Challenges of change

Sept. 1, 2008
Not so long ago, when purchasing a television set, most consumers took little interest in the technology behind the TV display itself because the cathode ray tube was ubiquitous.

Not so long ago, when purchasing a television set, most consumers took little interest in the technology behind the TV display itself because the cathode ray tube was ubiquitous. Today, though, consumers wanting to purchase a new TV are faced with a potentially bewildering set of choices that have emerged from a variety of parallel technological approaches to produce an appealing and cost-effective product. Even more options emerged this year in January with Mitsubishi’s announcement that a commercial laser-based TV will be on the market by the end of 2008 and Sony’s launch of an 11 in. organic LED-based TV. Displays based on OLEDs are currently of particular interest because they are considered “green” technology. They use less power than LED devices (no backlighting is required) while apparently offering better picture quality. Cost-competitiveness of OLEDs remains something of an issue, however. Among the approaches to reducing production costs is a hybrid process that combines vapor deposition and solution processing (see cover and page 57).

Few consumers would think about nonlinear optics when purchasing a pair of sunglasses with photochromic (or “transition”) lenses. But such lenses do exhibit nonlinear absorbance, as do many other materials. And among the current challenges for nonlinear optics researchers is “turnkey” characterization of the nonlinear absorption spectrum of such materials over a wide bandwidthsomething that is now being made feasible by the advent of spectrally bright femtosecond white-light continua (see page 77).

Meanwhile, development of nonlinear optics applications based on gas-phase materials has been hampered by lack of a practical and relatively compact means to confine gases and guide light in a single mode over extended interaction lengths. Now state-of-the-art photonic-crystal fibers use a length of gas-filled hollow-core photonic-crystal fiber sealed to a conventional fiber, and are enabling high nonlinearity at low light levels with applications in fiber lasers and frequency combs (see page 61).

About the Author

Stephen G. Anderson | Director, Industry Development - SPIE

 Stephen Anderson is a photonics industry expert with an international background and has been actively involved with lasers and photonics for more than 30 years. As Director, Industry Development at SPIE – The international society for optics and photonics – he is responsible for tracking the photonics industry markets and technology to help define long-term strategy, while also facilitating development of SPIE’s industry activities. Before joining SPIE, Anderson was Associate Publisher and Editor in Chief of Laser Focus World and chaired the Lasers & Photonics Marketplace Seminar. Anderson also co-founded the BioOptics World brand. Anderson holds a chemistry degree from the University of York and an Executive MBA from Golden Gate University.    

Sponsored Recommendations

Melles Griot® XPLAN™ CCG Lens Series

March 19, 2024
IDEX Health & Science sets a new standard with our Melles Griot® XPLAN™ CCG Lens Series fluorescence microscope imaging systems. Access superior-quality optics with off-the-shelf...

Spatial Biology

March 19, 2024
Spatial Biology refers to the field that integrates spatial information into biological research, allowing for the study of biological systems in their native spatial context....

Fluorescent Protein Optical Imaging Considerations

March 19, 2024
What factors should you consider when your incorporate fluorescent proteins in an optical imaging application? Learn more.

Custom-Engineered Optical Solutions for Your Application

March 19, 2024
We combine advanced optical design and manufacturing technology, with decades of experience in critical applications, to take you from first designs to ongoing marketplace success...

Voice your opinion!

To join the conversation, and become an exclusive member of Laser Focus World, create an account today!