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Photonics Spectra: December 2011

FEATURES
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Quantum Cascade Lasers Enhance Mid-IR Spectroscopy
Voltage-tunable output wavelength, broad gain spectra, high output power and efficiency, and innovative cavity geometries give quantum cascade laser-based sensor systems an edge in applications from gas analysis to chemical sensing. Most vapor molecules have a unique absorption spectrum in the mid-IR region, so this range is of particular interest for trace gas analysis and chemical...
Jonathan Hu, Princeton University and Baylor University; and Claire Gmachl, Princeton University
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Terahertz Computed Tomography Helps ID Chemical Substances
As radiation sources become more efficient, detectors become more sensitive, and acquisition speeds up, terahertz computed tomography holds promise for nondestructively finding and distinguishing...
Ankia Brahm and Andreas Tünnermann, Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Optics and Precision Engineering (IOF) and Institute of Applied Physics (IAP) of Friedrich Schiller University; Felix Wichmann, Carsten Gerth, Maryna Tymoshchuk, Stefan Riehemann and Gunter Notni, Frienhofer IOF
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Research at the Nanoscale Boosts Green Photonics
Improving the efficiency of thin-film solar cells is a key challenge, and some believe that nanophotonics could be the answer. Nanophotonic structures give us better control over light, enabling...
Marie Freebody, Contributing Editor, marie.freebody@photonics.com
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Proper Load Distribution Ensures Stable Operation
With vibration-isolated platforms, questions of load distribution and static stability of pneumatic support systems are not always properly understood. This can create difficulties when setting up...
Vyacheslav M. Ryaboy, !%Newport Corp.%!
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3-D Optical Microscopy Expands Applications
High-speed operation has enabled the 3-D optical microscope to transition successfully from a precision laboratory instrument to a rugged, frontline industrial tool for quality control and...
Dr. Matt Novak, !%Bruker Nano Surfaces Div.%!


EDITORIAL
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Ending on an Up Note
At the close of a year in which the industry weathered global economic storms and tragic natural disasters, we’re happy to report a little good news: After prices for cerium oxide and other rare-earth elements climbed to stratospheric levels over the past three years, a fall back to Earth may be under way. Users of these materials pushed back against the breathtaking upward pricing...


TECH PULSE
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Smart petri dish analyzes cell growth
Built from a smartphone, a commercially available cell phone image sensor and some Lego blocks, ePetri isn't like other petri dishes. The compact, lens-free microscopy imaging platform can track cell cultures and bacteria as they incubate. Petri dishes have been used primarily to grow cells and to help identify bacteria at the center of infections such as tuberculosis. Their conventional...
Ashley N. Paddock, ashley.paddock@photonics.com
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"Mirage effect" from carbon nanotubes hides objects
A cloaking device made from sheets of transparent carbon nanotubes takes advantage of the mirage effect — an optical phenomenon in which light rays are bent to produce a displaced image of...
Ashley N. Paddock, ashley.paddock@photonics.com
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Improved photosynthesis increases fuel, food production
Overcoming some fundamental limitations of photosynthesis could lead to major increases in crop yields, bioenergy and the production of renewable chemicals, and five new research projects have taken...
Ashley N. Paddock, ashley.paddock@photonics.com
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Compact terahertz device could improve security screening
Using two mid-infrared laser beams, researchers have finally generated single-chip terahertz radiation at room temperature. The technology could speed up and improve a range of processes, including...
Ashley N. Paddock, ashley.paddock@photonics.com
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Copper nanowires enable cheaper foldable electronics, solar cells
Copper nanowires could bring down production costs for electronic displays, foldable electronics and solar cells — helping engineers build more affordable e-readers, iPads, cell phones,...
Ashley N. Paddock, ashley.paddock@photonics.com
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nQuire software brings science to life for youth
A software tool kit encourages students to ask questions and look for deeper reasons behind observations, helping them to think and act like real science investigators. The new approach could spark...
Ashley N. Paddock, ashley.paddock@photonics.com
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"Smart" polymer disassembles under low-level NIR irradiation
A unique polymeric material disassembles when exposed to low levels of near-infrared irradiation and is well-tolerated by cells. The new "smart" polymer could be used for noninvasive medical and...
