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OPTICS NEWS
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Technique Could Simplify Photonic Crystal Formation
PRINCETON, N.J., and NEW YORK, July 25, 2014 — A new method could allow scientists to custom-grow defect-free photonic crystals. A team from Princeton University and Columbia University created computer models demonstrating the technique, adding precisely sized chains of polymers to a colloidal suspension. While the creation of solids via colloidal suspension is not a new idea, the researchers said this was the first time the technique has been shown to be viable for creating a crystal pure enough to split light for an...

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Self-Cooling Solar Cells Boost Efficiency
STANFORD, Calif., July 24, 2014 — A new technique allows solar cells to passively cool themselves by driving away unwanted thermal radiation. Developed by a team from Stanford University, the new solar cells offer high efficiency and more longevity than conventional cells...
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Laser ‘Drawing’ Could Improve Nanomaterials
SINGAPORE, July 23, 2014 — Lasers can “draw” patterns on nanomaterials, a technique that shows potential for improving the functionality of electronic and optoelectronic components. Research teams at the National University of Singapore, led by professor...

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'Air Waveguides' Function Like Optical Fibers
COLLEGE PARK, Md., July 22, 2014 — A team from the University of Maryland has discovered how to make air behave like optical fiber, guiding light beams over short distances without losing power. Using “air waveguides” the researchers have been able to enhance...
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Natural Optical Fibers Sort Colors in Retina
HAIFA, Israel, July 22, 2014 — The retina has long been known to convert light into electrical signals and initially process visual information, but that’s not all it does. Researchers from Technion Israel Institute of Technology have demonstrated the role that...

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Owis Opens New Manufacturing Facility
STAUFEN, Germany, July 22, 2014 — Owis GmbH has opened a new facility for production of optical beam handling and positioning systems. The 390-m3 hall has a fully automated production process line and an advanced 12-axis turn-mill center core. Owis products are...
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Lasers Could Replace Quartz in Future Electronics
PASADENA, Calif., July 18, 2014 — A new laser optical technique could replace quartz crystals as the tuning reference for future electronic devices. Developed by a team at the California Institute of Technology, the new method can stabilize microwave signals in the...

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Video: Nanoantennas as Photo Film Boost Optical Data Storage
URBANA, Ill., July 18, 2014 — Nanoantennas can be used like traditional photographic film to record light at distances smaller than its own wavelength. This could mean big things for the future of optical data storage. To make the new pillar bowtie nanoantenna (pBNA)...
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Sensor Amplifies Molecule Signatures
HOUSTON, July 17, 2014 — A new spectroscopy technique can accurately identify the structure and composition of individual molecules. Researchers from the Rice University Laboratory for Nanophotonics (LANP) developed the device, which they said has the ability to...

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Helmet Integrates Night Vision Camera, Visor Projection
ROCHESTER, England, July 16, 2014 — BAE Systems plc has introduced a new helmet-mounted display for fighter jet pilots that integrates a night-vision camera. The Striker II also includes a hybrid opto-inertial tracking system that determines where the pilot is looking and...
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Nanopixels Drive Flexible, Extremely Hi-Res Displays
OXFORD, England, July 14, 2014 — Delving into the electrical and optical properties of phase-change materials has unveiled a new way to develop flexible, thin-film displays with extremely high resolution and low energy consumption. A team at the University of Oxford found...

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Perkins Precision Developments Appoints Sales Director
LONGMONT, Colo., July 14, 2014 — Emily Kubacki has been named director of sales and marketing at Perkins Precision Developments, a manufacturer of laser optics and optical substrates. Kubacki will be responsible for technical sales and account management for all...
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Telescope Images Distant, Dim Dwarf Galaxies
NEW HAVEN, Conn., July 11, 2014 — A ground-based telescope recently helped discover seven distant dwarf galaxies that could contain clues to the evolution of galaxies and even dark matter. The dwarf galaxies appear in the same region of the sky as galaxy M101, also known as...

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Glass Lends Flexibility to Organic PVs
POTSDAM, Germany, July 10, 2014 — A new carrier substrate made from flexible, 100-µm-thin layers of glass better protects organic solar modules and could simplify their manufacture. A team from the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Polymer Research is developing...
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New Optical Component Enhances Augmented Reality Devices
LONDON, July 10, 2014 — A novel optical component could transform wearable augmented-reality and display devices. TruLife Optics Ltd. developed the component in conjunction with the National Physical Laboratory in London. The 2-mm-thick optic incorporates two...

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Temicon, Holotools Merge
DORTMUND, Germany, July 9, 2014 — Temicon GmbH and holotools GmbH have merged to expand their portfolios of micro- and nanotechnologies produced with laser lithography. The companies will operate under the Temicon name, with holotools used as a trademark for products made...
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Microlens Developers Awarded Kingslake Medal
BELLINGHAM, Wash., July 8, 2014 — Wei Zhang of the National University of Singapore and Hans Zappe and Andreas Seifert of the University of Freiburg in Germany have been awarded the Rudolf Kingslake Medal and Prize for their work on tunable liquid-filled microlenses. Their...

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New Optogenetic Tool Controls Neuronal Signaling
DAEJEON, South Korea, July 8, 2014 — New optogenetics technology allows scientists to remotely control specific neurons with blue light. A team from the Institute for Basic Research has developed the genetically encoded, photoactive tropomyosin-related kinase (Trk) technology,...
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Light-activated Receptors Offer Cell Control
KLOSTERNEUBURG, Austria, and VIENNA, July 7, 2014 — Controlling the behavior of cells — including cancers — with light is now possible with engineered cell receptors. To accomplish this, researchers from the Institute of Science and Technology Austria and the Medical University...

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Novel Photodetector Made from Zinc Nanostructure
BEIJING, July 7, 2014 — A nanoporous structure is laying the groundwork for a new type of photodetector. A team from the State Key Laboratory of Petroleum Resources and Prospecting at the China University of Petroleum has developed the new photodetector, made for...
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Compressive Imaging Unscrambles Light
CASTELLON, Spain, and VALENCIA, Spain, July 3, 2014 — A new compressive optical sensing technique conquers light scattering limitations of biological tissue, allowing a deeper look inside the body. Developed by a team from Jaume I University (UJI) and the University of Valencia, a single-pixel...

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Hollow Core Protects Optical Fibers from UV Light
ERLANGEN, Germany, and BRAUNSCHWEIG, Germany, July 3, 2014 — A new type of optical fiber can guide UV laser light without sustaining the damage often seen in conventional fibers. A microscopic image of a hollow core optical fiber. Courtesy of the Max Planck Institute. Developed by a team...
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In Memoriam: Robert Woltz, SPIE Co-founder
LAGUNA BEACH, Calif., July 3, 2014 — 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 co-founding SPIE in 1955, Woltz worked for many...

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Standards Sought for Hyperspectral Imaging
GAITHERSBURG, Md., July 3, 2014 — A team from the National Institute of Standards and Technology has begun gathering data they expect will lead to universal calibration standards for hyperspectral imaging, saying the lack of such standards has impeded this noninvasive imaging...
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Metamaterial a One-Way Street for Visible Light
GAITHERSBURG, Md., July 2, 2014 — A structure based on hyperbolic metamaterials allows visible light to pass in only one direction, creating new possibilities for optical circuits and biosensing. Developed at the National Institute of Standards and Technology, the device...






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