Technical Digests

REMOTE FIBER-OPTIC SENSING: Data in abundance from difficult environments

The use of optical fibers to measure strain, temperature, and other parameters at desired points distributed anywhere along a length of fiber opens up new territory for remote-sensing applications. This technical digest gives an overview of distributed fiber-optic sensing, along with an analog optical computing technique that maximizes the advantages of remote sensing via optical fiber.

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SCANNERS FOR MATERIALS PROCESSING: Serving demanding applications

Galvanometer-based scanners are an essential component in laser-based materials-processing systems; scanners are what do the work required to precisely shape, cut, or otherwise process parts. This technical digest delves into three-axis laser scanning technology, and also highlights a hot topic--laser additive manufacturing--that relies on laser scanning.

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OPTICAL COATINGS: Evolving technology produces new benefits

The antireflection, high-reflection, and/or spectral characteristics provided by optical coatings are an essential component of virtually all high-performance optical systems. And optical-coating technology is becoming ever-more sophisticated--including the development of improved spectral measurement techniques, as well as better physical properties for coatings.

 

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FREEFORM OPTICS: Top-notch capabilities lead to expanded possibilities

The use of free-form aspherical surfaces in an optical system can give it abilities impossible to attain using other design approaches. Along with their unique qualities, free-form optics come with unique fabrication challenges. This technical digest provides an example of a successful fabrication approach, as well as an interesting use of free-form optics.

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RAMAN SPECTROSCOPY: The technical advances just keep coming

In Raman spectroscopy, light from a laser interacts with a test sample, undergoing a wavelength shift that serves as a very sensitive identifier of molecules, both organic and inorganic. Approaches such as surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS) provide increased sensitivity. This technical digest highlights one potentially low-cost form of SERS, as well as a frequency-comb-based approach to Raman spectroscopy; both examples show the dynamic nature of the field.

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ADHESIVES, SEALANTS, AND COATINGS: Solutions for optical technologies

A vast array of optical systems of various types and degrees of complexity require the use of adhesives, encapsulants, and other curing compounds for assembly and proper alignment, as well as for resiliency in operation. This technical digest highlights some of the many optical and fiber-optic systems that benefit from adhesives technology.

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HIGH-POWER FIBER LASERS: Working in the kilowatt regime

High-power materials-processing fiber lasers are available in an increasing variety of forms, as well as outputs up to 100 kW.  The technologies behind these lasers, and the techniques developed for characterizing their beams, are growing ever-more sophisticated; the end user is, of course, the big beneficiary. This technical digest highlights a few recent technological developments in the world of high-power fiber lasers, including Raman fiber-laser amplification, large-mode-area fibers, and a beam-characterization tool that works with the highest-power lasers available...

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