Ashley N. Paddock, ashley.paddock@photonics.com
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Simple nanoantenna separates colors of light
A new nanoantenna directs red and blue colors in opposite directions and could lead to optical nanosensors that can detect very low concentrations of gases or biomolecules. Historically, a...
Ashley N. Paddock, ashley.paddock@photonics.com
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Microarray chips enhance clinical diagnostics
A laser-based benchtop system fabricates protein microarray chips for use in clinical diagnostics, enabling doctors to identify tumor markers in blood samples and to detect pathogens responsible for...
Ashley N. Paddock, ashley.paddock@photonics.com
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IPhone becomes multipurpose imaging tool
Using materials that cost about as much as a typical app, scientists have transformed the everyday iPhone into a medical-quality imaging and chemical-detection device that performs detailed...
Ashley N. Paddock, ashley.paddock@photonics.com
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Laser remelting produces structured surface designs
Structuring the metallic surfaces of tool inserts by laser remelting allows manufacturers to more quickly and cost-effectively adapt their production processes to incorporate novel structures and...
Ashley N. Paddock, ashley.paddock@photonics.com


LIGHT SPEED
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Photonics on ice!
Summer comes to the icy vistas of the Antarctic shores. The winds die down a bit, and the temperature climbs (sometimes to above freezing). Most remarkable is the burgeoning population of the unusual bipeds, all puffed up in their striking, yet warmth-providing coats. Yes, a swarm of scientists has arrived for a new season of vital research. Antarctica, a land to which no one nation...
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Sony Facility to Make LED Streetlights
Sony’s Pencoed, Wales, facility has been selected to manufacture energy-efficient LED streetlighting systems for the UK and Europe. The Sony UK Technology Centre has been working with...
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Sydor Instruments Completes Move
Streak camera maker Sydor Instruments has moved its headquarters to another location in Rochester, N.Y., to expand its testing, design and manufacturing capabilities. The facility offers 16,000...
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Thermo Fisher Acquires Company
Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc. has announced the acquisition of Intrinsic Bioprobes Inc. to enhance its work flow for biomarker research and diagnostics. Intrinsic Bioprobes’ portfolio,...
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LaserMotive to Work on NASA Project
LaserMotive, an R&D company specializing in laser power beaming, is among the companies named to work on the new NASA “Ride the Light” project, a program in the Game Changing...
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Partnership for Silicon Photonics Formed
A*STAR Institute of Microelectronics (IME) in Singapore, and the University of Washington in Seattle, will join forces to provide shared silicon photonics processes as part of the Optoelectronics...
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Edinburgh Instruments Marks 40 Years
Heriot-Watt University spinout Edinburgh Instruments Ltd., in Scotland, has announced its 40th anniversary. Founded in 1971 by chief scientific officer S. Desmond Smith, OBE Fellow of the Royal...
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Avantes Moves to Larger Facility
Avantes BV, a manufacturer of instruments, light sources, software and accessories for spectroscopic applications, has moved to a state-of-the-art 2700-sq-m facility in Apeldoorn, the Netherlands....
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Process Corrects for Diffractive Form Errors
Precitech Inc. of Keene, N.H., and 14560%%Taylor Hobson of Leicester, UK, have developed a technique to measure, analyze and correct for diffractive form errors in three dimensions. The process uses...
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FBGS Technologies Launches Subsidiary
FBGS International, started in July, is a fully owned subsidiary of FBGS Technologies of Jena, Germany. It is headquartered in Belgium and has taken over a major part of the business, technology and...
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E2v Delivers Sensors for Space Mission
In October, at its headquarters in Chelmsford, UK, e2v was joined by representatives from the European Space Agency (ESA), Astrium SAS, key suppliers and local dignitaries for a celebration to mark...
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Companies Extend OLED Partnership
Universal Display Corp. of Ewing, N.J., and PPG Industries of Pittsburgh have entered into a new organic LED (OLED) materials supply and service agreement under which PPG will remain the exclusive...
