Webinar Series

Webinar Series

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Thorlabs’ Digital Webinars connect customers to our diverse and expanding portfolio of products while sharing photonics and life science knowledge. 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.

Our live webinars have concluded for 2021. Check back for next year's schedule and browse content from prior ones on the Recorded Webinars tab.

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Previously Recorded Webinars

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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 Live Webinars tab.

Polarization Explained: Mathematics, Applications, and Best Practices

In this final part of our light characterization series, Manfred Gonnert will further define and characterize polarization. He will provide application examples to help with laser beam alignment, understanding polarization-handedness, manually measuring Stokes parameters, and preventing unwanted interference.

Presented by Manfred Gonnert, Team Leader, Light Detection and Analysis

How to Capture the Perfect OCT Image

In this webinar, Sebastian Schäfer and Steve Jäger from Thorlabs’ OCT Application Team return to demonstrate how to obtain the best image possible with an OCT system. They will also discuss additional hardware and settings to address any artifacts that may appear in your image.

Presented by Sebastian Schäfer and Steve Jäger, Thorlabs OCT Applications

How to Use Single Mode Fiber: Part 2

In Part 2 of our single mode fiber series, Dave Gardner will demonstrate best practices and techniques when using SM fiber. This includes how to use this fiber as a mode filter, how to maximize coupling efficiency, and how to launch high-power light.

Presented by Dave Gardner, Senior Process Engineer, Thorlabs Advanced Photonics

Using Phase-Sensitive Spectral Domain OCT for Nanoscale Vibrometry

In this webinar, Drs. Elizabeth Olson and C. Elliott Strimbu will discuss the role of cochlear dynamics in auditory science and highlight the need for phase-sensitive and depth-resolved imaging in this field. They will demonstrate the performance parameters of a Thorlabs Telesto OCT system, and elaborate on key findings from multiple case studies.

Presented by Dr. Elizabeth Olson and Dr. C. Elliott Strimbu, Columbia University

Profiling Beam Shape and Waist Laser Science

The third installment of our light characterization series discusses how to measure key parameters of a beam, how the M2 factor is related to beam quality, and what methods can be used to characterize beams.

Presented by Manfred Gonnert, Team Leader, Light Detection and Analysis

Understanding Single Mode Fiber: Part 1

In this webinar, Dave will discuss how single mode fibers operate and offer practical tips for working with this type of fiber, including alignment, launching, mode filtering, and power handling.

Presented by Dave Gardner, Senior Process Engineer, Thorlabs Advanced Photonics

Advanced Imaging Techniques for Laser Scanning Systems

The fifth installment of our How to Build a Microscope series will discuss advanced imaging techniques that can be used to enhance laser scanning microscopy.

Presented by Jeff Brooker, Life Science CTO, and Brian Mehl, Sr. Systems Engineer, Thorlabs Imaging Research Group

Processing and Shaping
Optical Fiber

In this webinar, Michael will discuss the intrinsic characteristics of fiber and how different fibers can be processed. He will also demonstrate glass processing procedures, such as splicing multicore fibers and lensing fiber tips.

Presented by Michael Harju, Director of Applications Development, Vytran® Product Line

Understanding Laser-Induced Damage

In this webinar, Michael Gartman will explain the importance and theory of Laser-Induced Damage Thresholds (LIDT), and how you can plan for it in your application.

Presented by Michael Gartman, Optical Design Engineer, Thorlabs Advanced Photonics

Photodetectors: Technology and Selection Criteria

The second webinar in our light characterization series will include a review of different photodiode materials and types, how to operate them, and methods for processing their output signals. 

Presented by Manfred Gonnert, Team Leader, Light Detection and Analysis

Laser Scanning Techniques
and Applications

In this fourth installment of our How to Build a Microscope series, Henry Haeberle will discuss the fundamentals of multiphoton and confocal implementations of laser scanning microscopy.

