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Photonics Spectra: February 2014

FEATURES
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Better Lasers, Better Computing
To take communications to the next level, laser technologies must improve in terms of cost, efficiency and robustness. Fortunately, those improvements are in the works. Whether traveling...
Hank Hogan, Contributing Editor, hank.hogan@photonics.com

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Quantum Communications Finds Many Paths to Commercialization
From quantum repeaters and single-photon detectors to space satellites, photonics promises to bring quantum encryption to the mainstream. Quantum communications has already been proved...
Marie Freebody, Contributing Editor, marie.freebody@photonics.com
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Trends in Microscopy: A Big Market, Focused on the Very Small
The microscopy market is growing – set to exceed $5 billion by 2018 – even as microscopic targets get smaller and smaller. The microscopy market is trending upward – and the...
Laura Marshall, Managing Editor, laura.marshall@photonics.com
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How Fibers Really Work
Basic knowledge of fiber optics is widespread – but often infected by certain misconceptions. The basics of fiber optics are seemingly quite simple. Guidance of light in a fiber core can...
Rüdiger, Paschotta, RP Photonics Consulting GmbH
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Covert IR Optical Taggants Enhance Identification
Covert IR taggants represent a strong photonic tool in identifying key personnel and materials in both military and civilian applications. Covert infrared taggants are embedded markers that...
Dr. David Zhang, Brimrose Corp.
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Real-Time 3-D Replays Bring Fans Closer to Action
Imaging technology is a real game changer for Dallas Cowboys fans and refs at AT&T Stadium. Figuring out which team came up with the football during a postfumble player pileup has gotten a...
Patrick Myles, Teledyne Dalsa


EDITORIAL
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Awarding, Enhancing, Advancing
As I write this, anticipation is building for the announcement of the winners of the 2014 Prism Awards for Photonics Innovation, presented jointly by SPIE and Photonics Media. By the time you receive this issue, the winners will be posted at the official Prism Awards site, www.photonicsprismaward.com. There also will be a full recap of the winners in the March issue of Photonics Spectra, and you...
Karen A. Newman, Group Publisher, karen.newman@photonics.com


TECH PULSE
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Microwaves Wirelessly Converted to Direct Current
A new device designed using manmade, inexpensive materials operates as a power harvester with efficiency similar to solar panels but can wirelessly convert microwave signals into direct current voltage capable of recharging a cell phone battery or other small electronic device. The metamaterial device operates on a similar principle to solar panels, which convert light energy into...
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Distant Atoms Cooperate by Sharing Light
Atoms can work collectively, rather than independently, to share light, an international team has found. The discovery has important implications for applications in advanced quantum devices. ...
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Photon Detected, But Not Absorbed
It's possible to detect something as fragile as a single photon without destroying it, new research suggests. Single-photon sources have important applications in quantum networking, cryptography and...
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Qubit Survives for 39 Minutes
A quantum state, normally a very fragile condition, has been demonstrated to survive at room temperature for an unprecedented 39 minutes. This achievement overcomes a key barrier to building...
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Nanoantennas Form Ultrathin Holograms for Sensing
An ultrathin hologram — only 1/23rd the width of the light wavelength used to create it — could make possible light-based devices and optical switches small enough to be integrated into...
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Nanorods Synthesized for Large-Scale Manufacturing
A new technique that produces nanoscale gold rods in large quantities while also controlling their optical properties and dimensions could facilitate their high-volume manufacture for applications in...
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IR Technique Sees Through Graphene Stacks
An IR technique identifies and characterizes individual graphene layers in a large stack, providing information on the electronic properties of each layer. Such information opens the possibility of...
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Compact Laser Generates Research-Quality X-rays
A novel method generates research-quality x-rays using a "tabletop" laser, making such light sources more practical for advanced research. High-quality x-rays — needed for applications...
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Feeling the Ultrasensitive Force with a Levitating Nanoparticle
Optically levitating nanoparticles in high-vacuum conditions have led to the measurement of the highest quality factors (Q-factors) in nano- and micromechanical oscillators. Oscillators with high...
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One Photon Per Pixel Produces 3-D Lidar Image
With the detection of a single photon from each pixel location, a new lidarlike system can gauge depth and produce 3-D images. The technique is expected to be broadly applicable to microscopy and...
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Nano-FTIR Offers Versatility in Protein Studies
A new technique called Fourier transform infrared nanospectroscopy (nano-FTIR) overcomes the diffraction limits of mid-infrared spectroscopy for label-free chemical and structural imaging of protein...


