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Photonics Spectra: September 2014

Lasers Help Carmakers Chase Fuel Efficiency
Laser-based technologies and techniques including drilling, welding and measurement allow auto manufacturers to keep pace with the demand for lower emissions. For car manufacturers, the number 54.5 looms large. That’s the mile-per-gallon requirement from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency set to take effect in 2025. That figure represents roughly a 70 percent increase over the...
Hank Hogan, Contributing Editor,
Vehicle Vision Puts the 'Auto' in 'Automobile'
Vision systems are increasingly enabling self-driving cars to automatically park, maintain speed and prevent collisions. Can a world of ubiquitous self-driving cars be far off? Whether...
Valerie C. Coffey, Science Writer,
Dual-Band Monitoring Keeps Trains Running in Winter
Keeping critical parts of the railroad infrastructure free of snow, sleet, hail and ice – and even detecting unauthorized persons walking the rails – is essential for a safe and...
Raf Vandersmissen, Sinfared Pte Ltd., and Robert De Nes, Secure In Air
QDs Generate Light for Next-Generation Displays
Large color gamut and better color reproducibility will be highly desired features of displays in the near future. Quantum dots will be the down-conversion technology of choice, allowing LCD makers...
Dr. Jonathan S. Steckel, Dr. John Ho and Dr. Seth Coe-Sullivan, QD Vision Inc.
Solar Cell Materials: Finding a Happy Medium
Marrying the low cost of thin-film and the efficiency of crystalline silicon helps to improve solar cells. The solar industry is at another inflection point in its development. Costs have...
Sharone Zehavi, Scifiniti
Understanding Actively Q-Switched Solid-State Lasers
With an increased quantitative understanding of the operation of Q-switched lasers come huge benefits for laser design. This first article in a two-part series focuses on actively Q-switched lasers;...
Rüdiger Paschotta, RP Photonics Consulting GmbH
Laser Technology Enhances Experience for Sports Fans, Refs
A laser device helps spectators and officials to better visualize important markers, so that people in the stadium have the demarcation information offered to TV viewers at home. Science and...
Larry Weisman, Freelance Writer

And We’ll Have Fun, Fun, Fun ’Til the 409 Drives Itself
The distinctive sound of The Beach Boys has been ringing in my ears since a recent concert I attended. Songs about cars and driving have long been among my favorites, probably because I’ve always enjoyed driving. I especially like my current winding and hilly route to work. I wonder, though, what it would be like in a self-driving car: I could enjoy the passing scene without a care, and it...
Karen A. Newman, Group Publisher,

