Features

QC Lasers Improve Hazardous Gas Monitoring

The measurement of gases associated with industrial processing/emissions monitoring has become increasingly important as the need to improve efficiencies in process control has increased, and legislation governing emissions has come into force. Gases including NOx, SOx, CO2, CO, NH3, and H2O commonly are used to assess processes such as combustion and quenching, while many fall under emissions legislation resulting from the Kyoto agreement.

Posted in: Features, ptb catchall, Photonics, Motion Control, Articles

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LUTs: Take Control of Your Imaging Application

It is hard to see how machine-vision camera manufacturers produce decent-quality products at reasonable prices. The multi-megapixel sensors at the heart of current machine-vision cameras are among the largest of VLSI (very-large-scale integration) semiconductor chips, and it is almost impossible to make them with the pixel-to-pixel uniformity required for high-precision imaging applications. Without some way of compensating for manufacturing variations across a given image sensor, many otherwise acceptable chips would have to be discarded. That would drastically reduce manufacturing yields and drive sensor-chip prices far beyond levels acceptable for many applications.

Posted in: Features, ptb catchall, Photonics, Articles

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Water Jets and Lasers Cut Through Electronic Industry’s Problems

Semiconductor manufacturers need the flexibility of a wafer-cutting machine that supports various wafer sizes and cuts them without the mechanical and thermal damage often seen with traditional cutting methods, including the mechanical stress that occurs with conventional sawing, or the contamination and/or ablated material caused by laser cutting. Employing a dicing process that makes the wafers less prone to breakage would allow manufacturers to introduce thinner wafers into the production line, thereby increasing the number of functions on a given device. A machine that cuts lasers without a heat-affected zone would also offer efficiency advantages to manufacturers.

Posted in: ptb catchall, Applications, Photonics, Application Briefs

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Product of the Month: Camera Shutters

Melles Griot Optics Group (Rochester, NY) has released the ExtremeService™ shutter designed for operation in environmental conditions involving variations in temperature. The shutter is suitable for OEM applications including night vision cameras and infrared illumination systems such as analytical, metrology, and photonics instrumentation that require compact size, low weight, and low-voltage operation.

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Fiber-Optic Laser Couplers

Bristol Instruments (Victor, NY) offers the LC Series fiber-optic laser couplers that can be used to launch a free-space laser beam into a fiber, or return the laser to a collimated free-space beam. The couplers contain a 1"- diameter mounting disk attached to 3 meters of 9-μm core-diameter fiber that is terminated with an FC/PC connector. The LC-1 input coupler includes built-in alignment optics that provide two slightly off-axis back reflections to facilitate alignment. With the LC-1 installed in a standard theta-phi optical mount, alignment is achieved by centering the laser beam on the input aperture, and then adjusting the mount so that the two back reflections straddle the input beam symmetrically. The LC-2 output coupler is identical to the LC-1, but without the alignment optics. It is used to return the laser to a collimated free-space beam.

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Wide-Gap Sensor

TT Electronics OPTEK Technology (Carrollton, TX) offers the OPB856Z Series wide-gap optical sensor that includes an emitter-sensor pair. The sensor consists of an LED and a phototransistor designed to operate over distances of 12" in industrial environments. The sensor components are mounted in threaded, color-coded housings; the LED (white housing) and phototransistor (black housing) are designed for panel mount through a 12-mm hole, with a corresponding nut included for each housing. The emitter-sensor pair is designed to electrically mate with a Molex 03-06-2023 connector with either male for the LED or female for the sensor pins.

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Laser Processing System

Universal Laser Systems (Scottsdale, AZ) has added a laser platform to its XL Series of industrial CO2 laser processing systems that can provide 400 watts of air-cooled laser power. The laser utilizes direct air-cooling, eliminating the need for chillers and plumbing. Two models are available: the XL-9200 features a 36 × 24" processing field, and the XL-12000 is configured with a 48 × 24" processing field.

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