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Photonics Spectra: December 2012

FEATURES
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Streak Cameras Improve Materials Research
New calibration options enable significant improvements in the accuracy of new and old devices, which could mean big advances in materials for LEDs and lasers. LEDs have numerous advantages over traditional light sources such as halogen or energy-saving lamps. They use electric power efficiently and, employed in combination with various-colored bodies, can be designed to provide an almost...
Barbara Stumpp, Science Writer
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CMOS Sensors Increase Inspection Speed and Accuracy
As they get faster and offer higher resolution and sensitivity, CMOS sensors continue to impress the manufacturing industry. The main goal of any industrial inspection system is to increase...
Marie Freebody, Contributing Editor, marie.freebody@photonics.com
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Plastic Optics Provide Precision
Polymer optics are taking everyday applications by storm, thanks to advances that make plastic more and more competitive with glass. Polymer optics have long been known for being inexpensive...
Valerie Coffey, Science Writer
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Charge-Injection Devices Overcome Radiation Effects
An industry expert offers a primer on the advantages of charge-transfer-device imagers. In imaging devices, radiation normally affects certain key parameters – gate threshold voltage,...
Tony Chapman, Thermo Fisher Scientific
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Surveillance System Enables 24-Hour Target Acquisition
A new multidetector system uses multiple-wavelength sensors and lasers for rangefinding, target spotting and target illumination. Multisensor detectors can be of great use to surveillance...
John Staples, Defence Vision Systems


EDITORIAL
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Don’t Stop Thinking About Tomorrow
The nice thing about tomorrow is that it’s, well, always a day away, and it always brings a fresh set of opportunities to tackle and obstacles to overcome. A perpetual challenge for this and many industries is finding trained and qualified employees to fill specialized jobs today and tomorrow. The good news is that a lot of hard work is going on to make sure there are well-qualified...


WORKFORCE OF TOMORROW
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A View from the Inside
In every industry, in good economies and in bad, the need exists for skilled entry-level workers. But how do those workers of the future gain needed skills? Photonics Spectra is pleased to launch a column featuring efforts in the US and around the world to prepare students for successful careers in optics and photonics. Judy Donnelly, program coordinator for the Laser and Fiber Optic...


TECH PULSE
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FEL fires new life into old technology
A high-power laser has amped up decades-old electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) spectrometers to more efficiently study the world at the atomic level. The multiuniversity team that enhanced the spectrometer has used it to study the electron spin of free radicals and nitrogen atoms trapped inside a diamond. The improvement pulls back the veil that shrouds the molecular world, allowing...
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Semiconductor etching monitored in real time
A nondestructive optical technique that simultaneously etches features onto a semiconductor wafer’s surface while monitoring the entire process in real time with nanometer precision could...
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Nobel Prize in physics recognizes quantum-world experiments
Two independent but related quantum optics methods for measuring and manipulating individual particles while preserving their quantum mechanical nature have been recognized by the Royal Swedish...
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Wearable sensor maps disasters on the fly
A wearable sensor system that includes a stripped-down gaming camera and a laser rangefinder could give emergency responders a hand by digitally mapping hazardous environments on the fly. ...
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Nanotubes improve hologram projection
Holograms can be generated by harnessing the conductive and light-scattering qualities of carbon nanotubes, a development that could lead to crisper projections with a larger field of view. ...
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Dark energy camera takes first pictures
After eight years in the making, the most powerful sky-mapping machine ever created, the 570-megapixel Dark Energy Camera (DECam), achieved first light on Sept. 12. The camera was constructed...
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Signals amplified by light alone
The discovery that the force of light in a nanoscale switch is strong enough to move an optical waveguide without having to rely on the device’s mechanical structure could dramatically increase...
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Electrons in QDs seen absorbing, emitting light
The special energy states of electrons confined in quantum dots have been observed for the first time, a feat that could help exploit the unique properties of the nanoscale semiconductor materials...
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Squeezed light measures moving target
A novel quantum mechanical squeezing technique that precisely tracks the phase of optical waveforms in motion has broken the standard limits for ultraprecise measurement by exploiting quantum...


