Up to four channel’s simultaneously on one camera chip!
We know that some of you have been waiting quite a while for this, but finally we’ve managed to schedule our first full production run! Many thanks to the “early adopters” who helped us refine the optical design of this, our fourway and most ambitious image splitter to date. Their feedback, plus a few further improvements of our own, has allowed us to add still further features to this exciting new product.
As before, the optical pathway is first split into two, and then each of these pathways is independently split a second time to send the images to the four quadrants of a single camera, but now all three splitter cubes are directly accessible from the sides of the unit for much easier interchange. Typically the splitting will be as a function of wavelength, but it can also be on the basis of polarisation, or corrector lenses can be used to focus the individual pathways into different depths in the sample in order to simultaneously obtain a “mini-z stack” – very useful if the sample is moving!
Another important use of corrector lenses is to bring the individual pathways back into a common focus when splitting is by wavelength, in order to correct for possible chromatic aberration in the microscope objective. This becomes an increasing potential problem as the objective’s magnification increases, especially at extremes of the wavelength range, and brings us to the second practical improvement of the production version of the Multisplit.
The issue here is that using a corrector lens to change the focus of an optical pathway is liable to change the magnification, whereas it is clearly desirable for all four images to be the same size. You can read here for our explanation of how this can be achieved, but the important improvement here is that this condition can now simultaneously be met for all four channels of the Multisplit.
A third improvement is that the design is significantly future-proofed against the continuing trend for both the microscopes’s field of view and the camera sensors to increase in size. We are already using 40mm diameter optics, but on the more critical output side, a retrofittable option of a 50mm lens assembly is also going to be supported. We suspect this will be a tough act to follow!
And the same as for the other splitters in our product range, the internal optical pathways are fully symmetrical, in order to give the best possible registration when the individual images are overlaid during subsequent processing. This proprietary design feature of all our splitters really does matter!
As we go into production, supplies may at first be limited, so if you are interested in owning one of these fantastic beasts soon, we suggest that you register your interest now, so that we can reserve them on a “first come, first served” basis. But if a fourway splitter is too much of a good thing for you, don’t forget that our Triplesplit and both the “original” and “bypass” versions of our twoway Optosplit splitter are also there to choose from. When you think image splitters, think Cairn!