Thorlabs Adds to its Raman Spectroscopy Capabilities via Acquisition of Coda Devices

Newton, NJ and Menlo Park, CA – August 12, 2019 – Thorlabs announced today that effective as of August 1, 2019 it completed the acquisition of Coda Devices, a manufacturer of Raman-based solutions for analyzing the chemical composition of substances within a laboratory environment or out in the field. Based out of Menlo Park, California with an R&D center and production in Moscow, Russia, the Coda team will be integrated into Thorlabs’ Spectroscopy Technology Group in Munich, Germany.

Coda Device’s Raman spectrometers employ patented coded-aperture technology, which samples over 1,000 optical channels simultaneously, to achieve more than 30 times the light throughput of analogous diffraction slit spectrometers, thereby overcoming the light collection and overall sensitivity limitations of a small entrance aperture. By combining this high throughput aperture with extensive signal processing algorithms, the Coda Devices suppress unwanted fluorescence signals that would otherwise mask the detection of weak Raman signatures and achieve five times higher signal-to-noise ratios than standard diffraction-slit-based spectrometers.

With a 1.5 mm2 analysis area, which is 10,000 times larger than traditionally available laser spots, a lower energy light source can be deployed, allowing for nondestructive analysis of heat-sensitive samples. The larger area also makes it possible to accurately identify a wider range of samples, including large-grain and non-homogeneous mixtures.

Coda’s technology can identify the relative concentrations of up to four substances (powders, liquids, gels, or solids) out of a current library of 3,600 known signatures (prescription and illegal substances, polymers, plastics, minerals, and organic/inorganic compounds) in less than 15 seconds. The analysis can be performed through any transparent material (e.g., baggies, blisters, glass ampoules, etc.), thereby eliminating the need to break into the initial packaging, which has the benefit of preventing contact with potentially deadly substances and allows the technology to be employed for inline quality control. 

“We are very excited to welcome the Coda team to Thorlabs and to gain their Raman Spectroscopy expertise,” said Verena Mackowiak, Managing Product Engineer of Thorlabs’ Spectroscopy Technology Team. “In the coming weeks and months, we look forward to working together to expand the market reach of the coded-aperture Raman Spectroscopy technique.” 

Anatoly Konukhov, CEO of Coda Devices LLC, added, “We are highly passionate about this deal. Thorlabs’ proficiency in the field of optics will boost and drastically enhance the technology developed by the Coda team, increase areas of application, and subsequently expand the market reach of our products. I would also like to thank our investor, Phystech Ventures, for their support.”

About Coda Devices: Founded in 2015, Coda Devices develops and manufactures Raman-based solutions for analyzing the chemical composition of substances. The organization’s US headquarters is in Menlo Park, California, while an R&D center and local production facilities is situated in Moscow, Russia. Previously, Coda Devices raised $800,000 from Phystech Ventures.

About Thorlabs: Thorlabs, a vertically integrated photonics products manufacturer, was founded in 1989 to serve the laser and electro-optics research market. As that market has spawned a multitude of technical innovations, Thorlabs has extended its core competencies in an effort to play an ever increasing role serving the Photonics Industry at the research end, as well as the industrial, life science, medical, and defense segments. The organization’s highly integrated and diverse manufacturing assets include semiconductor fabrication of Fabry-Perot, DFB, and VCSEL lasers; fiber towers for drawing both silica and fluoride glass optical fibers; MBE/MOCVD epitaxial wafer growth reactors; extensive glass and metal fabrication facilities; advanced thin film deposition capabilities; and optomechanical and optoelectronic shops.


Laurie Morgus

Thorlabs, Inc.


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