LIGHT SPEED
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ATF Awarded ISO Registration
Advanced Thin Films' (ATF) laser optics manufacturing facilities in Boulder have been awarded the ISO 9001:2008 registration for meeting quality management system requirements of the internationally recognized standard, the company said this week. Becoming an ISO-registered company gives customers confidence in its processes and procedures, assuring that the final product is of the...
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Aerotech Reaches $1B Shipping Milestone
Aerotech has surpassed the $1 billion mark in products shipped since the company’s inception in 1970, the motion control and positioning systems maker said recently. “We are...
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Laser-Based Communications Passes Military Tests
A monthlong evaluation of a high-speed, laser-based communications system funded by the Office of Naval Research was successfully tested by Exelis and its partner, the company said this week. ...
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Ocean Optics Unveils New Science Curriculum
Ocean Optics has launched a new version of its Spectroscopy 101 curriculum for high school and college teaching laboratories, the company said recently. Spectroscopy 101, written for use...
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Planner Aims to Inspire Women to Pursue STEM Careers
The SPIE Women in Optics 18-month planner aims to inspire a new generation of girls to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). The 2014-2015 planner is available...
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Association for Passive Optical LAN Adds Members
Qypsys, Vision Technologies, Communications Supply Corp. (CSC), The Siemon Company and Fiber Optic Association recently became members of the Association for Passive Optical LAN (APOLAN). ...
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SPIE DSS in Baltimore Broadening Appeal
SPIE is expanding the scope of its 2014 Defense + Security Conference with the addition of several conferences and meetings that are expected to appeal to the broader sensing community, the...
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EOS, 3D-Micromac Form Microlaser Sintering Co.
Laser micromachining systems maker 3D-Micromac AG and EOS GmbH, a provider of additive manufacturing products, have established a business to bring microlaser sintering technology (MLS) to the...
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Specim to Scan Sweden’s Drill Cores
Hyperspectral imaging instruments and systems maker Specim Spectral Imaging Ltd. announced Tuesday that it has signed one of the largest optical and mineralogical core-scanning projects in the world:...
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Compass-EOS Joins Georgia Technology Center
Silicon-to-photonics router company Compass-EOS has joined the Georgia Technology Center (GTC), a live laboratory for network equipment vendors to demonstrate their hardware and software, the center...
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Bandgap Boosts Solar Cell Efficiency with Nanowires
The average efficiency of standard commercial solar cells has been increased by 0.4 percent, just by replacing the standard surface texture with nanowire technology, Bandgap Engineering Inc....


GREENLIGHT
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Laser Reveals Photosynthetic Processes
Scientists have used an ultrafast laser to study a photosynthetic complex — arguably the most important bit of organic chemistry on the planet — in its complete functioning state. When sunlight strikes a photosynthesizing organism, energy flashes between proteins just beneath its surface until it is trapped as separate electric charges. These tiny hits of energy are literally...


LIGHTER SIDE
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It’s a bird – it’s a plane – it’s the octocopter!
Sometimes taking to the skies is the best way to see what’s happening on the ground. Rothamsted Research of Harpenden, England, hopes that will be the case for crop studies: The agricultural research institute has obtained a remote-controlled unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) called an octocopter, outfitted with four different cameras, to further its work in the fields. Two of the...
Laura Marshall, Managing Editor, laura.marshall@photonics.com


