2015 Prism Awards honor photonics innovators at SPIE Photonics West

Feb. 12, 2015
Companies large and small from around the world walked away with top honors in the annual Prism Awards for Photonics Innovation Wednesday evening during SPIE Photonics West 2015.

A gala gathering of photonics industry leaders celebrated top innovations in the field, with companies large and small from around the world walking away with top honors in the annual Prism Awards for Photonics Innovation Wednesday evening during SPIE Photonics West 2015 (San Francisco, CA).

Related: SPIE Photonics West 2015 excites with neurology, 3D printing, and silicon photonics Winners included medical diagnostic and chemical sensing devices for mobile devices, a ground-breaking laser with uses including solar panel manufacture, and the first of a new class of connects that will enable the next generation of datacenter functionality. Several were collaborative projects among companies, and products demonstrated a strong theme of multi-technology applications. Sponsored by SPIE and Photonics Media, the annual awards recognize photonic products that break with conventional ideas, solve problems, and improve life through the application of light-based technologies. Results were determined by a panel of expert judges, and announced by presenters from leading companies across the photonics industry. The awards ceremony was attended by 340 industry executives, analysts, technologists, and investors from around the world. Winners in each category are:Additive Manufacturing LUXeXcel (Goes, Netherlands) for the Printoptical Technology, an additive, on-demand process for simple, affordable, scalable manufacturing of optical components and lenses, using 3D printing technology that jets individual UV-curable material droplets; enabling optics testing with easy iterations and the possibility to customize according to the application, project, or particular product.Biomedical Instrumentation BacterioScan (St. Louis, MO) for the Laser Microbial Growth Monitor, a low-cost method of measuring bacteria in fluids at concentrations below the limit of detection of other state-of-the-art technologies; able to detect changes in bacterial growth within 10%, urinary tract infection within 90 minutes with > 90% sensitivity, complete antibiotic resistance measurements in <2 hours. Detectors and Sensors Hamamatsu (Japan) for the C12666MA microspectrometer, a fingertip-sized spectrometer consisting of a grating chip and CMOS image sensor chip facing each other across an air gap, fabricated with MOEMS technology and methods, to be integrated into equipment or connected to handheld mobile devices to perform spectral measurements such as point-of-care testing and color measurements; hermetically sealed, so usable in adverse conditions.Imaging and Cameras Seek Thermal (Goleta, CA) and Raytheon (Waltham, MA) for their Seek Thermal Camera, a lightweight smartphone plug-in that allows capture and sharing of thermal photos and videos, with options to highlight subject matter above or below a specified temperature, select from 9 look-up tables, and swipe between regular and thermal images.Industrial LasersIPG Photonics (Oxford, MA) for the GLPN-500-R, a 500 W quasi-continuous-wave green single-mode fiber laser, bringing the advantages of fiber laser technologies to the visible spectrum with high output power, excellent wall-plug efficiency, and low cost; providing industrial-grade reliability, excellent output beam quality, and flexibility of fiber delivery for industrial manufacturing applications from copper welding to solar cell manufacturing.Materials and Coatings Inrad Optics (Northvale, NJ) for the Stilbene Scintillation Crystals, large single crystals of stilbene grown from solution for fabricating into cylinders and other geometries, packaged in protective housing and coupled to a photodetector to become a neutron detection system; availability of stilbene will enable next-generation systems to better detect neutrons in security, scientific, and industrial applications.Optics and Optical ComponentsIntel (Santa Clara, CA), Corning (New York), and US Conec (Hickory, NC) for the MXC Connector, a parallel optical connector designed with advanced composite, precision-molded plastics to meet the needs of next-generation data centers for a new class of connectors that carry more data, are smaller, more resilient, not prone to dust contamination, and available at a lower cost; supports up to 64 fibers, and with 25 Gbit/s per fiber, IT managers will be able to install cables carrying 1.6 Tbit/s of data.Other Metrology Instrumentation WITec (Ulm, Germany) and Tescan Orsay (Czech Republic) for RISE Microscopy, combining scanning electron and Raman spectroscopies for chemical imaging, enabling correlation of ultrastructural and chemical information with one microscope system for comprehensive sample characterization; able to generate 2D and 3D images and depth profiles to visualize distribution of molecular compounds within a sample.Scientific Lasers Fianium (Southampton, Hampshire, England) for the WhiteLase SC400-20, a single widely tunable laser source that produces high power output across the visible and near-infrared spectrum for applications ranging from medicine to electronic devices; provides unprecedented spectral brightness across the 400 to 2400 nm range, and with the addition of a tunable filter, can deliver over 100 mW of tunable (narrowband) output power at any wavelength. For more information, please visit www.photonicsprismaward.com.

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