Innovations in photonics, duly noted

May 1, 2018
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.
Conard Holton2

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).

About the Author

Conard Holton | Editor at Large

Conard Holton has 25 years of science and technology editing and writing experience. He was formerly a staff member and consultant for government agencies such as the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority and the International Atomic Energy Agency, and engineering companies such as Bechtel. He joined Laser Focus World in 1997 as senior editor, becoming editor in chief of WDM Solutions, which he founded in 1999. In 2003 he joined Vision Systems Design as editor in chief, while continuing as contributing editor at Laser Focus World. Conard became editor in chief of Laser Focus World in August 2011, a role in which he served through August 2018. He then served as Editor at Large for Laser Focus World and Co-Chair of the Lasers & Photonics Marketplace Seminar from August 2018 through January 2022. He received his B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania, with additional studies at the Colorado School of Mines and Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University.

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