LIGHT SPEED
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Solar woes have not eclipsed market for lasers for solar tech
Europe’s photovoltaic (PV) market is facing challenges including cuts in government subsidies and incentives, and those challenges affect laser makers who supply PV fabricators with equipment. But the outlook isn’t as cloudy as it could be. For one thing, approximately two-thirds of the new solar panels installed around the world in 2011 were put up on European soil, according to a...
Laura Marshall, Managing Editor, laura.marshall@photonics.com
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Milestone Marks Major Optics Achievements
The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) honored the late Elias Snitzer, the father of fiber lasers and fiber amplifiers, with a granite plaque installed near the former American...
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People In The News
Photonic crystal fiber inventor Philip Russell was elected as The Optical Society’s (OSA) 2013 vice president. He is the founding director of Max Planck Institute for the Science of Light in...
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ESO celebrates its 50th anniversary
The European Southern Observatory (ESO) celebrated 50 years in October since the signing of its founding convention. Astronomers from five European countries – Belgium, France, Germany, the...
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Moves & Expansions
Edmund Optics of Barrington, N.J., plans to consolidate its Pennsburg, Pa., facility into its corporate headquarters and to invest in additional coating and metrology equipment for its recently...
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Startup to commercialize terabyte discs
Businesses and consumers may soon have a cheaper, more manageable way to store large amounts of digital data, thanks to a university startup that aims to make optical films capable of holding 1 to 2...
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NRC licenses laser enrichment facility
A first-of-its-kind facility for the laser enrichment of uranium has received a license from the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission. The license authorizes GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy’s Global...


GREENLIGHT
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Laser pulse improves black silicon’s solar efficiency
A solar material that takes advantage of a spectrum totally unused by standard cells could be the key to more efficient photovoltaics, now that a team in Germany has successfully doubled its efficiency. Solar cells convert three-quarters of the energy in the sun’s spectrum into electricity, but about a quarter of its spectrum – the infrared – is lost in standard solar...


LIGHTER SIDE
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Laser scans probe Stonehenge secrets
“In ancient times,” goes the Spinal Tap song, “hundreds of years before the dawn of history, lived a strange race of people: the Druids. No one knows who they were or what they were doing, but their legacy remains, hewn into the living rock ... of Stonehenge.” The song might not be factually accurate – carbon dating proves that the Druids came along too late...


