Genome Analyzer Quantum GEM 532nm Laser and filters

The Genome Analyzer contains two lasers. One of these is a Quantum GEM 532nm laser. Using an SMD 6000 driver. This laser is somewhat customized. Sam has some excellent info on these lasers.

In order for the laser output the following header needs to be attached to the “control” port (analog control input). This will not enable the output, but it will allow you to send RS232 commands via the serial port connection. The connection between 1 and 4 sets the maximum power output, a short will let you enter RS232 commands to drive the output to the maximum (550mW). A lower value resistor can be used to limit the power.

The laser can be controlled using the “RemoteApp Laser Control” software from Laser Quantum, which is a free download (or here). The driver doesn’t work well with the cheap CH340G based RS232 adapters that are generally available on eBay. So I recommend getting hold of a more standard compliant RS232 port.

Below shows the output of the laser when jammed against my self calibrated B&W spectrometer.

The genome analyzer contains an 8 position filter wheel. Only the first two positions are populated. The last two are blanked out. The “next” button on the LX4000 will only allow you to cycle between the first two positions (0 and 1). But the micromanger ASI filter wheel device will let you select any position (see previous blog post).

In my instrument the filter in position 0 is marked 1005190C 61009 ILLM-0027 Rev A. Jammed this against a Xenon light source and measuring the output with the spectrometer gives this rough spectrum:

Which suggests that this is a band pass filter from ~575nm to ~640nm (there’s likely a lot of stray light and reflections in my measurement).

The filter at position 1 is marked 1005271A A09369-309349 ILLM-0037 on my instrument. And gives the following spectrum in the same setup:

Which suggests this is a bandpass between ~540nm and 570nm.