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Hotbed of Photonics

Photonics Spectra
Jan 2018
MICHAEL D. WHEELER, MANAGING EDITOR, michael.wheeler@photonics.com

It’s been quite a run for SPIE’s Eugene Arthurs.

At the helm of SPIE for 18 years, Arthurs is stepping down, having witnessed unprecedented expansion of the photonics industry during his tenure.

Consider this: The year he started — 1999 — the photonics industry was synonymous with laser companies in Silicon Valley. Not so today.

Household names Google, Microsoft, Apple and others are in a stiff competition in the quest to develop next-generation technologies such as mixed reality and autonomous vehicles — transforming the valley into a “hotbed of photonics.” In an exclusive interview with Photonics Spectra, Arthurs comments on this and other trends, and muses on why we’re in the midst of the “century of the photon”(read article).

Science writer Valerie Coffey echoes similar themes in “Optics Transforming AR, Wearables and Beyond” (read article). Coffey chronicles the dueling efforts of Apple and Google to build AR-based smartphone apps that take advantage of optical sensors and machine learning to allow users to layer virtual information on real-world scenes.

Elsewhere in the magazine:

• Contributing Editor Marie Freebody’s “Packing More Performance Into Smaller Spectrometers” (read article) covers new advances in spectroscopy — from the increased availability of highly tunable IR spectrometers that incorporate quantum cascade lasers to more sensitive Raman systems.

• Fellow Contributing Editor Hank Hogan examines trends in the laser market, including a new generation of high-power diode lasers and the emergence of powerful blue diode lasers that may end up stealing market share from fiber lasers. Hogan’s “New Laser Technologies Displacing Old” (read article).

• François Templier of CEA-Leti and III-V Lab authors “Breakthrough in Fabricating Active-Matrix GaN Microdisplays,” (read article).

• The unique spectral and temporal qualities of supercontinuum light is leading researchers to a better understanding of reactions in biology, chemistry and condensed matter. Robert Alfano, Distinguished Professor of Science and Engineering at City College of New York, and Lingyan Shi, of Columbia University, outline the unique properties of the supercontinuum light source and highlight emerging applications in “Evolution of the Supercontinuum Light Source” (read article).

Finally, get the inside track on this year’s Prism Award finalists. See Senior Editor Justine Murphy’s “Prism Awards Honor Industry’s Top Innovators” (read article).

Enjoy the issue!

EditorialMike Wheeler

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