Applications windows open wider

Dec. 1, 1998
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.

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 techniquessuch as via drilling and polyimide removalhave 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. Japanwatch 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.

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.    

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