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Northrop Grumman Integrates QCL into System
Northrop Grumman Corp. of Rolling Meadows, Ill., and Daylight Solutions of San Diego have announced the testing and integration of the Solaris quantum cascade laser (QCL)-based system into the...
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Thorlabs Buys Burleigh Line
Lumen Dynamics has sold its Burleigh line to 14977%%Thorlabs Inc. of Newton, N.J. The line includes piezoelectric micromanipulators and microscope mounting systems for life sciences research....
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Toptica Presents Research Awards
Dr. Ian Spielman and professor Gora Shlyapnikov were honored for their contributions to the field of Bose-Einstein Condensation by Toptica Photonics AG of Martinsried, Germany, during the...
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Jenoptik Expands Laser Production
As a result of increased customer demand, the Jenoptik Group has announced that it will invest approximately €10 million (about $13.6 million) to increase laser production at its Berlin site....
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OSA Launches Internship Resource
The Optical Society of America (OSA) has launched an “Internship Gateway” to its job board website, WORKinOPTICS.com. The site, which helps connect optics and photonics companies to job...
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Ocean Optics Awards Grants
Ocean Optics, a supplier of optical sensing technology in Dunedin, Fla., has named the Phase I winners of its first Blue Ocean Grants and Challenges, an open innovation program seeking novel ideas...
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Kodak Licenses Tech to Imax
In New York, Imax Corp. has struck a deal with Eastman Kodak Co. of Rochester to license numerous laser-projection technologies. The large-screen and dome cinema specialist plans to use the...
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Rigaku Acquires BaySpec Lines
Through its acquisition of 1568%%BaySpec Inc.’s handheld Raman technology and product lines, Rigaku Americas Corp. has formed a new division, Rigaku Raman Technologies Inc. Rigaku’s new...
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Alternatives Sought for Rare-Earth Materials
In response to the shortage of rare-earth metals used for polishing in the optics industry, high-tech industry association Spectaris has developed a “Rare Earth” industrial consortium...
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Early Career Scientists Honored
Benjamin Mazin, a physicist who made a breakthrough in the field of superconducting detectors, and Hatice Altug, a scientist working on the development of nanophotonic devices for optical...
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3M Invests in Pixel Qi
Through its 3M New Ventures organization, 3M of St. Paul, Minn., has invested in Pixel Qi Corp., a developer of next-generation LCD panels with operations in Taiwan and California. Terms of the...
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Bruker to Secure CETR
Bruker Corp. of Billerica, Mass., is set to acquire Center for Tribology Inc. (CETR), a metrology instrumentation maker in Campbell, Calif. Tribology covers the physical effects of surface-to-surface...
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Dow Solar Wins Contract
Dow Solar, a business unit of the Dow Chemical Co. of Midland, Mich., has been awarded a $12.8 million, three-year grant from the US Department of Energy’s SunShot initiative to fund a program...
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Elbit Gains Defense Contract
Elbit Systems of America LLC, the US subsidiary of Elbit Systems Ltd. of Haifa, Israel, has received a contract to supply Boeing Military Aircraft with the CV-22 color helmet-mounted display (HMD) to...
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EMagin Files Plans with NYSE Amex
Organic LED microdisplay manufacturer eMagin of Bellevue, Wash., has filed a plan with the NYSE Amex LLC (the “Exchange”) to regain compliance with the Exchange’s continued listing...
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EPS Promotes Year of Light
The European Physical Society (EPS), based in Mulhouse, France, has announced a global project to seek an endorsement by the United Nations proclaiming 2015 as an International Year of Light. Besides...
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FEI, OHSU to create a “Living Lab”
In Oregon, a new laboratory will provide researchers with state-of-the-art electron microscopes to advance the understanding and treatment of cancer, AIDS and other diseases. The Living Lab for Cell...
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General Dynamics Awarded Contract
General Dynamics Electric Boat of Groton, Conn., a wholly owned subsidiary of General Dynamics, has received a $32.9 million contract modification by the US Navy to procure three backup photonic...
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Mad City Labs Opens European Office
Mad City Labs Inc. of Madison, Wis., has opened a direct sales office in Zurich. It established Mad City Labs GmbH to enhance service and support to its European customers and to strengthen its...