PRODUCTS
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Focal-pShaper 9_532q
AdlOptica GmbH’s refractive Focal-πShaper 9_532q, optimized for 532-nm lasers, transforms a round Gaussian laser beam into a square focused spot with almost 100% efficiency for micromachining applications. The compact device can create flattop, doughnut, inverse-Gauss and other intensity profiles near the focal plane of a focusing lens. It provides accurate profiles of kerfs and...
AdlOptica GmbH
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ColdAb Series 4 Thin-Film Deposition System
The ColdAb Series 4 thin-film deposition system from Picodeon Ltd. Oy is designed for pulsed laser deposition (PLD) of oxides, metals and several composites in volume manufacturing. The...
Picodeon Ltd. Oy
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IR Wire-Grid Polarizers
New high-contrast IR wire-grid polarizers from Edmund Optics are suitable for broadband IR applications requiring high transmission and contrast, including spectroscopy, thermal imaging and...
Edmund Optics, Inc.
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X6580sc Thermal Imaging Camera
The X6580sc thermal imaging camera from Flir Systems Inc. provides ultrafast frame-rate acquisition for scientific and research applications involving dynamic thermal events. The device...
FLIR Systems
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nanoIR2 IR Spectroscopy Platform
The nanoIR2 atomic force microscope (AFM) based spectroscopy platform from Anasys Instruments is suitable for measurements on a variety of sample types, including semiconductor devices, thin films,...
Anasys Instruments Corp.
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5-MP Spark Cameras
JAI Inc. has added the Spark SP-5000M-PMCL and Spark SP-5000C-PMCL 5-MP cameras to its Spark industrial series. Featuring a Mini Camera Link interface that can be configured to support...
JAI, Inc.
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Spectrum Analysis Tools
EXFO Inc. has introduced the FTB-5230S optical spectrum analyzer and the FTB-5230S-OCA optical channel analyzer for use in coarse wavelength division multiplexing (CWDM), dense wavelength division...
EXFO, Inc.
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SL45 HeNe Laser Power Supply
The SL45 dual-input voltage power supply from Power Technology Inc. generates a small amount of heat and offers improved conversion efficiencies for use with HeNe lasers. The...
Power Technology, Inc.
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U100-S Ultima Mirror Mount
Newport Corp. has released the U100-S Ultima, a clear-quadrant mirror mount for optomechanical applications. The device features thick front and rear plates for improved stability and...
Newport Corporation
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SXUVPS4C Quadrant Photodiode
Opto Diode Corp.’s SXUVPS4C quadrant photodiode offers a 5 mm2 active area in each quadrant for two-axes-positional-centering laser applications in the 13.5- to 200-nm-wavelength range. ...
Opto Diode Corp.
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IR Position Detector Development Kit
Cal Sensors, an ITW company, will launch an infrared position detector development kit Feb. 4-6 at Photonics West in San Francisco. The company says that the technology can detect hot spots 10 times...
Cal Sensors, Inc.
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CDS Security Software
Cognex Corp.’s version 1.0 Cognex Directory Server (CDS) security software centralizes authorization and authentication controls for users of the company’s In-Sight vision systems. ...
Cognex Corp.
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Corona II Line-Scan Illuminator
The Corona II line-scan illuminator from Chromasens provides up to 2,500,000 lux for web inspection applications such as color printing, textiles, glass tape and aluminum. It has an...
Chromasens GmbH
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Integrated Vision Camera System
The Integrated Vision smart camera system from ABB Robotics uses 2-D vision guidance to track products, improve supply chain management, improve quality, and troubleshoot challenging lines and...
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FLex Fiber Optic Polisher
KrellTech has released the FLex fiber optic polishing system for R&D laboratory applications including the processing of waveguides, planar lightwave circuits, optical chips and fiber arrays. ...
KrellTech
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Verdi G20 Laser
Coherent Inc.’s high-power Verdi G20 laser can simultaneously pump a Ti:sapphire oscillator and a high-repetition regenerative amplifier, or two Ti:sapphire oscillators with sufficient power to...
Coherent Inc.
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3-D Laser Height System
Olmec Ltd. has released a laser height system that uses an LMI Gocator 3-D smart camera to inspect bearings used in bogies in the railway industry. The camera includes an integrated laser...
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DLC Pro Digital Laser Controller
