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A Season for Disruption

Photonics Spectra
Dec 2016
MICHAEL D. WHEELER, MANAGING EDITOR, michael.wheeler@photonics.com

An Apple watch, a Samsung smartphone, an LG television, a virtual-reality headset. All are likely to make the short list of the most sought-after consumer electronics this holiday season.

Mike WheelerSoon these and other luxury consumer goods are likely to include organic light-emitting diode (OLED) displays, prized for their crystal clear visual characteristics and compatibility with flexible and transparent materials. Industry watchers are so enamored with OLEDs that many say it’s not a matter of “if” OLEDs are likely to displace conventional LEDs, but rather “when.” See “OLEDs Step In Where Design Matters” (read article).

Market disruption is a theme in “Medical Lasers Cut and Heal” (read article). The medical market was one of the first to embrace lasers, with the first surgeries conducted in the years following Theodore H. Maiman’s introduction of the ruby laser in 1960. But most uses were restricted to ablation, cutting or tissue removal. That’s now changing with emerging applications including bioresponse and drug delivery, made possible by ever-more sophisticated systems that incorporate multiple wavelengths, and feature innovations in power.

The ongoing improvements in lasers across industry has spurred the development of new laser-specific optical coatings. But to achieve the optimal performance, a deeper understanding of the substrates available, their attributes and the various deposition techniques can save costs and headaches. See “No One-Size-Fits-All Approach to Selecting Optical Coatings,” by Edmund Optics’ Stefaan Vandendriessche (read article).

From assessing optical coatings we move to assessing light sources — particularly LEDs and optical vortex beams, each with unique phase distribution properties that are difficult to measure using conventional interferometry. Optocraft GmbH’s Johannes Pfund, Ralf Dorn and Christian Brock examine the use of Shack-Hartmann wavefront sensors in “Wavefront Sensing Under Unique Lighting Conditions” (read article).

Also in this issue, Manijeh Razeghi and her colleagues at the Center for Quantum Devices at Northwestern University detail recent advances in terahertz optical frequency comb operations that, along with mode selecting and phase-matching mechanisms, have made single-mode THz emission at high powers possible. See “Breakthroughs Bring THz Spectroscopy, Sensing Closer to Mainstream” (read article).

And finally, for many in the industry, the year truly begins with Photonics West in San Francisco. For an insider’s look at what’s in store at this year’s show, don’t miss Senior Editor Justine Murphy’s show preview on (read article).

Enjoy the issue!

OLEDsDisplaysimagingcoatingsEdmund OpticsOptocraft GmbHMichael WheelerPhotonics West Medical LaserslasersTest & MeasurementEditorial

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