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Photonics Spectra: April 2014

Nanophotonics Underpins Some Groundbreaking Technologies
Nanophotonics is now a major research theme in optical physics and engineering. Driven by the dream of untapped device functionality, nanophotonics studies the exciting science of the interaction of light with nanostructures, at the size scale where optical, electronic, structural, thermal and mechanical properties are deeply interdependent. Some experts believe that nanophotonics will...
Marie Freebody, Contributing Editor,
Market Growing for Laser-Based Machine Vision Technologies
A panel of industry experts weighs in on recent and future advances in laser technologies for machine vision, and offers a look at the market. Laser-based machine vision can be a valuable tool...
Laura Marshall, Managing Editor,
The Better to See You With
Advances in manufacturing and materials will help the military spot targets faster – and from farther away. For the military, the name of the game is to see first and farthest, which makes...
Hank Hogan, Contributing Editor,
'Wheel Service' Relies on Imaging Technology
Image-based bar-code reader helps NASCAR race teams feel more secure on their wheels. NASCAR teams go through a lot of wheels. A single team typically owns about 260 wheels, consisting of both...
John Lewis, Cognex Corp.
Problem-Based Learning Boosts Laser Safety Training
Adding real experience to classroom education prepares laser users and safety officers for real-life situations. Laser safety training for users of Class 3B and Class 4 laser users has been...
Ken Barat, Laser Safety Solutions and Judy Donnelly, Three Rivers Community College

Facing the Unexpected
In following the news reporting of the protracted search for Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, I heard questions raised about the lack of cameras on both the inside and the outside of passenger planes that could possibly provide clues in the event something goes wrong. The camera question has come up on various occasions over the years, including in discussions of runway collisions and onboard...
Karen A. Newman, Group Publisher,

Harnessing Randomness to Improve Lasers
Randomness could be key in improving the performance of lasers in sensing and imaging applications, a new study shows. Randomly arranged, or irregular, surfaces typically have poor optical properties, as the roughness (randomness) can obscure the view of an object. But now, a team from the A*STAR Singapore Institute of Manufacturing Technology (SIMTech) and Nanyang Technological University...
Rare Brown Dwarf Discovery Aids Exoplanet Study
The discovery of a very rare type of brown dwarf substar could soon provide a better understanding of exoplanets. A team based at the University of Notre Dame is studying data from the...
New Device Makes Better Use of Sunlight
A team at MIT has discovered a way to harvest solar energy more efficiently and potentially on demand. The new solar thermophotovoltaic (STPV) device combines photovoltaic (PV) systems, which...
Nanoparticle Scattering Leads to Transparent Projection Screen
A new class of transparent projection screens could bring vehicle and aircraft navigation, advertising – even eyeglasses – to a whole new level. A team from MIT, the Harvard...
Soliton Behavior Observed in Silicon Photonics
A breakthrough in silicon photonics could shape the design of future integrated optical communications systems. An international research team based at the University of Sydney has observed an...
Subsurface Structures Probed via Spectroscopy
The hidden junctures where different layers of materials meet could become less mysterious under a new spectroscopy technique developed using the Advanced Light Source (ALS) at Lawrence Berkeley...
Detector Details Waveforms of Laser Pulses
A simplified detector for measuring pulsed laser radiation takes an important step toward complete control over the waveform of pulsed laser light, a necessary development for highly sensitive and...
Metamaterials Perform 'Photonic Calculus'
The discovery that metamaterials can be designed to perform "photonic calculus" as lightwaves pass through them could give rebirth to analog computers. The theoretical metamaterial could...
X-ray Camera Has Image Stabilizer
Making a firm connection between an x-ray lens and the nanoscale object to be imaged improves the imaging of low-contrast or moving nano-objects and could lead to new insights into dynamic nanoscale...
With Laser-Doping, Silicon Responds to IR Light
New IR imaging systems could be possible now that a new method has demonstrated that silicon is more responsive to IR light when laser-doped with one of its most dangerous impurities: gold. ...
Chemistry Advance Paves Way for Printable Photonics
A method that turns certain chalcogenide compounds into high- quality, larger exfoliated flakes than currently available can be used in printable photonics and electronics.  Dr. Zheng...

