UNIT 1.6 Laser Beam Shaping and Spot Size

  1. Howard M. Shapiro

Published Online: 1 MAY 2001

DOI: 10.1002/0471142956.cy0106s01

Current Protocols in Cytometry

Current Protocols in Cytometry

How to Cite

Shapiro, H. M. 2001. Laser Beam Shaping and Spot Size. Current Protocols in Cytometry. 1:1.6:1.6.1–1.6.5.

Author Information

  1. Howard M. Shapiro, MD., P.C., West Newton, Massachusetts

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 1 MAY 2001
  2. Published Print: JUL 1997


One or more lasers are the source of illumination in the majority of fluorescence flow cytometers now in use. A typical laser emits a beam on the order of 1 mm in diameter. For efficient utilization this beam must be shaped and focused to a smaller size to illuminate the cell stream passing through the interrogation point. This unit discusses spot size requirements and the methods by which optimal spot size is achieved.