UV Light Sets Crystals in Motion
Tiny crystals of a cobalt coordination compound leap, twirl and burst apart like popcorn when exposed to UV light. A team led by researchers at the National University of Singapore suggests the microscopic phenomenon could find macroscopic applications turning sunlight into mechanical energy. The researchers call the crystal motion a photosalient effect. It involves crystals of...
Harmonic Generation Promising for Powerful Light Source
A new approach to harmonic generation aims to create smaller, more powerful tabletop light sources for laboratory research, particularly in the emerging area of strong-field physics. ...
Photo-Induced Doping Tames Graphene
Doping graphene with boron nitride may be a way to tame the material, introducing a bandgap and making it useful in electronic devices. However, controlling the electrical properties of graphene...
Sensor Studies Chemicals with Single Chip
A tiny new sensor uses miniaturized IR laser technology to identify and study chemicals — all on a single chip. The new sensor, developed by researchers at the Vienna...
Laser Weapon in the Works for Ground Vehicles
The first laser weapons will soon be implemented on U.S. Navy ships. And now, the Marines plan to follow suit. The Office of Naval Research, in conjunction with researchers from the Naval...
Antenna-free THz Detector Uses Nanotube Thin Films
Carbon nanotube-based detectors that reveal light in the terahertz frequency range without cooling could lead to significant improvements in medical imaging, airport screening and food inspection. ...
Swelling Sensor Detects Toxic Gas
Those who work with hazardous substances could find an extra measure of protection in an optical sensor that puffs up in the presence of even trace amounts of toxic gases. Made from a...
Lasers Advance Sub-RF Imaging
Laser-enhanced radio-frequency mapping could lead to better assessment of metamaterials. Traditional field mapping requires the use of millimeter-scale antennas and dipoles, similar in size...
Nanofiber Fabrication Boosts Quantum Computing
A new approach to fabricating optical nanofibers could enable the next generation of quantum computing. These ultra-high-transmission fibers, developed by researchers at the University of...
Nanobarrel Uses Light to Trap Molecules for Diagnostics
Lower-cost, more reliable diagnostic testing could be a light at the end of the nanophotonic tunnel … or barrel, in this case. A barrel-shaped molecular container called cucurbituril...
Pyramid Structure Makes Better PHOLEDs
Arranging phosphorescent organic light-emitting diodes (PHOLEDs) into a pyramid shape can enhance their efficiency, making them brighter and more productive.  PHOLEDs are an...
Red Phosphor Heightens White LEDs
A new material could help LEDs produce more pleasing white light. A team from Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich (LMU), in collaboration with Philips Technologie in Aachen, Germany, has...
Polariton Waveguide Could Help Photonic Circuits
A low-loss thin-film waveguide for surface plasmon polaritons (SPPs) could aid the development of nanoscale photonic integrated circuits on silicon. Recent research has focused on using SPPs...
Magnetic Fields Control Liquid Crystals’ Optical Properties
A new technique that forms and controls magnetically responsive liquid crystals could be applied to many types of displays. Conventional liquid crystals, often used in electronic displays,...
Metamaterial Shows Promise as THz Imager
An imaging approach involving metamaterials could make the terahertz regime more accessible. Researchers from Boston College, the University of New Mexico and Duke University engineered a...

Day of Photonics 2014
The annual Day of Photonics will take place Oct. 21, offering the general public a look at the opportunities the industry offers. Organized by the European Photonics Industry Consortium...
Military Laser Market Could Reach $2.73B By 2020
Military laser systems are expected to grow into a $2.73 billion global industry by 2020, according to analysts MarketsandMarkets. The industry is estimated at $2.14 billion this year, with...
Optomec to Lead 3-D Printing Study for U.S. Air Force
Optomec will lead a two-year, $4 million project exploring additive manufacturing techniques for repair of aerospace metal components for the U.S. Air Force. The project, called...
In Memoriam: Robert Woltz, SPIE Co-founder
Robert L. Woltz, one of the founders of SPIE, died June 14 at the age of 92. He served as the society’s third president and spent more than a decade on its board of directors. After...
Cobalt's Scanner Wins MacRobert Award
Cobalt Light Systems has been recognized with the Royal Academy of Engineering’s MacRobert Award for its Insight100 airport scanner. The Insight100 uses a variant of Raman spectroscopy...
Report: Consumer Goods to Drive IR Imaging Market
Sales of thermal imaging components surged in 2013, heralding future growth and a wider customer base for the uncooled IR imaging market, according to research firm Yole Developpement. ...

Tofu Chemical Could Prompt New Wave of Solar Cells
Solar cells could learn a thing or two from tofu and bath salts. Researchers from the Stephenson Institute for Renewable Energy at the University of Liverpool in England have found that magnesium chloride (MgCl2) – found in tofu, bath salts and de-icing solutions – may produce more cost-effective and efficient solar cells. The compound could serve as a replacement for cadmium...

Bees Are No Bumblers
When flowers start to bloom, you know it. The smell of honeysuckle, lilacs or gardenias wafts through the air and into our noses as we walk outside, drive down the road or, with any luck, wake up next to an open window. The perfume is intoxicating, and it’s no surprise that bees and other insect pollinators are drawn to these fragrant blossoms. However, their journey has nothing to...