Presented by Henry Haeberle, Applications Specialist, Thorlabs Imaging Systems

Polarization-Sensitive Optical Coherence Tomography

In this webinar, Drs. Pablo Stickar and Matthias Pues of the Thorlabs Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) Team will describe the working principle of polarization-sensitive optical coherence tomography (PS-OCT) and demonstrate it with measurements of an everyday object. We will then discuss the anisotropy traits in the samples that PS-OCT reads out and provide application examples.

Presented by Dr. Pablo Stickar, Development Engineering Expert, and Dr. Matthias Pues, Project Manager, Thorlabs OCT Team

Power and Energy Meters: Technology and Selection Criteria

In the first installment of our light characterization series, Manfred Gonnert will review the components of power and energy meters, characteristics of common sensors and consoles, and important specifications for choosing the right power meter for your application.

Presented by Manfred Gonnert, Team Leader, Light Detection and Analysis

Fluorescence Microscopy: Technology, Fundamentals, and Applications

In this third installment of our How to Build a Microscope series, Wei Sun will cover the fundamentals of fluorescence generation and the hardware and optics that enable this imaging technique.

Presented by Wei Sun, Product Line Manager, Thorlabs Imaging Systems

Optical Fiber: How It's Made

In this webinar, Dave will walk us through the steps needed to fabricate optical fiber, from the type of glass used (and the properties it needs to have) to the preform preparation and draw processes. This overview will include an in depth look at one of Thorlabs' fiber draw towers and show how a glass preform is fed through it, from being heated to 2000 °C to measuring the outer diameter of the drawn fiber.

Presented by Dave Gardner, Senior Process Engineer, Thorlabs Advanced Photonics

OCT Technologies: Swept Source vs. Spectral Domain

In this webinar, Drs. Dierck Hillmann and Sebastian Schäfer of the Thorlabs Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) Applications Team will review the theory behind Swept Source and Spectral Domain 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

Optics 101: Translating Theory into Practice

Join us for an overview of the key concepts in optics, including the index of refraction, dispersion, Fresnel reflection, interference, and polarization. We’ll also discuss the advantages and disadvantages of the various substrates and coatings available. The talk will conclude with a discussion of the most common optical components and limitations in the manufacturing process.

Presented by Bill Donovan, Engineering Manager, Thorlabs Advanced Photonics

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.

Presented by Dr. Brendan Kennedy, Associate Professor
at the University of Western Australia

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 differential interference contrast (DIC).

Presented by Henry Haeberle and Melissa Eberle, Thorlabs Imaging Systems, Sterling, Virginia

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. 

Presented by Martin Parker, Director of Engineering at
Thorlabs Scientific Imaging, Austin, Texas

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 mid-IR supercontinuum generation.

Presented by Reza Salem, Fiber Laser Division Manager, Jessup, Maryland

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 fiber types in the field or lab. 

Presented by David Gardner, Senior Process Engineer for Optical Fiber at Thorlabs, Newton, New Jersey

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.

Presented by Craig Szymanski at Thorlabs Imaging Systems, Sterling, Virginia 

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 basics of scientific thinking.  

Presented by Dr. Bradley Alger, Professor Emeritus at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland

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. 

Presented by Dr. Vincenzo Spagnolo, Director of the PolySense Lab, Bari, Italy

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. 

Presented by Scott Domingue, Engineering Manager at Thorlabs Laser Division, Boulder, Colorado

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As part of our virtual BiOS and Photonics West 2021 activities, we are excited to offer a What’s New Webinar Series with live Q&A highlighting some of Thorlabs’ new releases. Please see the schedule and registration links below.

OCT at Thorlabs: Technology, Applications, and Services

11:30 AM EST, 8:30 AM PST (1 Hour)

In this webinar, Dr. Michael Leitner will highlight the recently released Atria® swept-source Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) systems, which operate at a center wavelength of 1060 nm. Dr. Leitner will also review basic OCT theory, main components, and system parameters and primary applications for Thorlabs’ full lineup of swept-source OCT and spectral-domain OCT systems.

