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Prism Awards Winners: Photonics West 2010

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Recognizing innovation in photonics

Charlie Troy, [email protected]

The photonics industry last month took an evening off from the bustle of the show floor to celebrate innovation at the Photonics West 2010 trade show and conference. Ten companies received prestigious Prism Awards for 2009 on Jan. 27 at a gala presentation ceremony attended by industry leaders.

“Photonics technologies affect nearly every aspect of life – energy production and distribution, communications, consumer electronics, medicine, biotechnology, manufacturing, analysis of climate change and security, to mention a few,” said Eugene Arthurs, CEO of SPIE, the international society for optics and photonics. “The Prism Awards program is one way we are helping to accelerate innovation and move technology to market. We are pleased to honor and promote the technological creativity and vision represented by these entries.”

The awards recognize innovation in photonics technology and are sponsored by Laurin Publishing, which publishes Photonics Spectra, and by SPIE.

“These awards are important, as they motivate and encourage excellence and serve to promote the industry and its image,” said Thomas Laurin, president of Laurin Publishing. “For the past half-century, photonics technology has progressed from a twinkle in a researcher’s eye to real-life applications that touch every aspect of our lives. We congratulate the winners, the finalists and all who submitted applications.”

Judges from SPIE and the Photonics Spectra advisory board reviewed and ranked applications from more than 100 companies, looking for shining examples of innovation in the field. The judges selected the winners from 29 finalists; there was a tie in the “Analytical, Test and Measurement” category. For more information on the finalists and to view photos from the ceremony, visit


Swamp Optics
BOA Pulse Compressor

A pulse compressor for shortening ultrashort pulses. The BOA (Bother-free Optimized Arrangement) uses only one prism, a roof mirror and a precisely manufactured corner cube to reflect the beam back to the prism precisely parallel with the beam entering it. This automatically aligned arrangement avoids all of the problematic beam distortions of two- and four-prism designs (including angular dispersion, spatial chirp and pulse-front tilt).


Laser Operations LLC – QPC Lasers
BrightLock Ultra-G

A compact, athermal, multiwatt green laser (532 nm) with near-diffraction-limited beam quality based on on-chip wavelength stabilization of high-brightness laser diodes. Designed for medical applications, the BrightLock® Ultra-G™ MEDICA package features a compact, user-friendly and cost-effective fiber-coupled source delivering >3 W CW at 532 nm in a narrow-core detachable delivery fiber combined with smart medical features such as a low-power aiming beam, a fiber detector and a removable blast shield for applications in dermatology and ophthalmology.

Other Light Sources

Hamamatsu Corp.
160-kV Open-Type Microfocus X-Ray Source

A microfocus x-ray source (MFX) with 0.25-µm resolution for x-ray nondestructive inspection and computed tomography. Microfocus x-ray sources were specifically developed for x-ray nondestructive inspection. A small focal point prevents blurring of x-ray images and delivers a sharp, enlarged image. An RS-232C interface is provided as standard for external control. These microfocus x-ray sources yield clear, sharp, enlarged x-ray images even during three-dimensional observation.

Life Sciences

LightLab Imaging Inc.

C7-XR Optical Coherence Tomography System (FD-OCT)

The C7-XR frequency-domain system employs advanced photonic technologies to provide cardiologists with an interior view of coronary arteries. Its ultrafast imaging speed, micron-scale resolution and 3-D visualization capabilities streamline the clinician’s work flow and re-define the possibilities of interventional cardiology imaging.

Detectors, Sensing and Imaging Systems

InfraTec Infrared LLC

MEMS Tunable Fabry-Perot Interferometer Microspectrometer for Infrared Absorption Spectroscopy

This device targets mid-wave-infrared gas analyzer and spectroscopic applications to identify substances by detecting their unique absorption signatures. It is based on a bulk micromachined spectrally tunable Fabry-Perot interferometer with an electrostatically tuned air cavity integrated into an infrared detector.

Analytical, Test and Measurement

Agilent Technologies

Scanning Microwave Microscopy

The scanning microwave microscopy mode from Agilent Technologies is an atomic force microscopy method designed to enable quantitative electromagnetic materials characterization at high resolution.

— tie —

Lehighton Electronics Inc.

1605 Mobility Mapping Unit

This instrument measures electron mobility, sheet resistance, carrier concentration and density in a noncontact, nondestructive manner, eliminating destruction of expensive wafers for measurement. The 1605 can map the mobility of 2- to 6-in. wafers in minutes and can measure samples smaller than wafer size.

Photonic Systems


iCure Thermal Spot Curing System

This thermal spot curing system provides localized heat via high-intensity infrared radiation in a portable unit that can be integrated into a production line.

Photonic Processes

Linden Photonics

Strong Tether Fiber Optic Cable

Linden’s patented strong tether fiber optic cable (STFOC) uses extruded liquid crystal polymer on commercial-grade optical fibers such as SMF28 and Allwave. STFOC has moisture barrier properties and eliminates the need for metallized fiber in hermetic packaging of optoelectronic components.

Sustainable/Green Technology

National Semiconductor

SolarMagic Power Optimizer

The optimizer provides an electronic solution to long-standing challenges with solar arrays, enabling systems to realize their full power-producing potential. Using advanced algorithms and mixed-signal technology, SolarMagic minimizes the negative effects of panel mismatch caused by real-world conditions such as system aging, varied tilts and orientations, and debris or shade.

Could you be the next Prism Awards winner?

Your new product could win the industry’s highest honor – the 2010 Prism Awards for Photonics Innovation – at Photonics West next January.

Just go to

Choose one of the nine contest categories and complete the three-part entry form.

Analytical, Test & Measurement
Life Sciences
Other Light Sources
Photonic Processes
Photonic Systems
Sustainable/Green Technology

The deadline will be here before you know it.

The Prism Awards for Photonics Innovation is an international competition that recognizes photonics companies that manufacture products that break conventional ideas, solve problems, improve life with photonics – and make money.

Photonics Spectra
Feb 2010
fiber optic cable
A package for an optical fiber or fibers that may include cladding, buffering, strength members and an outer jacket.
160-kV Open-Type Microfocus X-Ray Source1605 Mobility Mapping UnitAgilent TechnologiesanalyticalBasic ScienceBiophotonicsBOA Pulse CompressorBrightlock Ultra-GC7-XR Optical Coherence Tomography SystemCommunicationsdefensedetectorsDisplaysenergyEugene ArthursFD-OCTFeaturesfiber optic cablefiber opticsgreen technologyHamamatsu Corp.iCure Thermal Spot Curing SystemimagingindustrialInfrared Absorption SpectroscopyInfraTec Infrared LLCIRphotonicsLaser Operations LLCLaurin PublishingLehighton Electronicslife scienceslight sourcesLightlab ImagingLinden PhotonicsMEMS Tunable Fabry-Perot InterferometerMicroscopymirrorsNational SemiconductoropticsOther Light SourcesPhotonic ProcessesPhotonic SystemsPhotonics MediaPhotonics WestPrism AwardsPrismsQPC LasersScanning Microwave MicroscopySensing and Imaging SystemsSensors & DetectorsSolarMagic Power OptimizerspectroscopySPIESwamp OpticsTest & MeasurementThomas LaurinWaferslasers

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