Alignment Turning Device
The ATS 200, an alignment tuning station from Trioptics, ensures precision and flexibility for the production of mounted lenses. Combining a compact, stable turning lathe with centration...
Silicon APDs
The Series 8r silicon avalanche photodiodes (APD) from First Sensor Inc. offers high sensitivity in the red and green wavelength range. They feature a flat gain curve where the internal...
First Sensor Inc.
Butterfly 14-Pin Modules
Hermetically sealed with internal temperature control, the single-mode, fiber pigtailed butterfly 14-pin modules from Lumics offer wavelength coverage from 750 to 1100 nm. The BTF14 devices...
Lumics GmbH
Window Coating
With an extremely clear appearance and hardness of more than 20 gigapascals, the Diamonex ClearShield scratch and wear-resistant window coating from Morgan Advanced Materials was developed to meet...
Morgan Advanced Materials plc
Pyrometric Camera
With the use of high dynamic range technology, the Pyroscan camera from HGH Infrared Systems provides a contrasting image without underexposed or conversely saturated areas. Powered by...
HGH Infrared Systems
Light-Diffusing Fiber
The Fibrance Light-Diffusing Fiber from Corning is a glass optical fiber optimized for thin, colorful, aesthetic lighting. Nearly invisible when the light source is off, the fiber is...
Corning Inc., Optical Fiber Headquarters
APDs with Fiber Pigtails
With a semiautomatic assembly unit, avalanche photodiodes (APDs) from Laser Components are now manufactured with fiber pigtails and can be adjusted within a few microns. Achieving coupling...
Laser Components GmbH
Fluorescence Filter Sets
The new LED-DA/FI/TR/Cy5-4X-A fluorescence filter sets by Semrock Inc. are optimized for LED light engines. The filter sets are available in single-band, full and Pinkel multiband...
Semrock, Inc.
Femtosecond Laser Tube Cutter
With minimal post-processing, the Sigma Femtosecond Laser Tube cutting system from Miyachi America uses a cold ablation process to cut both metal and plastic. Based on an ultra-short pulse...
Miyachi Unitek Corp.
Light Meter with Wi-Fi
A WiFi interface has been added to the BTS256-E light meter from Gigahertz-Optik, allowing wireless control of all meter functions to characterize long-distance light sources from a central location....
Gigahertz-Optik, Inc.
Tunable Blue Diode Laser
A new tunable blue diode laser from New Focus eliminates the need for second harmonic generation in atomic research. The TLB-7102-02 Vantage is tunable from 421 to 423 nm, suited for calcium...
New Focus
IR Thermal Imaging Camera
The GF309 IR camera by Flir Systems is suitable for high-temperature inspection applications in the chemical, petrochemical and utility industries. The portable device monitors gas-fired...
FLIR Systems, Inc.
External Laser Scanner
The HP-L-20.8 from Hexagon Metrology is a high-speed, 3-D external laser scanner to be used with the Romer Absolute Arm. The system has a line length of up to 230 mm and a scan rate of up to...
Hexagon Metrology Services Ltd.
High-Speed Camera
The HS-20000 from Emergent Vision is a high-speed camera for industrial vision applications. The camera is capable of 32 fps at 20 megapixels with its global shutter and 10-Gigabit Ethernet...
Emergent Vision Technologies Inc.
Integrated Vision System
Meeting the requirements of industrial inspection, the GEVA-312T integrated vision system from Teledyne Dalsa is a multi-camera, stand-alone device, offering easy migration. With a built-in...
Teledyne DALSA, Machine Vision OEM Components
Confocal Microscope
The LSM 880 with Airyscan from Zeiss is a confocal laser scanning microscope. The microscope allows the user to achieve 1.7× higher resolution in all spatial dimensions, 140 nm...
Carl Zeiss Jena GmbH

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