Laser light sources

Editor in Chief John Lewis discusses laser light sources and invites you to enjoy Laser Focus World’s March 2019 issue, which includes trends in photonics technologies, applications, and markets.

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As the demands on automotive lighting grow increasingly complex, LED and laser light sources will inevitably play an increasing role. After all, LED lamps have proven durable, long-lasting, and energy-efficient, and single diode laser modules are already proving themselves on the road in automotive headlight applications. In this issue, you can read about the development and production of an innovative laser headlight module that uses a stable, easy-to-manufacture glass-based phosphor converter layer that is much more stable than silicone and less expensive than ceramic (see article).

While laser light sources have been exploited in numerous other illumination applications due to advantages such as high brightness and high coherence, the high spatial coherence of laser illumination is not always desirable. In some applications such as laser-illuminated microscopes and other optical systems, high spatial coherence may cause adverse artifacts such as speckle noise. In this article, you can read about how Hui Cao and her colleagues at Yale University have developed novel laser cavity geometries and alternative feedback mechanisms that enhance laser performance in illumination applications. By tailoring the spatial and spectral properties of cavity resonances, the number of lasing modes, the emission profiles, and the coherence properties can be controlled.

Also in this issue, you can learn about how fully integrated and automated wafer-probing systems enable silicon photonic chip designers to more quickly characterize and qualify their designs (see article). Then, Senior Editor John Wallace discusses the advantages of using shortwave-infrared in security and surveillance applications (see article). And finally, in this article, you can learn about the recent progress in metamaterials associated with Mie scattering, and how it’s bringing a novel platform into the field of nanoscale optics based on high-index dielectric nanoparticles that can support high-quality resonances driven by the exotic physics of bound states in the continuum, which was introduced by the pioneers of quantum mechanics almost 90 years ago. As always, I hope you enjoy this issue.

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