Lockheed laser could enhance weapons systems
The successful demonstration of a 30-kW electric fiber laser is a step forward toward deployment of a mission-relevant laser weapons system for air, land and sea military platforms. Developed by Lockheed Martin’s Aculight Laser Solutions unit of Bothell, Wash., it is the highest-power laser documented to retain beam quality and electrical efficiency, Lockheed said. Using spectral beam...
Optics Suitcase travels to students
Through its Optics Suitcase program, The Optical Society (OSA) Foundation in Washington is working to inspire a love of science and innovation among students. The program includes hands-on...
Goetz Instrument Support Awards Announced
Innovative research projects based on spectroscopy and remote sensing have been recognized by the Alexander Goetz Instrument Support Program awards for 2014. The awards program, now in its...
New laser tech company emerges
The Technical University of Denmark (DTU) has branched out with the formation of Norlase, a new company specializing in a unique class of visible lasers. The diode lasers are based on...
MALS Detector Improves Polymer Research
Wyatt Technology Corp. has discovered that quantitative branching topology information is crucial in the development of novel polymer-based materials and for understanding polymerization processes....
Storex develops optical lithography technique
Storex Technologies Inc. has developed an optical lithography technique with a resolution of 1 nm half-pitch lines, clearing a major hurdle in this field. Many attempts have been made to break...
INO to Develop Hyperspectral Imaging System
The National Optics Institute (INO), a photonics company, has obtained technology from airborne sensors developer ING Robotic Aviation to create an advanced imaging sensor for scientific research. ...
Zecotek Develops 3-D Printing Interface for Commercial Applications
Zecotek Photonics Inc.’s subsidiary Zecotek Display Systems Ltd. aims to bridge the gap between current and future generations of photonic 3-D display technology with its design of a new...
Ireland Backs Photonics for Economic Impact
The newly opened Irish Photonic Integration Centre, focused on information and communications technology, and on the medical device sector, is expected to create 200 new jobs over the next six years...

'Inverse Opal' Structure Enhances Solar Cell Efficiency
Photonic crystals with an "inverse opal" structure could increase the light-trapping capability of thin-film solar cells and help bring about lower-cost solar energy. Researchers at Purdue University’s Birck Nanotechnology Center and School of Electrical and Computer Engineering used the 3-D crystals to improve thin-film light absorption compared with conventional thin-film...

The devil wears … 3-D printed plastic?
Bill Cunningham, longtime fashion photographer for The New York Times, defines fashion as “the armor to survive the reality of everyday life.” And that mighty armor can now be made out of 3-D printed plastic, as seen on a few catwalks in London, Paris and New York. Using laser sintering and additive manufacturing, artist and sculptor Joshua Harker has created an intricate...

