TOPTICA Photonics AG - A passion for precision -

Company Profile

TOPTICA Photonics AG – A Passion for Precision.

TOPTICA develops and manufactures high-end laser systems for scientific and industrial applications. The portfolio includes diode lasers, ultrafast fiber lasers, terahertz systems and frequency combs. OEM customers, scientists, and over a dozen Nobel laureates all acknowledge the world-class exceptional specifications of TOPTICA’s lasers, as well as their reliability and longevity.

Founded in 1998 near Munich (Germany), TOPTICA became one of the leading laser photonics companies by aiming for, and consistently delivering high-end specifications. TOPTICA’s diode lasers are appreciated for excellent coherence, wide tuning range and ideal beam profiles.

With "A Passion for Precision." TOPTICA's 230 employees take pride in developing customized systems. In close collaboration with several universities and institutes, latest scientific discoveries are frequently incorporated into commercial products. With a global distribution network, TOPTICA provides exceptional service worldwide.



Key facts


230 (April 2018)

47 Mio € (53 Mio $)

Legal Form:
Aktiengesellschaft (AG),
private ownership

Dr. Wilhelm Kaenders,
Dr. Thomas Weber

Dr. Dieter Schenk

"A Passion for Precision."

Find out what the Slogan means for TOPTICA

To our knowledge this alliteration was used for the first time within the photonics field in an editorial article in Physics Today, written by the well-respected MIT-physicist Dan Kleppner in the year 1989 (Physics Today 42 (11) 9, 1989). It resonated immediately within the part of the atomic physics community that tries to improve the precision of measurement of fundamental physics laws and particularly nature constants. The term “constant” for these people is not much more than a working title and its constant nature has to be proven by an ever increasing precision of measurement, by refining the method year over year. This working method, in particular when applied to the most fundamental atom conceivable, hydrogen, has generated many fundamental physical insights in the 20th century without which our world would be not close to where it is now.
We are convinced that the method will continue to be the driving force for our understanding of the quantum nature of the world in the future too.
A Passion for Precision is therefore much more than just an attitude of an engineering trade, it is the very nature of scientific discovery in the quantum world.

TOPTICA has started with such a scientific mindset. The company has its origins in the days of laser cooling of atomic species, where the dream of spectroscopy became a reality: suddenly it became possible to precisely prepare atoms by laser light such that even a single atom could be probed by laser light for its physical secrets for a (nearly) infinite amount of time, or bunched together in a way that the periodic table can be placed into virtual optical lattices to experience and demonstrate the quantum nature of matter. This experiments are not only very precise allowing to prepare data out of noise with sensitivities that are improving routinely by orders of magnitudes in a few decades, they are very difficult to execute and frustrating to a high level since they are set up as so-called zero-experiments: only the deviation from the expected is searched for, and which would reveal new physics. Without passion this would be impossible.

We were even more happy to see that Prof. Theodor Hänsch, who was instrumental to start TOPTICA and supports the company since then, adopted the phrase as a title for his nobel lecture in the year 2005, in which he gave a fascinating description of the technology path leading to the self-referenced optical frequency combs that he coinvented, deriving from the very method of the field, A Passion of Precision, digging down in precision year by year.

Key Markets

  • Quantum Optics & Spectroscopy

    Users benefit from TOPTICA’s tunable diode lasers because of reliability, precision, narrow linewidth, as well as tunable laser frequency, or active frequency stabilization. The systems are typically used for demanding applications like laser cooling, trapping, and manipulation of atoms or ions in quantum optics, spectroscopy, or interferometry. TOPTICA is renowned for the widest wavelength coverage of tunable diode lasers on the market, providing high-power lasers even at exotic wavelengths.

  • Biophotonics & Microscopy

    Lasers play an invaluable role in instrumentation for life sciences and medical applications. In fields such as microscopy, flow cytometry, or in medical and pharmaceutical instruments, TOPTICA lasers fulfill the demand for modern photonic sources. TOPTICA’s portfolio includes UV, VIS and NIR laser sources, flexible multi-laser engines and pulsed fiber lasers for time-resolved applications.

  • Test & Measurement

    With great expertise in optical and electronic control of lasers, TOPTICA provides lasers of lowest noise at highest wavelength stability. They are the perfect instruments for high-precision measurements of semiconductors, optical components, distances or chemical compositions. Frequencies in the terahertz region (0.1 THz to 6 THz)  become accessible with TOPTICA’s integrated solutions, opening up a wealth of novel applications in applied science, non-destructive testing and industrial process control.

Key Technologies

  • Single Mode Diode Lasers

    TOPTICA’s single-mode diode lasers set new standards in terms of power, low noise and convenient OEM integration. They come with diffraction limited TEM00 output and reliable spectral properties, as well as optional robust fiber coupling. Compact design and low power consumption make them superior to old-fashioned, bulky and inefficient gas lasers. Multi laser engines seamlessly integrate several wavelengths into true one-box laser systems – switching between colors has never been easier. The systems‘ flexibility and ease of use enable straightforward deep integration into any customer’s system design.

  • Tunable Diode Lasers

    Narrow linewidth, highest accuracy and great ease of use are the key attributes of TOPTICA’s tunable diode lasers. They are available with wavelengths ranging from the deep UV to the mid IR (< 190 nm -3500 nm), which is the widest spectral coverage on the market. TOPTICA’s patented pro design guarantees highest stability and the best specifications resulting in cutting-edge research grade lasers. These systems help achieve milestones in a variety of fundamental research projects and are future-proof due to a fully digital interface.

  • Ultrafast Fiber Lasers

    TOPTICA’s pulsed all-fiber lasers combine SAM mode-locked ring oscillators with PM fiber architecture, which guarantee robust 24 / 7 operation  and turnkey performance. A modular design concept with erbium- and ytterbium-doped fibers is the basis for different models (1560 / 780 nm, VIS / NIR tunable output, IR / NIR supercontinuum). Thus, pulse durations as low as 25 fs or output powers of more than 350 mW can be reached. In addition, dual-color solutions enable full flexibility by providing two laser beams simultaneously.

  • Terahertz Systems

    TOPTICA’s vast expertise with diode lasers and fiber technology offers exciting opportunities for sophisticated, integrated systems for demanding applications. Innovative solutions pave the way for easy utilization of continuous or pulsed terahertz radiation with ultra-broad bandwidth and unprecedented signal-to-noise ratio.

  • Frequency Combs

    The DFC productline (Difference Frequency Combs) merges TOPTICA’s know-how in ultrafast laser oscillators with its long lasting expertise in tunable diode lasers and locking electronics. The integrated novel CERO-technology enables precise frequency referencing with these offset-free, fiber-based frequency combs. In addition, TOPTICA's tunable diode lasers in the region of 450 - 2200 nm can be phase-locked to the frequency combs. This way TOPTICA is able to provide complete, frequency referenced laser systems including wavelength meter and counter all from one source.