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Photonics Spectra: September 2015

Optics, Photonics Programs Are Lighting the Way
New York, Arizona and Florida boast three of the best optics programs in the U.S. — the Institute of Optics at the University of Rochester, the University of Arizona’s College of Optical Sciences, and the College of Optics and Photonics at the University of Central Florida. All are among the top 14 optics programs in the country, as ranked by U.S. News and World Report in 2014. ...
Justine Murphy, Editor,
Optimizing the Design of Aspheric Lenses
With the understanding of aspheric lens manufacturing provided in part one of this article (Photonics Spectra, May 2015), designers have the tools to optimize their aspheres; the next step is to...
Jeremy Govier, Edmund Optics
Advances in CMOS Image Sensors Open Doors to Many Applications
Since the invention of charge-coupled devices (CCDs) in the 1970s, they have dominated the area of scientific and industrial imaging applications. However, in the 1990s monolithic complementary...
Yakov Bulayev, Hamamatsu Corp.
Lighting, Displays and More Go Organic
That glowing screen in the palm of your hand might foretell the future. It’s not some new app, but the screen itself. OLEDs — organic light-emitting diodes — have muscled their way...
Hank Hogan, Contributing Editor,
New CO Laser Technology Offers Processing Benefits
The first carbon monoxide (CO) lasers were built more than 50 years ago. The technology showed promise for several reasons. First, CO lasers are inherently efficient in terms of their conversion of...
Andrew Held, Coherent Inc.

Education Fuels the Future
Researchers, scientists and industry experts (no matter their amount of “in-field” experience) must stay current with scientific understanding and technological advances if they expect to succeed in the future. They must continually educate themselves. They have to. There is no other way to even fathom new, innovative technologies without continuous learning. This month we...

Celebrating Light in Ireland
Bringing the excitement of optics and photonics to large audiences in public spaces requires enthusiasm, creativity and energy — and fortunately, many students have all of these qualities in abundance. The SPIE/OSA Chapter of the University College Dublin, led by President Laura Tobin, is a good example of how students are reaching out to encourage the celebration of light in 2015 and the...
Laura Tobin, School of Electrical, Electronic & Communications Engineering, University College Dublin

Light Polarization Reveals Chiral Side of Silicon
Polarized light can bring out an unexpected electrical property in silicon, potentially unlocking new possibilities for computing. University of Pennsylvania researchers examining a silicon device caused current to flow in one direction by shining clockwise-polarized light on it; counterclockwise-polarized light caused current to flow in the opposite direction. A silicon-based...
Fluorescent Mesh Aids Tissue Regrowth
Polymer fibers provide a mesh for tissue growth that can be monitored through near-infrared fluorescence imaging. Originally developed for solar cells, the material, called TQ1, exhibits...
Microlens Array Spawns Massive Microscope Image
A new multispectral device is said to have produced the largest microscope image ever, combining 13 color channels gathered by thousands of microlenses into a nearly 17-gigapixel picture. Able...
QDs, Perovskites Team Up in Superefficient IR LEDs
Aligning the crystalline structures of quantum dots (QDs) and perovskites could yield high-efficiency LEDs. Emitting in the IR region, these hybrid materials could have applications in...
Blue LEDs Could Help Preserve Certain Refrigerated Foods
Blue light may be the key to keeping chemical preservatives out of certain food products. A team of scientists from the National University of Singapore has found that blue LEDs have strong...
Boron Turns Graphene into Blue Light Emitter
Chemists at Goethe University Frankfurt have developed a new class of organic luminescent materials through the targeted introduction of boron atoms into graphene. The compounds exhibit an intense...
Graphene Confines Light for Nanomolecular Sensing
A plasmonic sensor made of graphene can conduct complex analyses of the smallest molecules without altering them. The device overcomes a limitation of traditional IR absorption spectroscopy,...
Light-Activated Drugs Help Target Tumors, Cut Side Effects
A new technique that uses light to activate chemotherapy drugs in specific cells shows promise as a way to improve the effectiveness of cancer therapies while preventing severe side effects. By...
Spectrometer Aims at Disease Detection in Breath
An IR frequency comb spectrometer could help clinicians detect diabetes, infections and cancers by analyzing the air patients exhale. The system uses a commercial frequency comb,...
Plasmon Wakes Created, Controlled in Metamaterial
Surface plasmons can exhibit wakes likes any other wave, and those wakes can be controlled through nanoscale features on a metallic surface and through properties of the light shining on it. ...
Microscopy Platform Enables Ultrastable Measurements
Stable enough to track the movements of individual molecules over many hours, a new measurement platform for microscopes could enable a deeper understanding of subcellular processes. The...
Strain Measurement Optimizes Nanowire LEDs
Tiny defects can affect the performance of nanowire LEDs. Now researchers have a way to detect these defects and potentially correct them. A team from the Niels Bohr Institute at the University...
Lasers Improve Blade Maintenance for Stone Cutting
Lasers and glue could replace the solder used today to attach diamond segments to rotary blades used in stone cutting. A new mobile, laser-based process for attaching and removing cutting...
Continuously Disinfecting Light Fixtures Commercialized
Designed to continuously disinfect the air and surfaces in hospitals, a new line of light fixtures is about to hit the U.S. market. Developed at the University of Strathclyde in the U.K. and...
Optical Cavity Allows for Measurement of Nanosystems
A new type of microscope uses an optical cavity to enhance image signals dramatically and enable detailed measurements of the structure and movements of individual nanoparticles. The technique...
Spin Hall Effect Called Fundamental Property of Light
The spin of incident light determines the direction of propagation of evanescent waves along a surface, according to researchers at the Riken Center for Emergent Matter Science. The finding...
Newly Discovered Corals Light Up Murky Depths
Deep-water corals recently discovered in the Red Sea display a surprising array of colors, the mechanisms of which could be developed into new bioimaging tools. An international team of...

