Innovations in photonics, duly noted

The Innovators Awards program gives us the pleasure of recognizing more innovations in photonics by broadening the scope of honorees and noting many important advances that might otherwise go unremarked.

In the photonics world, awards and honors have long been a means of recognizing significant achievements in technologies, products, or applications. At SPIE Photonics West, the Prism Awards are a much-sought after prize. We at Laser Focus World created the Commercial Technology Achievement Awards in 1990 and, in later years, collaborated with the OSA on the CLEO/Laser Focus World Innovation Awards and the Enabled by Optics Contest. Continuing this tradition, we recently launched the Innovators Awards program, which gives us the pleasure of recognizing more innovations by broadening the scope of honorees and noting many important advances that might otherwise go unremarked. The identities of the 2018 honorees and descriptions of their products and applications may be found in a special section of this issue (see article).

This issue also highlights the types of products that could be candidates for an award next year, including a review by senior editor John Wallace of cameras that employ the sCMOS imaging sensor for applications ranging from microscopy to astronomy (see article). We also have an article on the impact that a new generation of direct and frequency-converted diode lasers is having on applications of holography (see article). And, in a BioOptics World article, researchers explain how a new technique extends label-free, quantitative 3D tomography and achieves nanometer resolution with remarkable contrast (see article).

Finally, there is a fascinating article on what might seem an unexciting subject—polishing aspheres. Yet an adaptation of a deterministic polishing technique provides a significant improvement for polishing a variety of the materials used in these critical optical lenses (see article).

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