PRODUCTS
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Beam Profiler
Photon, a Newport Corp. brand, has introduced the NanoScan v2, the latest version of its scanning-slit beam profiler. The NIST-calibrated laser beam profiler uses moving slits to measure beam sizes from microns to centimeters at beam powers from microwatts to kilowatts, with little to no attenuation. The new version adds an enhanced graphical user interface with support for the Microsoft Windows...
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Particle Counting and Analysis App
Media Cybernetics has released a particle counting and analysis app for its Image-Pro Premier software that provides automatic particle detection, particle sizing and measurement functionality for...
Media Cybernetics, Inc.
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1.3-Megapixel Camera
JAI has introduced a monochrome version of its recently released AD-132GE, a two-CCD camera that uses prism technology to produce high-dynamic-range (HDR) color images. The new camera, the AD-131GE,...
JAI, Inc.
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Spectroradiometers
The SR-500 and SR-1100 spectroradiometers from Spectral Evolution can validate the class of any commercially available continuous output solar simulator, per IEC 60904-9/ASTM E927-05. The...
Spectral Evolution, Inc.
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Protein Measurement
Malvern Instruments Ltd. has launched the Zetasizer Nano ZSP for measurement of zeta potential, or electrophoretic mobility of proteins. The dynamic-light-scattering system is a single compact unit...
Malvern Instruments Ltd.
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Midband OPO
A midband tunable optical parametric oscillator (OPO) has been released by Continuum Electro-Optics Inc. The Horizon OPO offers a tuning range into the vacuum-ultraviolet, a narrow linewidth...
Continuum Inc.
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Laser Enclosure
The patent-pending HSP Laser-Gard Barrier System from Honeywell Safety Products offers a customizable way to securely enclose a laser setup on an optical table, enhancing experimental conditions...
Honeywell Safety Products
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Miniature Spectrometers
B&W Tek Inc. has expanded its Exemplar smart spectrometer line with the introduction of the Exemplar LS and Exemplar Plus. The miniature spectrometers are used in high-speed reaction...
B&W Tek, Inc.
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Water-Cooling System
A modular water-cooling system from autoVimation is suitable for all in-house protective camera enclosures with a dovetail profile. It extends the permissible ambient temperature range for...
autoVimation
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LED Light Engines
Ultrahigh-brightness LED light engines with integrated fluorescence excitation filters are being offered by Innovations in Optics Inc. LumiBright LE light engines use state-of-the-art LED...
Innovations in Optics, Inc.
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EUV Light Source
Energetiq Technology Inc. has announced its EQ-10HP 20-W extreme-ultraviolet (EUV) light source for actinic inspection of EUV masks. It operates at substantially higher input powers than its...
Energetiq Technology, Inc.
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Spectrophotometers
BioDrop Ltd. has launched its line of microvolume spectroscopy systems in the US market. The BioDrop Cuvette and BioDrop UV/VIS spectrophotometers are for use in life sciences laboratories. ...
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Industrial Camera
A compact industrial camera has been introduced by IDS Imaging Development Systems GmbH. The USB uEye ML is suitable for mechanical engineering applications. The robust camera has a USB 2.0...
IDS Imaging Development Systems GmbH
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Microspectrophotometer
Craic Technologies Inc. has announced the addition of Raman microspectroscopy capabilities to its 20/20 Perfect Vision microspectrophotometer. Users now can acquire Raman spectra with lasers from the...
CRAIC Technologies
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Silicone Compound
A silicone compound for potting and encapsulating applications has been developed by Epoxies Etc. The 50-1225 compound provides good thermal conductivity, flexibility and high temperature...
Epoxies, Etc.
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Single-Frequency Lasers
Cobolt AB has released four single-frequency diode-pumped solid-state lasers based on the 05-01 platform. The Zouk 355 nm is now available with output power up to 20 mW; the Samba 532 nm up...
Cobolt AB
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Laser Beam Propagation Analyzer
Ophir Photonics Group has announced the newest version of the M2-200s camera-based beam propagation analyzer, an ISO 11146-compliant system that automatically measures laser beam quality. It adds...
Ophir - Spiricon LLC, Photonics
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Laser Cutting and Drilling
Custom laser cutting and drilling services performed on parts that are powder-coated first to produce clean openings and eliminate masking time are being introduced by Advanced Laser Technologies. ...
Advanced Laser Technologies
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Compact LEDs
Osram Opto Semiconductors has developed the Oslon Compact LED for automotive headlight design. Its small size and high light output enable a single LED type to be used as the default light...
OSRAM Opto Semiconductors, Inc.
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Airborne Laser Scanner
Riegl Laser Measurement Systems GmbH has launched the LMS-Q780 long-range airborne laser scanner with an operating flight altitude of up to 10,000 ft at a 100-kHz laser pulse repetition rate. ...
Riegl Laser Measurement Systems GmbH
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Digital Laptop Frame Grabbers
Imperx has released the HD-SDI Express digital laptop frame grabbers. The HD-SDI ExpressCard/34 and HD-SDI ExpressCard/54 video capture cards have form factors of 34 and 54 mm, respectively, and a...
Imperx, Inc.
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Raman Spectrometer
The LabRAM HR Evolution from Horiba Scientific is a research Raman spectrometer that offers a fully automated, extended-wavelength-range capability. It has an achromatic optical design with a high...
HORIBA Scientific, HORIBA Scientific
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Beamsplitters and Combiners
Polarizing beamsplitters and beam combiners for CO2 lasers from 100 W up are being introduced by Laser Research Optics. The CO2 beamsplitters facilitate power measurements and beam alignment...
Laser Research Optics
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Fluorescence Spectrometer
Edinburgh Instruments, Photonics Div., has launched the FLS980 fluorescence spectrometer for steady-state, lifetime and phosphorescence measurements in photophysics, photochemistry, biophysics,...
Edinburgh Instruments Ltd.
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Benchtop Optical Microscope
Bruker Corp.’s ContourGT-I 3-D optical microscope enhances R&D productivity and maximizes manufacturing throughput for industrial applications. It accelerates and simplifies measurement...
Bruker, Nano Surfaces Div.
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Picoammeter
Keithley Instruments Inc. has introduced a picoammeter with dual ±30-V, independent, nonfloating bias sources and 1-fA measurement resolution. Model 6482 provides two independent...
Keithley Instruments, Inc.
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Electronic Autocollimator
Newport Corp. has introduced Conex-LDS, an ultracompact, high-precision electronic autocollimator. The small controller is integrated into the optical head of the autocollimator, occupying 4 ×...
Newport Corp.
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Raman Spectrometers
The Advantage series Raman spectrometers from DeltaNu Inc. are for use in analyzing solutions, gels, powders and a variety of solid materials. Each benchtop system features an X-Y-Z stage, and FSX...
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Frame Grabber
Sensoray has launched a frame grabber with eight asynchronous input channels and a high-speed PCI-Express x1 interface. With the Model 812 PCI-Express eight-channel frame grabber, each video...
Sensoray Co., Inc.

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