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Goodrich Receives Sensors Order
Goodrich Corp. of Charlotte, N.C., has received an order from Roketsan Missiles Industries Inc. of Ankara, Turkey, for its SiIMU02 inertial measurement units (IMUs). The devices, which will be...
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Companies Expand Deal on Fiber Lasers
Imra America Inc. of Ann Arbor, Mich., and 7355%%Jenoptik Laser, a subsidiary of Jenoptik AG of Jena, Germany, have completed a second, more expansive licensing agreement for the use of Imra...
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Infinera Establishes Russian Entity
Digital optical communications systems provider Infinera of Sunnyvale, Calif., has established a base in Moscow to focus on marketing and sales operations, and on working with local partners to...
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IRphotonics Adds Thermal Imaging Camera
Infrared fibers and systems manufacturer IRphotonics of Hamden, Conn., has acquired a high-resolution forward-looking infrared thermal imaging camera to expand the capabilities of its application...
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Lockheed Receives $100M Contract
Global security company Lockheed Martin of Bethesda, Md., has received a $100.5 million contract from the US Air Force for the production of paveway II Plus Laser Guided Bomb (LGB) GBU-12 guidance...
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Nanostart Increases Stake in Company
Nanostart AG of Frankfurt, Germany, has augmented its share in Microlight Sensors from 19 to 31 percent by investing through its Nanostart Singapore Early Stage Venture Fund. The increased share...


GREENLIGHT
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“Smart windows” will adjust to the weather outside
Home or office windows soon could be made to darken to shield us from a scorching summer sun, then made to switch back to transparent in winter to take advantage of light and heat available from the sun on those shorter days. A team of Korean scientists has developed a smart window that exhibits a record optical-switching behavior of >90 percent – which means that the window can...
Marie Freebody, Contributing Editor, marie.freebody@photonics.com


LIGHTER SIDE
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Elusive rainbows caught on camera
Diligent camera work and a new meteorological model have captured what may be the first images of ephemeral triple and quadruple rainbows. These natural optical events are difficult to observe, partly because they are dim and appear in the sunward part of the sky. But new math-based guidelines have given rainbow chasers leads on the weather conditions that bring about triple and even...


PRODUCTS
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LED Light-Curing System
Dymax Corp. has introduced the BlueWave LED DX-1000, an LED light-curing system designed to provide advantages over conventional lamp-curing systems, including cooler curing temperatures, lower...
Dymax Corp.
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Spectrometer for Nanomaterials
Applied NanoFluorescence LLC has unveiled its model NS3 NanoSpectralyzer for multimode spectrometry of nanomaterials. The compact turnkey instrument sensitively captures fluorescence spectra from 400...
Applied NanoFluorescence, LLC
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MΩ Thin-Film Resistors
OnChip Devices has launched silicon-based thin-film components with a resistance range of 5 to 150 MΩ. The XTM resistor family is produced using proprietary processes and exhibits good...
OnChip Devices, Inc.
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Vacuum Spectrometers
Vacuum spectrometers are now available from McPherson Inc. for vacuum ultraviolet applications involving transient or fast plasma physics, astrophysics, materials science (luminescence, Raman) and...
McPherson
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Microscopy Illumination
For fluorescence microscopy imaging applications, Lumen Dynamics Group Inc. has unveiled the X-Cite XLED1, a high-power LED illumination solution offering advanced triggering capabilities that enable...
Lumen Dynamics
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Laser Marking Workstation
ES Technology has developed a laser marking workstation that meets industrial requirements for individual metal or plastic parts or small series marking. Made of stainless steel, it may be used in...
ES Technology SA
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Metallurgical Microscopes
Unitron Ltd.’s Examet-4 series industrial metallurgical microscopes are designed for production lines, materials science applications, metal manufacturing and metallurgy. With semiapochromatic...
UNITRON Ltd.
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Three-Chip Camera Head
Toshiba Imaging Systems Div. has introduced an ultracompact three-chip high-definition camera head that measures 1.6 in. and weighs 2.3 oz. The three-CCD IK-HD1 provides 1920 x 1080-pixel resolution,...
