Top Photonics News: The mid-IR heats up—December 13, 2013

Dec. 13, 2013
The mid-infrared region of the optoelectronic spectrum is heating up, with new innovations in sources, detectors, optical fibers, and a possible new Mid-Infrared Medical Systems (MIMeS) Center.
Gail Overton 720

The mid-infrared region of the optoelectronic spectrum is heating up, with new innovations in sources, detectors, optical fibers, and a possible new Mid-Infrared Medical Systems (MIMeS) Center. Because the mid-infrared wavelength region represents the "fingerprint" region for spectral analysis of a variety of molecules, chemicals, and explosives, new optical components and transmitting optical fibers are key to expanded military, security, and biological/industrial applications. Here is a sampling of the latest news related to mid-infrared photonics:

1. MIRTHE has received a grant proposal from the NSF for a new Mid-Infrared Medical Systems (MIMeS) Center; industrial participants are required and an upcoming meeting is scheduled to begin the grant process:

MIRTHE receives proposal for NSF Center for Mid-IR Medical Systems (MIMeS)

2. NRL research has demonstrated infrared light modulation with graphene that could make an impact on the development of high-speed phase and amplitude modulators from mid-infrared to terahertz (THz) wavelengths. "The realization of a tunable graphene polarizer has the potential to greatly enhance current infrared polarization modulation devices that are crucial to molecular sensing and identification, also playing a key role in infrared free space communications," said Joseph Tischler, NRL research physicist:

NRL Scientists Demonstrate Infrared Light Modulation With Graphene

3. A new chalcogenide-based, nonlinear singlemode optical fiber from IRflex Corporation is fabricated from arsenic sulfide glass with a broad transmission range from 1.5 to 6 microns:

Nonlinear optical fiber transmits single-mode infrared radiation

4. Less than seven months after launch, Earth-watcher satellite Proba-V is ready to provide global vegetation data for operational and scientific use. Less than a cubic meter in volume, the satellite carries an instrument that collects light in the blue, red, near-infrared and mid-infrared wavebands to distinguish between different types of land cover and plant species, including crops:

Global Vegetation Data From Proba-V Ready For Use

5. Thermo Fisher Scientific introduced the Delta Ray Isotope Ratio Infrared Spectrometer at the American Geophysical Union 46th Fall Meeting in San Francisco, December 9-13:

Isotope Ratio Infrared Spectrometer Offers Field-Transportable, Robust CO2 Analysis

About the Author

Gail Overton | Senior Editor (2004-2020)

Gail has more than 30 years of engineering, marketing, product management, and editorial experience in the photonics and optical communications industry. Before joining the staff at Laser Focus World in 2004, she held many product management and product marketing roles in the fiber-optics industry, most notably at Hughes (El Segundo, CA), GTE Labs (Waltham, MA), Corning (Corning, NY), Photon Kinetics (Beaverton, OR), and Newport Corporation (Irvine, CA). During her marketing career, Gail published articles in WDM Solutions and Sensors magazine and traveled internationally to conduct product and sales training. Gail received her BS degree in physics, with an emphasis in optics, from San Diego State University in San Diego, CA in May 1986.

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