Thorlabs’ Digital Webinars connect customers to our diverse and expanding portfolio of products while sharing knowledge related to photonics and life sciences. Each webinar is presented by a Thorlabs expert or external researcher from a variety of fields and institutions. Covering a variety of topics, each with a dedicated live Q&A session, our webinars have a common goal of providing educational, engaging, and valuable content.
We invite you to join us for discussion at our next webinar or to browse the content from prior ones on the Recorded Webinars tab.
Coming Soon! OCT Technologies: Swept Source vs. Spectral Domain
In this webinar, Drs. Dierck Hillmann and Sebastian Schäfer of the Thorlabs OCT Applications Team will review the theory behind Swept Source and Spectral Domain Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) technology. They will highlight the technical differences and present several application examples that show the pros and cons of each technology.
Presented by Dr. Dierck Hillmann, Senior Development Engineer, and Dr. Sebastian Schäfer, Project Manager, Thorlabs OCT Applications Team
Dr. Dierck Hillmann studied Physics at the University of Kaiserslautern and the University of Bonn. In 2008, he joined Thorlabs' OCT development team. While working for Thorlabs, he obtained his doctorate from the University of Lübeck and is now working for both Thorlabs and the university. His role includes software engineering, lecturing, and joint research with Gereon Hüttmann's group.
Dr. Sebastian Schäfer studied Chemistry at the University of Siegen and graduated with a Master’s degree in 2008. After he obtained his doctorate in Physical Chemistry from the University of Hamburg in 2012, he was a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Rochester for two years. He joined Thorlabs in 2015 where he currently leads a group of application engineers and supports Thorlabs’ OCT customers with pre- and post-sales needs.
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Previously Recorded Webinars
Thorlabs’ Digital Webinar series began in mid-2020. Each webinar and Q&A session is recorded and added to the archive on this page. To see what is coming next, please see the Upcoming Webinars tab.
Optical Coherence Elastography: Imaging Stiffness on the Micro-Scale
In this webinar, Dr. Brendan Kennedy reviews emerging Optical Coherence Elastography (OCE) techniques and, in particular, describes his research group’s efforts to apply OCE to tumor margin assessment in breast cancer; the development of handheld OCE probes for in vivo imaging; and the use of optical coherence microscopy-based elastography for imaging cell mechanics. Recorded January 20, 2021
Presented by Dr. Brendan Kennedy, Associate Professor at the University of Western Australia
Dr. Brendan Kennedy is an Associate Professor in the School of Engineering at the University of Western Australia, Head of BRITElab at the Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research, and Chief Scientific Officer at OncoRes Medical. He received his Ph.D. from Dublin City University in 2006. His doctoral thesis focused on nonlinear polarization rotation in semiconductor optical amplifiers. His current research focuses on the development of optical coherence tomography and optical elastography and their application in a range of fields, particularly in oncology and tissue engineering. He has published >80 peer-reviewed journal papers and has won a number of awards including a West Australian 40under40 Award in 2019.
How to Build a Microscope: Transmitted Light
This webinar describes the different configurations and optical paths in a widefield system. It features a review of Kohler Illumination and the practical application of contrast methods used in transmitted light microscopy, including Brightfield, Darkfield, Phase, and DIC. Recorded December 9, 2020
Presented by Henry Haeberle and Melissa Eberle, Thorlabs Imaging Systems, Sterling, Virginia
Henry Haeberle is an Applications Specialist at Thorlabs. Dr. Haeberle received his BS and PhD degrees in Neuroscience from Stanford University and the Univeristy of California, San Francisco, respectively. He was a postdoctoral fellow at Stanford Univeristy School of Medicine and Baylor College of Medicine before working as a Staff Scientist at the University of New South Wales and later as a Senior Research Scientist at Columbia University. At Thorlabs, Henry helps new customers find solutions to their imaging needs and provides technical support for existing customers.