Plessey Wins £1.3M Grant for LED Development
Plessey Semiconductors Ltd. will lead a £1.3 million (about $1.1 million) U.K. grant to accelerate high-volume manufacturing of LEDs created with GaN-on-silicon technology. ...
IOP Recognizes Products from M Squared Lasers, Silixa
The Institute of Physics (IOP) has presented its Innovation Awards to two U.K. photonics companies. M Squared Lasers Ltd. of Glasgow, Scotland, was recognized for development of a CW...
3D-Micromac Wins Contract for Laser Solar Cell Processing Systems
Laser micromachining firm 3D-Micromac AG said it recently won a major contract for 27 systems for processing PERC (passivated emitter rear cell) solar cells. The company said a global...
US Army Awards $13M Night Vision Contract to Intevac
Intevac Photonics, a division of Intevac Inc., has received a $13 million contract for the production of night vision cameras for the U.S. Army’s Apache Helicopter Pilot Night Vision Sensor...
Ball Aerospace Delivers Laser Ranging Subsystems to JPL
Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. has delivered to NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) key components for a laser ranging system designed to measure changes in Earth's oceans, groundwater...
NKT Photonics Licenses Fiber Laser Technology to Fraunhofer IOF
The Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Optics and Precision Engineering (IOF) in Jena has licensed photonic crystal fiber (PCF) technology from NKT Photonics AS of Birkerød, Denmark. NKT...

VIS Light, Photocatalyst Deconstruct BPA
A hybrid photocatalyst that can break down bisphenol A (BPA) using visible light could eventually be used to help safely dispose of the widely used chemical. Because BPA doesn’t degrade easily, it can potentially cause harm to humans and the environment, including when it seeps into waterways. Researchers affiliated with the University of Malaya, in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, and Leibniz...

Blackpool Illuminations Shine On
The English seaside resort town of Blackpool, County Lancashire, is home to one of the greatest free light shows on earth. The annual Blackpool Illuminations will shine for 66 days this year, from Sept. 4 to Nov. 8. Referred to locally as The Lights, the display’s long history illustrates the exponential rate of development of artificial light sources, from eight precious arc lamps in 1879...