RGB Light Sensor
The ISL29125 RGB digital light sensor from Intersil Corp. optimizes the display resolution and color quality of mobile devices and televisions in all lighting environments. The sensor communicates directly with a device’s core processor to automatically adjust display brightness. Its on-chip IR-filtering technology, along with its angular response of a minimum of ±35% field of view...
Fiber Laser Cavity
OFS has launched the 1-kW TrueMode fiber laser cavity for multikilowatt systems design. The device consists of a complete package of matched components that deliver single-mode output....
Optical Spectrum Analyzer
Exfo Inc. has added the WDM-Aware, a coherent Pol-Mux 40G/100G optical signal-to-noise ratio (OSNR) analyzer, to its FTB/IQS 5240S-P and FTB/IQS-5240BP optical spectrum analyzer (OSA) lines. The...
EXFO, Inc.
High Shear Fluid Processor
Microfluidics International Corp. has released the LM10 Microfluidizer, a digitally controlled lab unit for small-sample materials processing. The device converts pressure energy into shear and...
Optical EDFA
iPhysicist’s optical erbium-doped fiber amplifier (EDFA) provides remote management, enabling real-time information about work channels and full control through the Internet. The device,...
iPhysicist Ltd.
Terahertz Spectroscopy System
The TAS7400 terahertz spectroscopy system from Advantest Corp. provides nondestructive analysis of internal structures and constituent substances for applications including materials analysis and...
Advantest Europe GmbH
Quantum Cascade Laser
Block Engineering has released the Mini-QCL Module for OEMs, corporate R&D and academic research. The miniature quantum cascade laser is suitable for applications including gas sensing and...
Block Engineering
CCD Spectrometer
Horiba Scientific has released electronic-shutter CCDs and electronics for use with its VS7000-CCD-HSE spectrometer as well as other UV-VIS-NIR mini spectrometers. The VS7000-CCD-HSE offers...
HORIBA Scientific
High-Power Pulsed Laser
NKT Photonics has added the Aeropulse high-power picosecond pulsed laser to its portfolio of industrial-grade mode-locked fiber lasers for semiconductor inspection, bioimaging and materials...
NKT Photonics A/S
Visible Laser Diodes
ProPhotonix Ltd. has added four visible laser diodes from Oclaro Inc. to its list of product offerings. The HL6319MG comes in a 5.6-mm package and offers optical output power of 700 mW at a...
ProPhotonix Ltd.
Spectral Test, Calibration
The STS system by McPherson Inc. tests and calibrates spectral and spatial performance in optical seekers, integrated imagers and bare sensors for commercial, military and research applications. ...
Refrigerator Cryostat
The 1.5-K, closed-cycle PTSHI-950-LT refrigerator cryostat from Janis Research Co. is a low-vibration pulse-tube cryocooler for applications including neutron scattering, electrical transport and...
Janis Research Co. LLC
Alumina Polishing Powders
Meller Optics Inc. has introduced Microlux high-purity calcined alumina polishing powders that can be mixed with deionized water for grinding, lapping and finishing a variety of optics. The...
Meller Optics, Inc.
Kinetic Spectroscopy Software
TimePro kinetic spectroscopy software from Craic Technologies Inc. measures time-dependent changes in full UV-VIS-NIR reflectance, absorbance and emission spectra of microscopic samples. ...
CRAIC Technologies
CCD Cameras
Raptor Photonics Ltd.’s CCD cameras, developed using Sony ExView HAD II sensor technology, offer a choice of 2.8-, 6- or 9-MP resolution and are available in both mono and RGB. Pixel size is...
Raptor Photonics Ltd.
Laser Fiber Packaging
OSI Laser Diode Inc. has introduced laser fiber packaging options for its CVD (chemical vapor deposition) high-power laser line. The packaging is suitable for use in optical sensors, cloud...
OSI Laser Diode Inc.
Laser Energy Sensor
The PE9-ES-C pyroelectric laser energy sensor from Ophir Photonics is suitable for low-energy, short-pulse YAG and harmonic generation applications, as well as low-energy, long-pulse lasers. ...
Ophir - Spiricon LLC, Photonics
Precision Goniometer
Trioptics has launched the PrismMaster HR goniometer series for angle measurement on optical prisms and polygons for applications in manufacturing and research. With an accuracy of 0.2 arcsec,...
Laser Speckle Reducer
The IQ7 laser speckle reducer from Power Technology Inc. reduces local interference and unwanted intensity patterns to improve laser imaging quality in machine vision applications such as beam...
Power Technology, Inc.
Optical Mounts
Newport Corp.’s enhanced Suprema SN100 1-in. optical mounts provide higher-resolution, 127-thread-per-in. ultrafine adjustment screws and are offered in both knobbed and tamper-resistant...
Newport Corporation
Polarizing Cube Beamsplitters
Edmund Optics’ high-energy UV fused silica polarizing cube beamsplitters offer an extinction ratio >3000:1, providing an alternative to Brewster windows. Their typical damage threshold...
Edmund Optics, Inc.

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