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Liquid Light Guides
Ø3 mm Liquid Light Guide
Liquid Light Guide
Liquid Light Guide Mounted to SLS402 Broadband Source Using SLSLLG-2 Adapter w/ Shutter
Liquid Light Guide Adapter for Broadband Light Sources
Close-Up of Liquid Light Guide End
Thorlabs' Liquid Light Guides (LLGs) offer outstanding transmission from 340 - 800 nm for white light illumination applications. For large core diameters, liquid light guides are a more efficient transmission solution than fiber bundles as they eliminate the packing fraction loss (dead space) that fiber bundles have. These light guides are recommended for use with tungsten halogen, xenon, or metal halide light sources and can be mounted to an optical breadboard by using one of our VH1 V-Mounts, a Ø1/2" (12.7 mm) post, and post holder. The Ø3 mm and Ø5 mm light guides can also be mounted to SM1-threaded (1.035"-40) components using the adapters sold below.
These liquid light guides are offered from stock in lengths of 4', 6', and 8' with a core diameter of either 3 or 5 mm, and their long-term temperature range is -5 to 35 °C. LLGs with custom lengths are also available as made-to-order items by contacting Technical Support.
Thorlabs also offers collimation adapters for the Ø3 mm and Ø5 mm liquid light guides, which are sold separately below. The SLSLLGx adapters are directly compatible with our Broadband Light Sources. Additionally, we offer a variety of adapters that allow the LLGs to be coupled to the illumination ports used by various microscope manufacturers.
All transmission data presented here is typical. The maximum variation from lot to lot is ±5%. As a function of length, only minimal variations (<5%) are expected between our 4' (1.2 m), 6' (1.8 m), and 8' (2.4 m) long liquid light guides.
The shaded regions in the graphs below denote the spectral range over which we recommend using these liquid light guides.
Liquid Light Guide Dimensions
The drawing and photograph below illustrate the dimensions given in the table above. 180 ± 0° indicates the flatness tolerence between the metal and black material in the segment labled I2.
Cleaning the Optical End Faces of Liquid Light Guides
The optical end faces of these liquid light guides are made of fused silica, Teflon and either aluminum, chrome plated brass, or stainless steel. All of these materials are very resistant to all common cleaning solvents, making them easy to clean. Please note that when using solvents to clean the end faces, you cannot submerge the tip of the light guide in the solvent, or use a heavily soaked cleaning pad, as the solvent may get into the light guide, causing damage. If you find that debris from the light guide end cannot be removed by using a solvent, you can gently use a razor blade to clean the tip, making sure that you do not chip the edge of the fused silica glass window.
These Liquid Light Guide Adapters allow the integration of our Ø3 mm and Ø5 mm liquid light guides into any of our selection of SM1-threaded (1.035"-40) components, such as fixed optic mounts, kinematic optic mounts, and lens tubes. The liquid light guide is secured with a nylon-tipped setscrew using a 5/64" hex key (found in the CCHK kit).
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The SLSLLG2, with a liquid light guide, attached to the SLS402 Light Source.
These Liquid Light Guide Adapters are designed to quickly and easily integrate with the Broadband Light Sources to couple the output into Ø3 mm or Ø5 mm core Liquid Light Guides. The adapters contain a collimating lens and are externally SM2 threaded (2.035"-40), allowing them to directly thread onto the collimation lens assembly without the need to remove or adjust either lens.
The SLSLLG1 is designed with an uncoated collimating lens, which provides a wide operating range from 185 nm - 2.1 µm. For superior performance from 350 nm - 700 nm, the SLSLLG2 and SLSLLG3 lenses use an AR-coated lens that provides improved coupling efficiency in this wavelength range. Additionally, the SLSLLG2 features an integrated diaphragm shutter and an external controller that can operate at continuous frequencies up to 10 Hz and burst frequencies up to 15 Hz. For more information on the integrated shutter, please refer to the manual.
All liquid light guide adapters come with the AD3LLG adapter preinstalled, making them compatible with Ø3 mm core liquid light guides out of the box. They are also shipped with the AD5LLG adapter, which can be swapped in by unthreading the AD3LLG and replacing it with the AD5LLG. This allows the adapters to connect with Ø5 mm core liquid light guides.
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Output With Collimation Adapter
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Output Without Collimation Adapter
Thorlabs offers collimation adapters with AR-coated aspheric condenser lenses (EFL = 40 mm) for collimating the output from our Liquid Light Guides. Four different collimator housings are available; each is designed to mate to the illumination port on an Olympus IX/BX, Leica DMI, Nikon Eclipse, Zeiss Axioskop, or Nikon Eclipse Ti microscope.
These adapters quickly mount onto the end of either the Ø3 mm or Ø5 mm Liquid Light Guide (LLG). The LLG is secured via a setscrew into the back of the collimator. The addition of these adapters allows the user to incorporate our HPLS200 series lamps into a microscope illumination port.