Applications windows open wider

Commercial applications of lasers and optoelectronics technologies are becoming an increasingly significant part of the content of Laser Focus World as techniques that have remained on the laboratory bench for many years begin to bear fruit in the real world. Advances in laser design, for example, have produced more-robust, cost-efficient, and user-friendly devices, as well as those operating reliably at shorter and shorter wavelengths. Combined with advances in ultraviolet (UV) optical material

Applications windows open wider

Stephen G. Anderson

Executive Editor

stevega@pennwell.com

Commercial applications of lasers and optoelectronics technologies are becoming an increasingly significant part of the content of Laser Focus World as techniques that have remained on the laboratory bench for many years begin to bear fruit in the real world. Advances in laser design, for example, have produced more-robust, cost-efficient, and user-friendly devices, as well as those operating reliably at shorter and shorter wavelengths. Combined with advances in ultraviolet (UV) optical materials, polishing, and coating, these developments have resulted in viable commercial UV-based applications such as microlithography and thin-film transistor annealing (see p. 63). Similarly, UV-laser based micromachining techniques?such as via drilling and polyimide removal?have already become a crucial part of device packaging (see p. 135). Meanwhile, development of specialized optoelectronic sensors combined with UV-emitting lasers and the miniaturization and ruggedization of basic spectrometer designs has led to a new set of spectroscopy-based closed-loop process-control applications (see p. 123).

Although solid commercial applications have yet to emerge, ultrafast systems represent another technology showing promise outside the laboratory (see p. 77). Senior editor Hassaun Jones-Bey reviews the state and applications potential of vertical-cavity surface-emitting lasers (see p. 73).

World News expands Japanese coverage

The program at even a relatively small technical meeting such as the recent IEEE Semiconductor Laser Conference in Nara, Japan, provides ample evidence as to the wealth of news material available at any given conference. And in a broader context, the abundance of news material available based on continuing scientific research and optoelectronic applications development drives us to continually look for ways to improve our news coverage. As reporters and editors, our challenge is to decide what gets reported and to figure out how to ensure timely coverage.

For conferences, especially those held outside the USA, we often rely on the goodwill of an attendee to provide our readers with a conference review (see p. 16). For general news, though, we rely on local contacts to keep abreast of new developments, so maintaining and improving those contacts is a crucial aspect of bringing the news to our readers.

This month, therefore, we are expanding the scope of our World News section. OJapanwatchO will carry several news stories each month based on a news exchange agreement with O plus E magazine, a leading optoelectronics magazine based in Tokyo, Japan. Japanwatch will also include continuing coverage of Japan by our Far East contributing editor, Paul Mortensen.

EDITORIAL ADVISORY BOARD

Thomas Baer, Arcturus Engineering; Dirk Basting, Lambda Physik; Dan Botez, University of Wisconsin-Madison; Philip Brierley,

Pike Technologies; H. John Caulfield, Alabama A&M in Normal; Thomas Giallorenzi, Naval Research Laboratory; David C. Hanna, Southampton University, England; G. J. Dixon, Analytical Light Tools; Bruce S. Hudson, Syracuse University; Ralph R. Jacobs,

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory; Anthony Johnson, New Jersey Institute of Technology; Chinlon Lin, Tyco Submarine Systems; Jan Melles, Photonics Investments, Duiven, the Netherlands; Gerard A. Mourou, University of Michigan; Masahiro Joe Nagasawa, TEM Co. Ltd., Tokyo, Japan; Dilip K. Paul, Gould Fiber Optics; Harvey Pollicove, University of Rochester; Leonard E. Ravich, Boxford, MA; Ralph A. Rotolante, Vicon Infrared; M. Ya. Schelev, General Physics Institute, Moscow, Russia; Robert R. Shannon, University of Arizona; James J. Snyder, Blue Sky Research; Toby Strite, Uniphase Laser Enterprise, Switzerland; Orazio Svelto, Polytechnic Institute of Milan, Italy; Dinsheng Wang, Institute of Physics, Beijing, China; Colin E. Webb, Oxford University, England; Ahmed Zewail, California Institute of Technology; Joseph van Zwaren, Ministry of Science & Technology, Israel.

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