3i’s new Microscopes use binary SLMs

Forth Dimension Displays’ LCOS-based Fast Switching Binary Modulators enable new Ultra-Fast, High-Resolution Microscopes

Forth Dimension Displays (ForthDD) and Intelligent Imaging Innovations (3i), a Colorado-based manufacturer of fluorescence microscope systems for biomedical research, expanded their collaboration with the launch of 3i’s Cleared Tissue LightSheet (CTLS) product. CTLS can image whole organs at high speed by illuminating them with structured light using ForthDD’s proprietary high-resolution, fast Spatial Light Modulators (SLMs).

Similar to other fluorescence microscope techniques, CTLS uses laser light to stimulate fluorescence emission from genetically-labelled – or stained – tissue to form an image of the specimen. The Cleared Tissue LightSheet creates a finely focused sheet of light for optical sectioning, then uses ForthDD’s SLM to rapidly shift the thinnest portion of the sheet in synchronization with the microscope and camera resulting in ultra-fast and high-resolution imaging of large specimens. Piezoelectric stages move the specimen in x, y, and z directions with sub-micron precision. The emission from the fluorescent markers in the specimen is recorded by a camera and 3i SlideBook software automatically and precisely reconstructs the biological structure in 3D for further analysis. Hundreds to thousands of images are required to create a 3D image of the tissue sample.

3i also integrates ForthDD’s SLMs into their live cell imaging system Lattice LightSheet (LLS). The SLM is used to create an ultra-thin lattice light sheet which can be quickly adjusted for biological conditions on-the-fly due to the flexibility and speed of ForthDD’s SLM. LLS enables spatiotemporal super-resolution imaging of dynamic cellular processes with ultra-fast capture speeds and high resolution, while limiting laser light damage to the cells. LLS can also be used to perform structured illumination microscopy (SIM), a super-resolution technique that improves the spatial resolution to the low 100’s of nanometers.

“Spatial light modulators provide outstanding value, increasing the speed and resolution of research microscopes,” Brian Bodensteiner, Vice President Development of 3i said, “ForthDD’s SLM technology is designed to allow for the flexibility, performance, and hardware-timing demanded by advanced light microscopy applications.”

Greg Truman, CEO of ForthDD said, “The development of super-resolution techniques has been a remarkable achievement and ForthDD is very pleased that our fast binary SLMs are a key enabler for microscope developers and biologists around the globe. The new microscopes are now being used in the life sciences industry to enhance the understanding of the biological structures. ForthDD is committed to supporting its customers to create their most advanced products.”

Forth Dimension Displays Develops 2560 x 1440 FLCOS Microdisplay for Rugged Applications

Forth Dimension Displays Develops 2560 x 1440 FLCOS Microdisplay for Rugged Applications

Breakthrough 0.95-Inch Display using Wide-Temperature Range Ferroelectric Liquid Crystal

Kopin Corporation (NASDAQ: KOPN), a leading provider of innovative wearable computing technologies and solutions, today announced that its wholly-owned subsidiary Forth Dimension Displays (ForthDD) has developed a new WQHD (2560 x 1440 resolution) full-color Ferroelectric Liquid Crystal on Silicon (FLCOS) microdisplay for use in extreme temperature and shock environments. The new display incorporates ForthDD’s proprietary Wide Temperature Range Ferroelectric Liquid Crystal (WTR FLC) material to operate over extended temperature ranges, which enables it to be used in a variety of previously unsupported rugged applications such as automotive, defense and avionics.

“FLCOS displays provide superior fill factor, color purity, and fast switching speeds which produces very high quality imagery, but historically ferroelectric liquid crystals have been restricted to limited temperature range applications,” said Greg Truman, Forth Dimension Displays’ Managing Director. “The breakthrough provided by our WTR FLC performance together with the very high resolution of the our WQHD display allows us to support resolutions that exceed the limits of our Active Matrix Liquid Crystal Displays (AMLCD) and brightness levels that exceed the capability of Organic Light Emitting Diode displays (OLEDs). The innovation provided by our WTR FLC, which has passed environmental and reliability tests, opens up many new applications and markets including high volume US defense product applications.”

The WQHD display with 8.2-micron pixels utilizes ForthDD’s patented Time Domain Imaging (TDI™) technique to produce superior full color imagery and no perceptible motion artifacts. The specialized ultra-fast ForthDD FLCOS overcomes the motion artifacts of standard Liquid Crystal on Silicon (LCOS) displays. The display is generally available as a Board Level Product with fully integrated driver and optional illumination subsystem later in 2020. WQHD displays have now been fully tested and are undergoing system qualification with the first defense customer as a part of fully integrated Kopin display systems, which incorporate the display with Kopin electronics, optics and system packaging elements.

“The availability of the new WQHD display gives us another microdisplay technology in our defense and enterprise product offerings and is ideal for use in systems needing cutting-edge high resolution and bright full color video images without color breakup,” said Bill Maffucci, Kopin’s Vice President/General Manager of Government and Professional Products. “The unique WQHD display is an excellent complement to our AMLCD displays which are primarily for soldier centric systems. As a result, it provides Kopin with the opportunity to open up new markets such as ground vehicle platforms. These market segments have been largely supported by CRT technology and represent a significant potential growth area facilitated by the new WQHD display.”

THE MINIMAX PRINCIPLE

Tiny microdisplays are revolutionising optics with high resolution images that are mirrored directly in front of the eye. Viewers feel they are in the thick of the action, and especially pilots will appreciate the benefits in flight simulations.

The secret market leader in this field is the Scottish company Forth Dimension Displays. “Big is beautiful” is the motto when it comes to displays, yet what holds true for consumers, turns into the very opposite for scientific and engineering applications. Instead, true adepts in their fields extract the maximum out of miniaturised monitors – like the Adlershof subsidiary of the Scottish company Forth Dimension Displays.

The company conjures brilliant images from displays that wouldn’t even cover a postage stamp.

The trick: magnifying optics integrated in special goggles, so called head mounted displays (HMDs), mirror the images directly in front of the eye, giving rise to a realism that has brought customers running to Forth Dimension, above all providers of training and simulation systems and imaging techniques in medical engineering, measurement technologies and film production, including the ARRI Group and EADS Astrium N.V. A great many flight simulations are equipped with these microdisplays, and surgeons can pop open MRT images before their eyes while they are operating.

But why the “forth dimension” for this so called near to eye (NTE) technology? Nigel Cartwright, Managing Development Engineer, laughed: “It’s a play on words. On the one hand, our head office in Scotland is on the river Forth, and on the other we interpret time to be the fourth dimension.”

And time is essential for this new technology. At its heart are special liquid crystals, so called liquid crystals on silicon (LCOS), used to make up the displays. LCOS reflect light at great speed.

Not only that, the material allows Forth Dimension to depict the whole colour spectrum on only the one pixel in the image – circumventing the usual procedure of distributing red, green and blue light over a number of pixels.

The result is high resolution display build up. “We are the world market leader in the field of high resolution NTE displays,” added Cartwright. “Our key market is Europe, above all here in Germany.” Adlershof was therefore ideal owing to its central location.

“Moreover, we’re hoping to cooperate with research institutes,” he emphasised. Incidentally, the displays do full justice to a peculiar Scottish discipline: They’re not only miserly in size, but also in energy consumption. by Chris Löwer

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