Toptica Photonics Inc.’s DLC pro provides laser diode current, temperature and piezo drivers with extremely low noise and drift properties, boosting the performance of its DL pro tunable laser,...
TOPTICA Photonics, Inc.
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Aloha+ H2O Analyzer
Tiger Optics LLC’s new ammonia analyzer, the ALOHA+ H2O, refines the detection levels of moisture down to 2 parts per billion, five times the sensitivity of incumbent technology. A...
Tiger Optics, LLC
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ZnSe/ZnS Laser Optics
Laser Research Optics is offering laser optics made from zinc selenide and zinc sulfide in any shape or size, with precise tolerances and surface finishes. The optics are available in...
Laser Research Optics
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3D Pro Variable-Focus Laser
Multipix Imaging has launched ProPhotonix’s 3D Pro variable-focus laser for machine vision applications including 3-D measurement, dimensional scanning, positioning, high-speed sorting and...
Multipix Imaging Components Ltd.
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OCI-1000 Handheld Hyperspectral Imager
The OCI-1000 handheld hyperspectral imager from BaySpec Inc. provides full, continuous visible and near-IR data for sensing applications including real-time identification of food-borne illnesses...
BaySpec, Inc.
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FastCam SA-Z Camera System
Photron Inc’s ultrahigh-speed imaging system, the FastCam SA-Z, features 21,000 fps at megapixel resolution and more than 2 million fps at reduced resolution, making it possible to view...
Photron USA, Inc.
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Chromacal Microscopy Color Calibration
Datacolor has introduced Chromacal, an integrated optical microscopy system that standardizes the color of digital images for biological research. Chromacal includes proprietary software, a...
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NanoWizard Ultra Speed AFM
JPK Instruments AG’s next-generation NanoWizard Ultra Speed AFM (atomic force microscope) delivers fast scanning and superresolution on an inverted microscope for applications including the...
JPK Instruments AG
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LR-T Laser Sensor
Keyence Corp. of America’s LR-T series multipurpose laser sensor can be used for any sensing situation in any environment. Time-of-flight (TOF) technology and a custom integrated circuit enable...
KEYENCE Corp. of America
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NanoTweezer Nanoparticle Analysis
Optofluidics has introduced the NanoTweezer, a system that captures, manipulates and analyzes large numbers of individual nanoparticles and has the potential to advance pharmaceutical drug...
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Npaq 6U Drive Rack
Aerotech Inc.’s Npaq 6U high-power drive rack provides up to 30 A for brush, brushless or stepper motors, and its plug-in amplifiers support both linear and pulse-width-modulation (PWM)...
Aerotech, Inc.
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Hercules II PV Junction Box
Amphenol Industrial Global Operations has released the Hercules II, a junction box featuring a current rating of 10 A and a rated voltage of 1000 V of direct current. It is suitable for use on rigid...
Amphenol Industrial Products Group
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CV-500M Miniature Camera
Marshall Electronics has released the CV-500M, a miniature camera providing 1080p resolution for industrial, scientific, machine vision, automation and OEM applications. The camera...
Marshall Electronics, Optical Systems
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AC Series OmniCure LED Industrial Curing
Lumen Dynamics has added four high-power, air-cooled models to its OmniCure AC series of UV LED curing systems. They are suitable for applications such as fiber coating, compact camera module...
Lumen Dynamics
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Phantom v2010 Camera
Vision Research’s Phantom v2010, a 1-MP digital ultrahigh-speed camera, is almost 40 percent faster than its predecessor, the Phantom v1610, and can capture more than 22,000 fps at full...
Vision Research Inc., Phantom Digital High-Speed Cameras
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Multifocal Diffractive Optical Elements
Holo/Or Ltd. has released multifocal diffractive optical elements for applications in microscopy and laser cutting. The optics allow a single collimated incident beam to focus simultaneously...
Holo/Or Ltd.
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HexaCube 6-D Motion Solution
Attocube systems AG’s hexaCube, an integrated 6-D motion solution, combines stiff design and long travel range with nanometer repeatability for positioning tasks in precision machining and...
attocube systems AG
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TLB-7100 Vantage Tunable Diode Lasers
New Focus, a Newport Corp. brand, has added the TLB-7100 Vantage series external-cavity tunable diode lasers to its Simply Better Littrow line. The devices are suitable for applications such as...
New Focus

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