Presented by Dr. Michael Leitner, Product and Sales Manager, Thorlabs OCT Sales & Applications Team

Introducing the Cooled Kiralux® 5.0 MP CMOS Scientific Camera

1:00 PM EST, 10:00 AM PST (30 Minutes)

Join us as Thorlabs Scientific Imaging presents the latest addition to their line of fanless, hermetically sealed cooled cameras. The CC505MU 5 MP camera offers an impressive 72% peak quantum efficiency with <2.5 e- read noise and is designed with a thermoelectrically cooled chamber inside a large external heat sink to actively cool the sensor and reduce dark shot noise.

Presented by Jason Mills, General Manager, Thorlabs Scientific Imaging

Lab Infrastructure Capabilities: Building an Ideal Lab Space

10:30 AM EST, 7:30 AM PST (30 Minutes)

Thorlabs’ solutions for creating an ideal lab space continue to expand. Join us to learn about our laminar flow enclosures with high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters and components for building a wall-, ceiling-, or floor-mounted laser curtain system that can partition your lab and safely isolate an
optical setup. 

Presented by Joel White, Tables Customer Support Engineer

Large Field of View Raman Spectroscopy Using Large Coded Apertures

11:30 AM EST, 8:30 AM PST (30 Minutes)

In this webinar, we present a new Raman spectroscopy kit that uses an aperture with a patterned mask. Its novel design allows for Raman measurements with a very large 2 mm² field of view while maintaining good sensitivity and spectral resolution.

Presented by Dr. Sönke Oswald, Technical Support Engineer

Multivariate Optical Elements (MOE) for Real-Time Chemical Sensing

1:00 PM EST, 10:00 AM PST (30 Minutes)

This webinar will provide a brief overview of how Thorlabs’ Multivariate Optical Element (MOE) technology may be used for chemical sensing applications versus optical spectroscopy. Adam Fisher will demonstrate several system design variations, as well as a benchtop system. He will conclude with some exciting updates regarding Thorlabs’ MOE technology in 2021.

Presented by Adam Fisher, Team Lead, Thorlabs Spectral Works

EXULUS® Spatial Light Modulators: Principles and Applications

7:00 PM EST, 4:00 PM PST (30 Minutes)

In this webinar, Dr. Yat Hei Lo will introduce liquid-crystal-based spatial light modulators (SLM). This discussion will include basic SLM principles, structures, and applications, as well as theories behind their operation. He will also describe Thorlabs’ EXULUS® SLM product series.

Presented by Yat Hei Lo, Liquid Crystal Manager

New to Motion Control: Compact and Vertical Stages

10:30 AM EST, 7:30 AM PST (30 Minutes)

Thorlabs’ diverse family of motion control products for alignment applications includes manual and motorized stages with one or more axes, as well as controllers and OEM components. In this presentation, we highlight our upcoming products and our versatile Kinesis® control software.

Presented by Jack Cater, Technical Support Engineer

Exceptional Resolution with the Redstone™ Spectrometer

11:30 AM EST, 8:30 AM PST (30 Minutes)

This webinar will highlight Thorlabs’ three spectrometer families, including the brand-new Redstone™ Optical Spectrum Analyzer. The Redstone spectrometer can achieve resolution down to 2.0 GHz over the 1 µm to 5 µm range, a distinct improvement over previous models.

Presented by Dr. Carl Borgentun, Research and Development, Thorlabs Optical Spectrum Analyzers

ORIC® Piezo Inertia Drive Stages: Travel from Nano to Infinity

7:00 PM EST, 4:00 PM PST (30 Minutes)

In this webinar, Dr. Renlong Gao will discuss the mechanism behind piezoelectric inertia drive motors and how that mechanism is used in Thorlabs’ ORIC® stage series to extend motion from nanometer scales to infinite travel. In this discussion, he will also introduce the current ORIC stages, and will share information about new stages and features currently under development.

