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Theory to Application: Photonics in Action

Karen A. Newman, Group Publisher, karen.newman@photonics.com



The subject matter of the many reports and articles in this issue ranges from how to more efficiently produce LED lamps to make them more attractive to consumers to producing nanolasers from imperfect nanostructures; and from fabricating nanosensors on CDs for use in bio sample studies, to incorporating a photoswitchable molecule into an antibiotic and using light to control the drug’s activity. The stories are wonderful evidence of the depth and impact of photonics all around us.

Every day there are new developments in photonic applications: from purely theoretical breakthroughs to improvements in clinical and shop floor processes, and cutting-edge consumer products. Anybody still in doubt of photonics’ bright future should certainly read on.

Consider Raman spectroscopy: The technique can quickly identify pathogens and help surgeons tell healthy tissue from diseased. The authors of the feature, “Moving Raman Spectroscopy into the Clinic,” suggest that photonic methods including Raman spectroscopy may hold part of the answer to global issues such as treating age-related diseases in a rapidly aging population, as well as catching other diseases before they spread. Authors Thomas Mayerhöfer and Christoph Krafft, of the Leibniz Institute of Photonic Technologies, Ute Neugebauer of Leibniz Institute of Photonic Technologies and University Hospital Jena, and Jürgen Popp of Leibniz Institute of Photonic Technologies, University Hospital Jena and Friedrich Schiller University, say that the technique’s molecular sensitivity is what makes it so promising for clinical use. See the feature beginning on page 24.

From medicine to manufacturing, photonic technologies are enabling improvements everywhere we look. In “Optodigital Microscopy Enhances Efficiency of Material Testing,” science journalist Heinz-Jürgen Zamzow describes how Geneva-based SGS Group employed an automated microscope to speed up an industrial quality control process in the automotive industry. Read about it beginning on page 22.

And, finally, our cover story, “Next-Gen LED Lamps Bring Costs Down,” by freelance science writer Dr. Barbara Stumpp, explores the complexities of manufacturing LED lighting in the quest to reduce costs for consumers and increase their acceptance and use. According to the author, molded interconnect devices are part of the solution. The feature begins on page 18.

As always, we hope you enjoy the issue. Your comments are welcome at Karen.Newman@Photonics.com. To keep up with the industry news of the day, please visit Photonics.com.


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