Toshiba Imaging Systems
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Gel, Blot Imaging
UVP LLC has announced the ChemiDoc-It TS2 imager. The integrated touch screen and user-friendly capture software simplify work flow for imaging of chemiluminescent, fluorescent, colorimetric and...
UVP, LLC
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CG-MALS System
Wyatt Technology Corp. has released Calypso, a composition-gradient multiangle light-scattering (CG-MALS) system that achieves accurate measurements of biomolecular interactions. It can determine...
Wyatt Technology Corp.
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Infrared Cameras
InfraTec GmbH Infrarotsensorik und Messtechnik’s ImageIR series infrared cameras have cooled focal-plane-array photon detectors of various types (indium antimonide, mercury cadmium telluride,...
InfraTec GmbH, Infrarotsensorik und Messtechnik
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Adjustable Shim
Pinpoint Laser Systems Inc. has launched Micro-shim, a compact adjustable shim suitable for use in production plants, machine shops, utilities and other industrial facilities where machinery must be...
Pinpoint Laser Systems, Inc.
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CO2 RF-Excited Laser
The AL1500-W CO2 radio-frequency (RF)-excited laser from Alkras LLC is available in wavelengths of 10.6 and 9.3 µm and delivers wall-plug efficiency of up to 14%. The device weighs <30 kg,...
Alkras LLC
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Imaging ATR Accessory
For Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) chemical imaging analyses, Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc. has released an imaging attenuated total reflectance (ATR) accessory with enhanced spatial resolution...
Thermo Fisher Scientific, Molecular Spectroscopy
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NIR Single-Photon Counter
Aurea Technology is launching the SPD_B, a single-photon-counting module for shortwave near-IR wavelengths from 1000 to 1350 nm. The ultralow-noise, high-quantum-efficiency device includes a...
AUREA Technology
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Blocks and I/O Cables
To simplify development of machine vision systems, BitFlow has unveiled a line of products designed to assist engineers in the layout and modeling of imaging systems using the company’s Karbon,...
BitFlow, Inc.
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Interface Board
For precision USB laser diode and temperature control, Wavelength Electronics is offering the USBKIT interface board and software package. The bus-powered USB 2.0 interface board is wired using...
Wavelength Electronics, Inc.
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Short-Pulse Laser
Teem Photonics announces a 25% higher repetition rate and 25% shorter pulse version of the passively Q-switched PicoSpark laser family. Applications include micromachining and precision marking. The...
Teem Photonics
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Positioning Stages
The MPS50SL miniature linear positioning stages manufactured by Aerotech Inc. meet the needs of space-constrained laboratories and production floors. The devices are 50 mm wide, with travels of 25 or...
Aerotech, Inc.
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PV Module Junction Box
Cyntech Components has unveiled a universal junction box for silicon wafer solar photovoltaic (PV) modules that can be quickly customized to suit applications. It comes with three surface-mount...
Cyntech Components
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Coordinate Measuring Machine
The Crysta-Apex S coordinate measuring machine (CMM) from Mitutoyo America Corp. brings high performance and economy to the 1.7-µm class of computer numerical control CMMs. With a maximum...
Mitutoyo America Corp.
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“Green” LED Driver
The AS1123 manufactured by austriamicrosystems is a constant-current, 16-channel “green” LED driver with an on-chip diagnostic read-back function. It is for use in industrial...
austriamicrosystems AG
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Actuators, Rotation Stage
Newport Corp.’s vacuum-compatible LTA series actuators and URS50B rotation stage are for research and industrial applications. Compatible with 10 x e—6 hPa (7 x 10 e—6 torr) vacuum,...
Newport Corporation
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Silicon Photomultipliers
SensL’s second-generation SL family of low-light silicon photomultipliers features a four-times-higher signal-to-noise ratio than its previous generation products and provides output uniformity...
SensL
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Radiation-Hardened Fibers
Draka Holding NV, part of the Prysmian Group, is introducing two radiation-hardened fibers, the Super RadHard single-mode (SRH-SMF) and Super RadHard multimode (SRH-MMF). They are built using...
