Fiber lasers offer benefits such as long lifetimes, low complexity, reduced running costs, and low maintenance, which can now be found in a variety of fiber-based products with power levels matching the needs of applications previously served by CO2 lasers.
Some of this year’s ‘transformative’ technologies show the fun side of photonics in entertainment, while others get down to the business of advancing science and research.
An ultrawideband laser-driven light source has the long life and high spatial and spectral stability needed to fulfill demanding requirements in the sciences.
C- and L-band erbium-doped fiber amplifiers, hybrid Raman/EDFA systems, new gain-medium materials, and semiconductor optical amplifiers continue to extend the reach of wavelength-division multiplexing architectures.
Hybrid optical components can replace a multielement system design and offer advantages to standard optical components; they are ideal for a variety of imaging, broadband illumination, and laser applications.
In the last 20 years, optical coherence tomography (OCT) has emerged as a valuable noninvasive imaging technology for medical applications without the hazards of radiation. New light sources and techniques, and efforts to extend OCT to other materials and types of sensing, are reducing the limitations of shallow penetration depth and slow scanning speed.
Luminescent solar concentrators in the form of hollow cylinders have higher absorption of solar radiation and lower self-absorption than those shaped as planes or solid cylinders, say scientists at the University of California–Merced.
Researchers at the Samsung Advanced Institute of Technology and Seoul National University have demonstrated the first LEDs to be fabricated on amorphous glass substrates.
A research group at Kookmin University and PSI Co. is touting the high efficiency and other properties of green LEDs that consist of a blue LED, a phosphor that converts blue to green, and a long-pass dichroic filter (LPDF) that filters out the remaining blue light.
By exploiting the fundamental properties of e-APDs and recent advances in InAs diode fabrication, researchers at Lancaster University and the University of Sheffield have made the first high-bandwidth, waveguide-coupled InAs e-APDs.
Engineers at the College of Optics and Photonics at the University of Central Florida (CREOL) have demonstrated line-by-line pulse shaping at update rates of up to half the repetition rate of the comb source using vertical cavity surface-emitting lasers (VCSELs) as modulators.
Delay lines that introduce a quantifiable separation between laser pulses are necessary for time-resolved experiments in ultrafast science such as pump-probe spectroscopy.
As it did in the 1980s when it developed an excimer laser designed from the ground up for optical lithography, Cymer is aiming to capture virtually the entire market for next-generation lithographic light sources.
A type of optical filter developed by engineers at Beijing Jiaotong University, the University of California–Los Angeles, and the California NanoSystems Institute, and aptly called a JAWS (jammed-array wideband sawtooth) filter, has a spectral shape that looks like a row of sharp teeth (they’re even slightly serrated).
Using a microsystem based on a chemosensory conjugated (semiconducting) polymer, a team of Scottish researchers from the University of St. Andrews, University of Edinburgh, and the University of Strathclyde has developed a lunchbox-sized explosive-vapor sensor that can detect 10 ppb concentrations of dinitrobenzene (DNB) vapor (a nitroaromatic simulant for TNT).
The US Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) is aiming to sort particles in biological fluids using laser-based, optofluidic methods that do not require prior knowledge of DNA sequence attributes or attachment of antibodies and/or fluorescent tags.
As 2011 ends, this issue finds us studying the past year for innovations and changes, and hoping to anticipate important technology developments in 2012. These developments will probably take place amid continuing volatility in economic markets, making prediction difficult.
A couple of years ago, I wrote a somewhat facetious column bemoaning the lack of decent (or even indecent) quantum physics jokes. So far as I can determine, then and now, there are very few quantum physics humorists and archivists of jokes, and even fewer of them are actually funny.