Presented by Renlong Gao, Piezo Manager

Introducing the Quantum Cryptography Teaching Kit

11:00 AM EST, 8:00 AM PST (1 Hour)

With quantum technology entering a new phase in quantum computing, sensing, and communication, the topic of quantum optics in general, and quantum cryptography in particular, is of high interest in the teaching community. In our educational kit, we allow students to experience every major step of the BB84 quantum cryptography protocol.

Presented by Jens Küchenmeister, Leader, Thorlabs Educational Products

Galvanometer Laser Scanning Solutions: Design and Applications

1:00 PM EST, 10:00 AM PST (30 Minutes)

Thorlabs has recently expanded its offering of galvanometer scanning systems. In this presentation, we will discuss the characteristics of our single- and dual-axis configurations. We will also highlight our novel three-axis galvanometers, which utilize post-objective scanning for dynamic focusing. The webinar will then describe popular laser scanning applications, including laser processing and imaging, and illustrate the benefits of Thorlabs’ portfolio and OEM capabilities.

Presented by Brian Candiloro, Director of Engineering, Thorlabs Measurement Systems

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Posted Comments:
Henrique Costa  (posted 2021-10-13 09:20:04.56)
Dear Sirs, the webinar named "Profiling Beam Shape and Waist Laser Science" is defective: mute and same image displayed from the time 00:31 min to the end.
mdiekmann  (posted 2021-10-18 07:09:47.0)
Thank you for contacting us. It seems to be working on our end, so we will reach out to you directly to make sure you can access the webinar.
Yi Zhou  (posted 2021-06-07 11:15:47.42)
Hi There, Hope you are staying well during this strange time. I am wondering how could I recall the recorded presentations? Because I haven't registered the presentation before? like "Polarization-Sensitive Optical Coherence Tomography" on 26 May. and "Fluorescence Microscopy: Technology, Fundamentals, and Applications" on 22, April. Looking forward to your reply. Thanks a mil. Yi
YLohia  (posted 2021-06-07 11:59:40.0)
Hello Yi, thank you for contacting Thorlabs. The recorded sessions are available on the "Recorded Webinars" tab on this page as embedded YouTube videos.
user  (posted 2021-05-13 01:43:35.61)
Hi Thorlabs, First of all, I really enjoy all the webinars so far and they are very helpful! I have seen several videos from Thorlabs about aligning but they are rather short or specific to certain scenarios. Therefore, I wonder if we can have a webinar that goes over alignment more systematically, e.g. the basics of alignment, how to use alignment targets/tools, some of the tricks we can use and common mistakes. It will be cool to have some common real-life examples (from easy to hard) too. Best, SC
YLohia  (posted 2021-05-13 10:50:19.0)
Hello, thank you for your feedback! We're quite happy to hear that you find our webinars useful. We currently have a video insight on beam alignment and it can be accessed here: https://www.thorlabs.com/newgrouppage9.cfm?objectgroup_id=14062#VideoBeamAlign.
Marco Polin  (posted 2021-03-23 05:50:49.343)
Dear Thorlabs team, I just wanted to say thanks for the effort in making all these webinars. They are really great! You're awesome. Marco
YLohia  (posted 2021-03-23 10:24:28.0)
Dear Marco, thank you very much for your feedback! We're glad to hear that you find these webinars enjoyable and useful.
user  (posted 2021-02-15 11:45:57.6)
more snacks
Vishnu Raghu  (posted 2020-10-15 01:00:49.863)
Hi, I missed your webinar on Optical Fiber 101: Translating Theory to Practice. Can you please send me a recorded copy of the same. Tnamks Kind regards R.Vishnu Kumar
tcampbell  (posted 2020-10-15 10:22:58.0)
Hello, thank you for contacting Thorlabs. This webinar has now been added to our Recorded Webinars section. We aim to have these webinars available within 24 hours of the live event.