MI. With the help of few other collaborators, Clark-MXR presented the first live demonstration of industrial femtosecond laser micromachining during an exposition or conference.
The image above depicts a glass slide machined with femtosecond laser pulses from a CPA-Series laser from Clark-MXR. These proof-of-principal parts were machined in real time during the show in Munich and given to attendees for them to take home.
Since this pioneering feat at the 1997 Laser World of Photonics, Clark-MXR has remained a key player in femtosecond laser micromachining, continuing to develop innovative processes and equipment, as well as providing femtosecond laser-based micromachining services to numerous industries.
Please join Clark-MXR at Laser World of Photonics in Munich, booth B2-207, to celebrate the success and the 20th anniversary of commercial femtosecond laser-based micromachining.

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Catching molecules in the act 

Chemical reactions are characterized by the motion of atoms; transformation of chemical compounds, reactants, and raw materials is therefore governed by molecular vibrations. While the motion of the atoms is easily seen at the beginning and end of a chemical reaction, the molecular changes occur too rapidly in the middle of the process, making them impossible for humans to observe.

With novel techniques that employ the use of ultrafast lasers, however, we can essentially freeze the chemical reaction. This allows us to thoroughly observe the intermediate steps of the chemical reaction that were previously incomprehensible, even permitting control of these reactions. Surface Enhanced Femtosecond stimulated Raman Spectroscopy (SE-FSRS) is one such technique: with SE-FSRS, we are able to study chemical bond-breaking and formation at the femtosecond timescale. (Some perspective: one femtosecond is one millionth of one billionth of a second.)
The research group of Professor Richard Van Duyne at Northwestern University utilized and improved upon the SE-FSRS technique in this study of chemical reaction dynamics. In this research, the experiments were performed at 1 MHz repetition rate using the IMPULSE laser from Clark-MXR, Inc., the first time that the SE-FSRS technique has been used with a laser source running at this repetition rate. The researchers found that the 1 MHz system resulted in several advantages when compared to previous implementations that used lower repetition rate lasers: the 1 MHz system allowed for a lower pulse energy and a minimized sample exposure time, leading to less sample degradation and increased signal to noise. The success of this research has established SE-FSRS as a robust tool for studying molecular dynamics, opening the door to several other potential applications of the technology. 

In their next endeavor, the researchers at Northwestern University are planning to perform time-dependent studies, which will allow them to effectively catch the molecules in their act. 

More information: The original article: Surface-Enhanced Femtosecond Stimulated Raman Spectroscopy at 1 MHz Repetition Rates. Lauren E. Buchanan, Natalie L. Gruenke, Michael O. McAnally, Bogdan Negru, Hannah E. Mayhew, Vartkess A. Apkarian, George C. Schatz and Richard P. Van Duyne.  Appers in J. Phys. Chem. Lett. 2016, 7, 4629−4634 (DOI: 10.1021/acs.jpclett.6b02175)