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Innovation at the Nanoscale

Photonics Spectra
Feb 2017
MICHAEL D. WHEELER, MANAGING EDITOR, michael.wheeler@photonics.com

Mike WheelerLast April, Mark Zuckerberg unveiled his 10-year roadmap for Facebook. According to the plan, users of the popular social media channel can expect to see an increase in the use of high-definition video and a more prominent role for apps like Messenger and Instagram. A few years farther out, expect artificial intelligence and virtual reality to take center stage.

All of those features will call for more bandwidth. A lot more.

So it should come as no surprise that, in anticipation, the industry is aggressively pushing innovation in optical networks, including shorter and shorter links, open packet DWDM (dense wavelength division multiplexing) and an expanding role for silicon photonics.

For details, don’t miss Contributing Editor Hank Hogan’s “Big Data Drives Optical Networking Changes,” (read article).

We move from the world of big data to the world of nanomaterials in “Grapene Alignment Technique Holds Promise for Nanophotonics,” (read article). Jiming Bao and his colleagues report on a technique for aligning graphene flakes, an advance that could lead to the material’s use in smart windows, solar cells and optical isolators.

Material properties are also of keen interest in laser additive manufacturing. The use of tungsten and other materials with a high thermal conductivity brings problems such as residual stress and varying mechanical strength. Jian Liu of PolarOnyx discusses the role of a femotosecond fiber laser for melting and shaping tungsten and zirconium diboride powders. See “Ultrafast Fiber Laser Opens Doors for Additive Manufacturing,” (read article).

Since its inception in 1928, Raman spectroscopy has allowed scientists to “see” a chemical fingerprint of materials. Problems often occur during sampling — which can be addressed through the use of immersion probes for testing powders, slurries and liquids. Read Brian Marquardt and Giora Proskurowski’s “Spherical Lens Probes Open New Possibilities in Raman Spectroscopy,” (read article). For more on spectroscopy, don’t miss this month’s special section highlighted by Senior Editor Justine Murphy’s “Commerce, Health and Safety Benefit From Spectroscopy,” (read article).

Finally, whether it is fluorescence microscopy for imaging living animals or label-free techniques such as anti-Stokes Raman scattering spectroscopy for imaging tumors, common among these methods is multiphoton microscopy. Researchers are calling for an increase in imaging depth and frame rate, compact femtosecond laser sources and increased resolution, to name only a few demands. See contributing editor Marie Freebody’s “Optics, Tunable Lasers to Move Multiphoton Microscopy Forward” (read article).

We hope you enjoy the issue!

Mike WheelerMark ZukerbergFacebookEditorialMessengerInstagram

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