Photonics Spectra Preview - January 2023

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Here is your first look at the editorial content for the upcoming January issue of Photonics Spectra.

Micro-Optic Manufacturing and Applications

From powerful cameras for smartphones and autonomous vehicles to new light sources for manufacturing and computer processing, micro-optics are seeing increasing demand from various sectors. Similar to the microchip industry, scalability is crucial to riding the growth trend. Contributing editor Marie Freebody interviews suppliers and integrators to learn what challenges stand in the way and what solutions fabricators are exploring.

Key Technologies: micro-optics and micro-lens arrays for specialized couplings, collimators, beam shaping optics, diffractive nanogratings, diffusers, and beamsplitters. Also, micro-molded polymer optics

Lasers for Quantum Computing

The 2022 Nobel prize in physics was awarded to three scientists, all for discoveries made three decades ago in quantum mechanics. Discoveries that paved the way for the Quantum 2.0 revolution were largely defined by three fields: Quantum communication, quantum computing, and quantum sensing. Contributing editor Andreas Thoss will describe these applications, in turn, and how laser technology is helping to define and further advance current capabilities. Thoss will further discuss some key performance parameters that lasers need to deliver to compete in the emerging Quantum 2.0 market.

Key Technologies: tunable diode lasers, frequency-doubled laser systems, frequency combs, non-linear crystals (PPLN), quantum dotes

SWIR Imaging

The benefits of imaging in the short-wave infrared continue to drive new innovations in imaging and illumination sources targeting the spectral band between 1,000 and 2,500 nm. InGaAs cameras still dominate, but imagers based on quantum dots and other innovative sensor architectures are gaining more traction. Contributing editor Hank Hogan highlights the latest developments.

Key Technologies: InGaAs SWIR sensors and cameras. Ditto for imagers based on colloidal quantum dots, SWIR illumination sources including VCSELs, LEDs

Laser Beam Profiling & Measurement

The growing adoption of lasers for industrial and medical applications has put a premium on fast, accurate beam measurement technologies. Associate editor Joel Williams speaks to the innovators and engineers defining the state-of-the-art for these systems to report on the latest generation of technologies, applications, and integration capabilities for beam measurement.

Key Technologies: Beam measurement and profiling using camera-based (CMOS and CCD) and scanning slit profilers, power and energy sensors including photodiode and thermal, as well as calorimeters and 3D noncontact measurement.

The PICs Landscape

Photonic integrated circuits (PICs) are a well-established technology in data centers and telecommunications networks where they play a vital role in supporting our ever-increasing thirst for on-demand data. The technology, however, is finding new applications and growing demand in various other end markets, including healthcare, agriculture, automotive, and quantum technology. Carol de Vries, CTO at PhotonDelta, the stage for Photonics Spectra's expanding coverage of PICs technology in 2023 with a survey of the emerging landscape of PICs applications and a look at how these mixed signal devices are enabling more compact, functional, and power-efficient solutions.

Key Technologies: PIC chips, packaging, alignment + test & measurement equipment are the core technology. But they enable miniaturized versions of the following: NIR, THz, and Raman spectrometers; OCT; photoacoustic imaging; lidar systems, and fiber Bragg grating sensors

3D Laser Printing

As laser-based directed energy deposition technology enables manufacturers to print large metal components, green and blue lasers are being introduced for copper additive manufacturing. Contributing editor James Schlett reports on the photonic methodologies currently used to print complex metal parts for automotive, aerospace, and other industries before looking further ahead at the lasers and 3D metal printing applications on track to accelerate.

Key Technologies: Most IR industrial lasers apply here: Ytterbium, Nd:YAG, Nd:YV04, CO2 lasers, (fiber-coupled high-power) diode lasers. Green-blue lasers (including frequency doubled Ytterbium and Nuburu's tech) also apply

Photonics for Augmented Reality

Many companies have now fielded augmented reality eyewear and headgear on the market, targeting consumers ranging from gamers to the military. But current offerings are still on the bulky side and priced in the thousands of dollars. Contributing editor Michael Eisenstein investigates the optical complexity that goes into making these devices work, and the challenges that lie ahead in terms of building routinely-wearable, high-performance AR glasses at a reasonable cost. Eisenstein will specifically focus on optical components, such as light-engine displays, waveguides and other ‘combiner’ elements, as well as their impact on usability, cost, and early adopters.

Key Technologies: Optical lenses, waveguides, light-engine displays. Any ARVR optics supplier are also fair play, likely including active optics, polymer optics, micro-molders.

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Published: November 2022

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