Special Coverage


Plastic Diffractive Optical Elements

If diffractive optical elements are used at low and medium laser power, then plastic elements may be sufficient instead of using fused silica elements. Laser Components (Bedford, NH) offers Holo/ORs plastic DOEs in different materials: polycarbonate, PMMA, Zeonex, and Zoner. They are produced in large quantities using an injection molding process. Plastic DOEs are used in particular in systems of mass production. For the most part, customers have optics made that feature their required specifications. Holo/OR offers inexpensive tooling and low production costs. Multi-spot DOEs and homogenizers are currently available as standard elements for the wavelengths 850 nm and 532 nm. To learn more click here.

Posted in: Products


Solving the Challenges of Grounding and Bonding Composite Airframes

Weight-saving composite airframes create new challenges in providing reliable grounding and bonding systems.

Posted in: On-Demand Webinars, Composites


Generating Broadband Terahertz Radiation from Microplasma in Air

Researchers at the University of Rochester’s Institute of Optics have shown that a laser-generated microplasma in air can be used as a source of broadband terahertz radiation. Fabrizio Buccheri and Xi-Cheng Zhang recently demonstrated that an approach for generating terahertz waves using intense laser pulses in air – first pioneered in 1993 – can be done with much lower power lasers, a major challenge until now.

Posted in: Articles, Briefs


Scientists Use X-Ray Laser to Track Ultrafast Creation of a Catalyst

An international team has, for the first time, precisely tracked the surprisingly rapid process by which light rearranges the outermost electrons of a metal compound and turns it into an active catalyst – a substance that promotes chemical reactions. The research, which was performed with an X-ray laser at the Department of Energy’s SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, could help in the effort to develop novel catalysts to efficiently produce fuel using sunlight.

Posted in: Articles


High-Power Laser Spinoff Proves Versatility is Strength

Since lasers were invented in 1960, they have penetrated countless scientific, industrial and recreational fields from eye surgery to DVD players, from cutting steel to triggering ignition in missile stages. That last use is a target market for Alfalight, a University of Wisconsin-Madison spinoff that set out in 1999 to use patented technology to make lasers for the telecommunications industry. At the time, "a tremendous need was forecast for these high-power, reliable lasers in telecom," says Ron Bechtold, Alfalight's vice president of marketing and sales.

Posted in: Articles


The Ultimate Shaft-To-Hub Connection

Polygon Shapes - Multi-Faceted Problem Solvers Kinematically ground polygonal shapes have been used as drive connections for more than 45 years. What is now referred to as Polygon Systems was developed by Fortunawerke, Stuttgart, West Germany, who patented a grinding machine capable of producing matched polygonal shaft and bore diameters.

Posted in: Mechanics, White Papers, White Papers


Enhancing Neutron Imaging with Grazing Incidence Optics

Marshall Space Flight Center, Alabama A low-cost optical element was developed specifically for neutron optics applications. The technology operates as a reflective lens — similar to proven grazing incidence optics used for x-ray imaging — and improves neutron imaging resolution for applications using low-energy (<1 electron volt) neutrons.

Posted in: Briefs, Optics


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