Features

Confocal Optical Pens

Confocal chromatic optical pens from Micro Photonics (Irvine, CA) allow 30 different optical pen configurations for specific depth of field, spot size, working distance, object slope, and photometric efficiency. Users can choose from five magnifiers, ranging from 3.3-mm to 29-mm focal lengths, and six different chromatic lenses, ranging from 130-μm to 27-mm depths of field. Pens can achieve maximum axial resolution of 5 nm, accuracy to 20 nm, and max slope to 87∫ for diffusive objects. Based on white light chromatic aberration, the pens provide lateral resolution of 1.1 μm and vertical resolution of 5 nm. The pens are suitable for applications in profilometry, microtopography, auto-focus vibrometry, in-line inspection quality control, and thickness measurements.

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Photon Image Sensor

Andor Technology (South Windsor, CT) has introduced the iXonEM + EMCCD camera that can detect single photon events without an image intensifier. It offers photon collection efficiencies of up to 95% QE, readout speeds up to 35 MHz, 14- and 16- bit digitization, and thermoelectric cooling to -100°C. The system’s vertical clock parameters provide low spurious noise and minimal smear with short exposures. The camera is suitable for applications in single molecule detection, live-cell multi-dimensional microscopy, spinning disc confocal microscopy, intracellular ion signaling, cell motility, adaptive optics, photon counting, bioluminescence, neutron radiography, and spectral imaging.

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Green Laser Diode Modules

A line of green laser diode modules available from BEA Lasers (Elk Grove Village, IL) is suitable for spectroscopy, particle measurement, medical tissue analysis, interferometry, holography, robotic control, and flow visualization. The Model 2501 is a fixed-focus CW diode pumped laser diode module with a beam divergence of

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Vibration Isolation Workstation

Kinetic Systems (Boston, MA) offers the MK26 vibration isolation workstation for ultra-low natural frequency applications. It utilizes the Minus K® vertical isolator, which uses a stiff spring and a negative-stiffness mechanism to provide vertical stiffness without affecting the static load-supporting capability. Horizontal isolation is provided by beam columns connected in series with the vertical-motion isolator. Adjusted to a 1/2-Hz natural frequency, the workstation can achieve 93% isolation efficiency at 2 Hz, 99% at 5 Hz, and 99.7% at 10 Hz. The MK26 is available with a 650-pound gross load capacity. Optional equipment includes guard rails, non-isolated shelves, Faraday cages, and tabletop enclosures. Applications include analytical balances, cell injection, confocal microscopes, patch clamping, optical microscopes, wafer probing, sensor calibration, and atomic force microscopes.

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Diode Laser System

TOPTICA Photonics AG (Graefelfing, Germany) offers the TA 100 single-mode output diode laser and amplifier systems, which may serve as a replacement for dye- or frequency-doubled solidstate lasers. The red-wavelength lasers provide a sensing range of 660 to 673 nm and an output power of 250 mW. The amplifier systems provide a sensing range of 660 to 1,080 nm with power up to 1 Watt. They offer single spatial and spectral mode output, narrow line width, and tenability. They can boost the output power of diode or gas lasers by a factor of 100. Applications include interferometry, holography, Raman spectroscopy, and atom cooling and trapping. The systems also enable accessibility to the resonance line of Lithium at 671 nm.

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Molded Glass Lenses

Moulded Optics GmbH (Schoffengrund, Germany) offers single-sided rod and blank-molded aspheric lenses made of crown, borosilicate, and high-refractive glass materials in diameter sizes from 2 mm to 100 mm. The aspheric first surface is molded and the spherical second surface is either ground and polished or molded. The lenses are suitable for laser diode collimating and focusing, digital projection, and microscopic measurement. Also available are molded half-ball lenses made from B270, borosilicate, and F2 class materials, available in diameter sizes of 3, 4, 5, and 6 mm, with standard, truncated, and extended center thickness. The hemisphere first surface is molded and the plano second surface is ground and polished. Applications include LED lighting, fiber communications, endoscopy, microscopy, optical pickup devices, and laser measurement systems.

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Hundreds of Gearmotors Drive Times Square Scrolling Sign

With a zoning ordinance requiring businesses to throw up big, bright, eye-catching signs, Times Square in New York City has an illuminated-sign density rivaling Las Vegas. When Toys “R” Us moved into the neighborhood, it contacted Revolution Display Systems, (Toronto, Canada) to create a motor-controlled, synchronous, contiguous moving image that would constitute the location’s storefront. The resulting 165-module “Building Board” is the first large-format scroller matrix in the world.

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