Draka Holding NV
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SMU Instrument
Keithley Instruments Inc. has announced an addition to its Series 2400 SourceMeter instrument family. As with all of the company’s source measurement unit (SMU) instruments, Model 2401 is...
Keithley Instruments, Inc.
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Goniometric Radiometers
Ophir Photonics Group’s patented LD8900 goniometric radiometers perform holographic materials measurement and can make X-Y and 3-D measurements without moving either the detector or the source....
Ophir - Spiricon LLC, Photonics
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Vision System Testing
Cognex Corp. has introduced TestRun software for its In-Sight vision system, allowing manufacturers to automatically test the system and verify that it is functioning correctly. Users can confirm...
Cognex Corp.
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Enhanced Spectrometer
B&W Tek Inc. has enhanced its i-Raman high-resolution thermoelectrically cooled Raman spectrometer and has introduced the BWIQ chemometric software package. The spectrometer is equipped with...
B&W Tek, Inc.
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100-GHz OCPM
BaySpec Inc. has announced commercial availability of its IntelliGuard optical channel performance monitor (OCPM), now with an enhanced 100-Gb/s modulation format defined by the Optical...
BaySpec, Inc.
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Wedge Prisms
For beam steering and beam shaping applications, Edmund Optics Inc. has launched its TechSpec fused silica wedge prisms, which are suitable for a variety of beam deviation options. Offering good...
Edmund Optics, Inc.
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Handheld Spectrometer
Spectro Analytical Instruments has introduced Spectro xSort, a next-generation handheld energy-dispersive x-ray fluorescence spectrometer. It comes in a small, lightweight package and offers good...
Spectro Analytical Instruments GmbH
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UV and EUV Photodiodes
Opto Diode Corp., a division of ITW and a member of the ITW Photonics Group, offers semiconductor radiation sensors for detecting photons and other particles. The company’s new line includes...
Opto Diode Corp.
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Thermovision Camera
The Metis Vision MV09 thermovision camera manufactured by Process Sensors Corp. is designed for precision temperature measurement and control applications. It features high, drift-free stability with...
Process Sensors Corp., IR Temperature Div.
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Dry Pump Series
Edwards Ltd. has expanded its iXH family of harsh process dry pumps with the introduction of the iXH500H series, optimized for flat panel, solar and advanced semiconductor processes requiring high...
Edwards Ltd.
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Sputtered Coatings
Deposition Sciences Inc. has unveiled its sputtered long-wavelength-infrared optical coatings. The MicroDyn sputtering deposition platform now delivers 8-µm long-wave pass and 10-µm...
Deposition Sciences Inc. (DSI)
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End-Pumping Module
Princeton Optronics Inc. has introduced a vertical-cavity surface-emitting laser (VCSEL)-based end-pumping module for pumping Nd:YAG lasers. The device delivers >900 W of quasicontinuous-wave...
Princeton Optronics, Inc.
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USB Controller
The PulseCheck autocorrelator manufactured by Angewandte Physik & Electronik GmbH is now available with the PulseLink USB 2.0 high-speed controller that controls the autocorrelator head via a PC....
A.P.E Angewandte Physik & Elektronik GmbH
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600-W, 880-nm Line Sources
Dilas has launched a line of conduction-cooled, multibar line source modules with a homogeneous top-hat beam profile in the slow axis and a diffraction-limited profile in the fast axis. They output...
DILAS Diode Laser, Inc.
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Alignment, Gluing Stations
Assembly of optical devices with UV-curable resin is a common procedure. In the data and telecom industries, devices must be aligned precisely, and the subsequent gluing and curing should not affect...
nanosystec GmbH
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CMOS Cameras
Teledyne Dalsa Inc., a Teledyne Technologies company, has unveiled the Piranha4 8-k/7-µm-resolution dual line-scan CMOS cameras. The P4-8k, the first in the series, combines advancements in the...
Teledyne DALSA, Machine Vision OEM Components
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Adjustable Beamsplitter
Laser Components GmbH has designed a variable beamsplitter with a position-dependent reflection profile. By moving the beamsplitter, the user can obtain a reflection value between ±5%,...
Laser Components GmbH

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