Melissa Eberle is a Regional Sales Manager at Thorlabs Imaging Systems. Dr. Eberle received her BS in Bioengineering from UC Santa Cruz and her PhD in Bioengineering from UC Riverside. After her graduate work, she did a postdoctoral fellowship at Yale University before joining Thorlabs as an Applications Specialist.
Scientific Camera Technology and Selection Criteria
This webinar covers scientific camera technology, such as the differences between and limitations of CCD and CMOS sensors, as well as the important criteria to consider when selecting the right camera for your application. Recorded November 25, 2020
Presented by Martin Parker, Director of Engineering at Thorlabs Scientific Imaging, Austin, Texas
Martin Parker is responsible for the development of Thorlabs' cameras, camera software, and related accessories. Involved in electronic imaging his entire career, Martin started off as a member of the Eastman Kodak Company research labs. While there, he developed image sensor noise analysis hardware, designed imaging subsystems for a number of products including photographic print and motion picture film scanners, and led the development of an encryption-based image authentication product as well as an early prototype JPEG2000 encoder for cameras. Martin then joined DVC company, a manufacturer of scientific digital cameras, as engineering manager, where he led a rapid expansion of the camera product line before DVC was acquired by Thorlabs in 2011. Martin holds an MSEE from the University of Rochester and a BSEE from the University at Buffalo.
Mid-IR White-Light Laser: Design and Applications
Join us for a discussion about the essential building blocks of a mid-infrared white-light laser, a.k.a. supercontinuum, and the key applications that it enables. Within the talk, we’ll discuss the system architecture and design, including a femtosecond-pulse pump laser and a special soft-glass fiber designed and manufactured by Thorlabs for MIR supercontinuum generation. Recorded November 18, 2020
Presented by Reza Salem, Fiber Laser Division Manager, Jessup, Maryland
Dr. Reza Salem completed his undergrad degree in Electrical Engineering at Sharif University of Technology in 2001. He received his Ph.D. degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Maryland in 2006, where he worked under the supervision of Professor Thomas Murphy. His Ph.D. research included the experimental study of nonlinear optical devices for high-speed optical communication systems. Up until 2009, Reza was a postdoctoral researcher with Professor Gaeta in the Quantum and Nonlinear Photonics research group at Cornell University, where he worked on nonlinear silicon waveguide devices and ultrafast optical signal processing. While at Cornell, Dr. Salem cofounded PicoLuz with Professors Gaeta and Lipson to commercialize the time-lens technology. He joined Thorlabs as our Fiber Laser Division Manager in 2013. Reza has authored or co-author more than 50 journal and conference papers and several US and international patents.
Optical Fiber 101: Translating Theory to Practice
Join us for a review of the core concepts and technology behind optical fiber and how to apply them in your fiber-based applications. See how Thorlabs manufactures (or draws) our optical fiber and learn some tips and tricks for handling and using various optical fiber types in the field or lab. Recorded October 14, 2020
Presented by David Gardner, Senior Process Engineer for Optical Fiber at Thorlabs, Newton, New Jersey
David Gardner has been with Thorlabs for almost 10 years and is currently working as a Senior Process Engineer. Within his role, Dave leads the development and production of our fluoride fiber while also supporting the characterization, testing, and R&D for our silica and fluoride manufacturing teams. Dave also plays a major role in the development of new fiber products and processes.
How to Build a Microscope: An Introduction
Tune in for the kickoff of a multi-part webinar series covering how to build a microscope from the ground up. Our imaging team will provide an intro to microscopy system design that will serve as a foundation for coming webinars. Recorded September 29, 2020
Presented by Craig Szymanski at Thorlabs Imaging Systems, Sterling, Virginia
Craig Szymanski is a Life Science Applications Specialist at Thorlabs Imaging Systems. He has 18 years of microscopy experience with a variety of imaging modalities, including optical, electron, and x-ray. He provides training and support for customers as well as Thorlabs employees on confocal, multiphoton, and other imaging platforms.