VCSEL Arrays
Princeton Optronics Inc. has announced a line of 940-nm, 8-W vertical-cavity surface-emitting laser (VCSEL) arrays for illumination applications. The arrays offer >45 percent efficiency, a spectral width of 1 nm and a circular beam with divergence of 18°. Compared to light sources with shorter wavelengths such as 850 nm, the 940-nm VCSEL array enables imaging with lower solar...
Princeton Optronics, Inc.
Multilaser Engine
Toptica Photonics Inc. has announced the iChrome SLE multilaser engine, a field-upgradeable, eight-color laser engine for multicolor microscopy and other biophotonic applications. The iChrome...
TOPTICA Photonics, Inc.
Motion Controller
The MCST 3601 series of motion controllers from Dr. Fritz Faulhaber GmbH & Co. KG (Faulhaber) of Germany is compact, flexible and designed to fit the Faulhaber micro stepper motors for optics and...
Metrology Software
Hexagon Metrology Inc. has announced the PC-DMIS 2015 software for the collection, evaluation and management of measurement data. The software introduces a new measurement strategy for optical...
Hexagon Metrology, Inc.
Color LEDs
Lumileds Holding BV has announced the Luxeon 3535L color line, giving emergency vehicle lights, signs, color-tunable bulbs and architectural lamps access to high-quality, single-color mid-power LEDs...
3D Vision System
Canon U.S.A. Inc. has announced the RV300, RV500 and RV1100 3D machine vision systems. Capable of high-speed, high-accuracy 3D recognition of objects, the systems help increase production...
Canon U.S.A., Inc., Industrial Products Div.
Thermography Camera
Sierra-Olympic Technologies Inc. has announced the Cox CX320 thermography camera, an uncooled longwave-infrared camera system for machine vision, process monitoring and benchtop R&D applications....
Sierra Olympic Technologies, Inc. (SOTI)
Toshiba America Electronic Components Inc. has announced the TLP383 transistor-output photocoupler, suited for programmable logic controllers, AC adapters and interface boards. Used to replace...
Toshiba America Electronic Components Inc.
UAV Optics
Custom-fabricated unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) optics for small drones and tiny flying robots have been announced by Meller Optics Inc. The optics feature round sapphire lenses from 0.25 in....
Meller Optics, Inc.
CMOS Image Sensor
On Semiconductor Corp. has announced the AR0136AT CMOS digital image sensor, incorporating the company's first backside illuminated (BSI) sensor technology for the automotive imaging market. ...
ON Semiconductor
Frame Grabber
Teledyne Dalsa (part of Teledyne Technologies Corp.) has announced the Xtium-CL MX4 frame grabber, a Camera Link-compatible image processing board that delivers high-speed images to host memory. ...
Teledyne DALSA, Machine Vision OEM Components
Aspheric Lenses
Modified to offer high performance at specific wavelengths, TECHSPEC Best Form aspheric lenses from Edmund Optics Inc. produce diffraction-limited spot sizes at the design wavelength. Polished...
Edmund Optics, Inc.
Angle-Measuring Eyepiece
An angle-measuring goniometer eyepiece from Titan Tool Supply Inc. can be used to check cutting tool geometry and angular measurement. The AME-5M measures over 360° to an accuracy of 5...
Titan Tool Supply, Inc.
Illumination Design Software
Synopsys Inc. has announced version 8.3 of its LightTools illumination design software, which offers an advanced design module for modeling reflective and refractive freeform optical surfaces. ...
Synopsys, Inc., Optical Solutions Group
Machine Vision Controller
A programmable logic controller from EVT Eye Vision Technology GmbH provides an interface between image processing systems and the production plant for machine vision applications. The...
EVT Eye Vision Technology GmbH
CMOS Image Sensors
Framos GmbH now offers two CMOS sensors from Sony, the Pregius IMX250 and IMX252, for industrial image applications. The sensors feature 3.45 μm pixels and improved sensitivity in the IR...
Lithography System
A fully integrated UV nanoimprint lithography system, the Hercules NIL from EVG (EV Group Europe & Asia/Pacific GmbH) combines cleaning, resist-coating and baking preprocessing steps for...
EV Group (EVG)
High-Speed Rotator
A high-speed rotator from Finger Lakes Instrumentation LLC is designed to synchronize with scientific CMOS (sCMOS) cameras, allowing fast changes in the orientation of optical elements. The...
Finger Lakes Instrumentation, LLC
Titanium-Doped Sapphire
Synoptics (part of Northrop Grumman Corp.) now offers titanium-doped sapphire for short-pulse lasers. The components are available in sizes up to 25 mm in length at various absorption and...
Northrop Grumman Synoptics
Linear Positioner
PI (Physik Instrumente) LP has announced the Q-521, a miniaturized, piezo-driven linear positioner. The ultracompact positioning system is 21 mm in width and comes with travel ranges of 12, 22...
PI (Physik Instrumente) L.P., Air Bearings and Piezo Precision Motion
Green Laser Sight
Designed to withstand the rigors of repeated firing on subcompact handguns, LaserMax Inc.’s Micro-2-G rail-mounted laser sighting system is now offered in green and is equipped with advanced...
LaserMax, Inc.
Fiber Cable
OFS Fitel LLC has announced the MiDia FX cable, making fiber-cable deployment faster and less costly. Featuring optimized buffer tubes and jacket rifling for air-blown installation performance...
Fiber Optic Testing Software
OPL-PowerRT software from OptoTest Corp. allows testing of insertion loss on multichannel fiber-optic assemblies. Intended for use with the company's OP710 multichannel power meter equipment,...
OptoTest Corp.
IR Nanocharacterization System
Bruker Corp. has introduced an IR nanocharacterization system for use in atomic force microscopy (AFM) applications. Inspire integrates all required optics, detectors and configurable sources,...
Bruker Nano Surfaces
OEM Raman Spectrographs
OEM Raman spectrographs from BaySpec Inc. can be customized for any excitation wavelength. Using in-house volume phase gratings, the wavelength range can be customized for the fingerprint...
BaySpec, Inc.
Laser Power/Energy Meter
Ophir Photonics (part of Newport Corp.) has announced a handheld power and energy meter for use with its thermal, pyroelectric and photodiode laser sensors. StarBright measures power from pico-...
Ophir - Spiricon LLC, Photonics
Arbitrary Waveform Generators
Spectrum Instrumentation Corp. has announced three new arbitrary waveform generators for scientists working in optics and other fields. The new models of the M4i.66xx series offer one, two and...
Spectrum Instrumentation Corp.
IR Thermometers
The OS499 series of IR thermometers from Omega Engineering Inc. feature dual lasers for better targeting. The devices feature a built-in flashlight and a mini thermocouple socket up to 1400...
OMEGA Engineering, Inc.
Handheld Raman Identifier
Chemring Detection Systems Inc. has introduced a handheld Raman spectrometer designed for use in the field by law enforcement and military personnel to aid in identifying chemicals, narcotics and...
Chemring Detection System, Inc.

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