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Freedom of Design

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

Mike WheelerIt’s no wonder that researchers and manufacturers alike are enamored by organic materials. They’re inexpensive, have a low environmental impact and can be manufactured onto wearable substrates. That makes them well suited for everything from lasers and Li-Fi (light fidelity) to OLED TVs.

As we learn in “Promise of Organic Photonics Looms Large,” Contributing Editor Marie Freebody notes that for automotive lighting, for instance, OLED light shapes can be divided into segments and controlled independently, the result being dynamic sequences with different levels of brightness. That same design flexibility extends to solar, where researchers have been advocating for the incorporation of organic solar materials for years. Not only do they offer a slim profile, but they are good candidates for roll-to-roll manufacturing (read article).

Elsewhere in this edition:

• The emergence of nondefense applications such as agriculture inspection is placing new demands on the optics aboard unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and the imaging software that must stitch together images of an entire field. Don’t miss “Optics, Imaging Software on the Ascent as Drone Use Expands,” (read article) by Edmund Optics’ Jared Talbot and Sentera’s Ryan Nelson.

• The march toward miniaturization is in full swing in the spectroscopy sector, where chip-scale integration is allowing for instant and ubiquitous material analysis. In the near future even nonscientists and consumers will be able to monitor goods, conditions and operations in real time, optimizing health and quality control. “Shrinking FT-NIR Spectrometers Empower Consumers, Business” by Ahmed Korayem Saïd of Si-Ware Systems (read article).

• Developed in the early 1990s, silicon photomultipliers boast sensitivity to light that rivals that of photomultiplier tubes. Hamamatsu’s Slawomir Piatek and Earl Hergert detail the characteristics of each detector — and which applications they’re best suited for — in “Detector Options for Low-Light Applications” (read article).

• The rise in power for solid-state lasers — and more wavelengths — has been a boon for cutting, precision welding and marking. On the horizon are solid-state lasers that will enable high-resolution x-ray, neutron and electron imaging for nondestructive testing. Contributing Editor Hank Hogan’s “Peak Power on the Rise,” (read article).

Finally, as part of this month’s special section on optics, Senior Editor Justine Murphy interviews Optimax Systems’ Jessica DeGroote Nelson, Inrad Optics’ Amy Eskilson and Oz Optics’ Omur Sezerman, who share their observations on recent technological advances in optics. Don’t miss “Optics: Form, Function and the Future,” (read article).

We hope you enjoy the issue!

EditorialMike Wheeler

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