Thoughts About Scientific Thinking
Join us as Dr. Alger discusses his book, Defense of the Scientific Hypothesis: From Reproducibility Crisis to Big Data. This webinar is intended to review, fill in the gaps, and introduce some of the basic notions in scientific thinking. Recorded September 17, 2020
Presented by Dr. Bradley Alger, Professor Emeritus at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland
Over his career, Bradley Alger, Professor Emeritus of Physiology at the University of Maryland School of Medicine (UMSOM), has published over 100 research articles, including the discovery of retrograde signaling in the mammalian brain, which is mediated by endogenous cannabinoids, the brain’s own marijuana. He is also the author of Defense of the Scientific Hypothesis: From Reproducibility Crisis to Big Data, a book published by Oxford University Press in 2019. After completing his undergraduate work at the University of California, Berkeley in 1972, Alger went on to obtain his doctorate in Research and Experimental Psychology from Harvard University in 1977. As Roger Nicoll's first postdoctoral fellow at the University of California, San Francisco, Alger performed electrophysiological studies on the regulation of inhibitory synaptic transmission in in vitro hippocampal slices. After UCSF, Alger joined the Department of Physiology at the University of Maryland School of Medicine (UMSOM) and remained there until retiring from active duties as Professor in 2014.
New Developments in QEPAS Sensing Real-World Applications
This webinar will describe Quartz-Enhanced Photoacoustic Spectroscopy (QEPAS) and its various applications involving health and life sciences, environmental monitoring, security, and industrial process control. Recorded September 10, 2020
Presented by Dr. Vincenzo Spagnolo, Director of the PolySense Lab, Bari, Italy
Dr. Spagnolo serves as the director of the PolySense Lab, a joint research lab formed by Thorlabs and the Technical University of Bari. Within that role, he guides a team devoted to the development and implementation of novel gas sensing techniques and the realization of highly sensitive trace-gas sensors. Spagnolo obtained his Ph.D. in physics in 1994 from the University of Bari and worked as a researcher for the National Institute of the Physics of Matter (INFM) from 1997 to 1999. Since 2004, he has been at the Technical University of Bari, formerly as an assistant and associate professor and, starting in 2018, as Full Professor of Applied Physics. In 2019, he became Vice-Rector of the Technical University of Bari, deputy to Technology Transfer. He is also a “Hundred Talent” visiting professor at Shanxi University in Taiyuan (China).
Prof. Spagnolo’s research activities have been documented by more than 210 Scopus publications and include three filed patents. He has given more than 50 invited/keynote presentations at international conferences and workshops. Prof. Spagnolo serves as a reviewer of photonics and sensing-related projects for EU-COST, Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG), Austrian Science Fund, Dutch Research Council (NWO), and as the Italian minister of Research and Italian Minister of Defense. He is editor of Sensors (MPDI), Applied Science (MPDI), and Journal of Sensors (Hindawi) and guest editor of Photoacoustics (Elsevier). Prof. Spagnolo is a program committee member of several SPIE and OSA conferences, a fellow member of SPIE, and a senior member of the OSA.
Multiphoton Microscopy: Selecting the Right Ultrafast Laser and Optics
Join us in learning how to quantify, optimize, and select the best ultrafast laser source and optics for your 2P or 3P multiphoton microscope system. Recorded August 25, 2020
Presented by Scott Domingue, Engineering Manager at Thorlabs Laser Division, Boulder, Colorado
In his current role, Scott Domingue oversees Thorlabs’ engineering group responsible for designing and engineering laser systems to suit the specific needs of the life science community. Having previously worked at KMLabs, whose Yb-fiber-based laser products are now a part of the Thorlabs product family, he developed a 3-photon laser system, the Y-Fi™ Optical Parametric Amplifier (OPA). Scott's work bridges the gap between the technologies developed in laser and biophysics laboratories and the real-world photonics needs of the life science community, with an emphasis on ultrafast imaging and spectroscopy. Scott holds a Ph.D. in electrical and computer engineering from Colorado State University, where he also worked as a Post-Doctoral Researcher developing a visible, two-color fs laser system along with a transient absorption microscope.