Photonics/Optics

Machinable Glass Ceramic

MACOR® machinable glass ceramic from Goodfellow Corp. (Oakdale, PA) is machinable with ordinary metalworking tools rather than diamond grinding equipment. The rigid, radiation- resistant ceramic, which has a maximumuse temperature of 1000°C, has a low thermal conductivity, and can be highly polished. MACOR® machinable glass ceramic is available as rods, bars, sheets, and finished components.

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Fiber-Pigtailed Laser

Coherent (Santa Clara, CA) has expanded its OBIS family of plug-and-play smart laser modules with a new fiber-pigtailed (FP) option at several wavelengths, including 405nm, 488nm, and 640nm. The OBIS FP lasers are offered with 1 meter of single-mode, polarization-preserving fiber, terminating in a standard FC/APC connector. OBIS FP lasers achieve low noise and output stability due to two factors: an output beam with low beam drift to maintain efficient coupling, and telecom-type architecture and methods, such as laser welding to yield drift-free opto-mechanical coupling.

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Digital Laser Diode Driver

Portable Power Systems (St. Louis, MO) has expanded its line of Digital Laser Diode Drivers by offering the new series of PPS drivers, which are offered in CW, Pulsed or CW/Pulsed versions. The pulsed versions have rise times of

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CMOS Cameras

Baumer (Southington, CT) has introduced new HXG cameras that combine CMOS sensor technology with a dual GigE interface and PoE (Power over Ethernet). Available with 2- and 4- megapixel resolutions, Baumer HXG cameras transfer more than 100 frames/s. Dual GigE technology allows the cameras to double GigE bandwidth, achieving a bandwidth of 240 MB/s. If one GigE line becomes disconnected, the camera continues to operate on the remaining GigE line without requiring a power-down or reset.

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Diode Laser Bars

DILAS (Mainz, Germany) offers water-cooled laser diodes for alkali laser pumping at 766nm, 780nm, and 852nm on micro-channel heat sinks at CW power levels of 40W, 60W, and 100W, respectively. The laser bar geometry has a 1cm bar width, with 19 emitters on a 500μm pitch. Typical power conversion efficiency is in the range of 56% at rated power for all three wavelengths, as measured at 20C. The diodes are assembled in watercooled stacks to power scale up to kW levels, according to customer requirements. Diode laser stack arrays can also be offered with volume Bragg gratings (with standard or low reflectivity coatings), and with both optical axes collimated.

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Silicone Solar Cables

Rated for voltages up to 42,000 Volts DC, Cicoil’s (Valencia, CA) Silicone Jacketed Solar Power Cables have been designed to provide absolute reliability in solar panel interconnection and photovoltaic applications. These halogen- free cables are flame retardant, highly flexible and perform exceptionally well when exposed to severe cold & heat (-65°C to +260°C).

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Near-Infrared Photon Counter

The id220-FR-SMF from id Quantique (Carouge, Switzerland) provides a cost-effective tool for applications that require asynchronous photon detection. The cooled InGaAs/InP avalanche photodiode and associated electronics achieve low dark count and afterpulsing rates in free-running mode. The module operates at two detection probability levels of 10% and 20%, with a deadtime that can be set between 600ns and 25ms. Arrival time of photons is reflected by a 100ns TTL pulse available at the SMA connector; the timing resolution is as low as 250ps at 20% efficiency. A USB interface allows users to set the efficiency level and the deadtime. A standard FC/PC connector followed by a single mode fiber is provided as optical input.

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InGaAs Camera

FLIR Systems (Portland, OR) has announced its SC2600 near infrared (NIR) camera. The device features a 640 × 512 InGaAs sensor. The SC2600 combines a spectral sensitivity range of 0.9-1.7μm and small 25μm pixels. Other features include independent analog and digital (gigabit Ethernet) video outputs, external frame synchronization, video windowing, and independent data streams.

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Single-Frequency, 1,064-nm Laser Designed for Space LIDAR

Redfern Integrated Optics was awarded a Phase 2 Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) contract for further development of its single-frequency, narrow- linewidth semiconductor laser technology in the 1,064-nm spectral region, suitable for spaceflight operation. The external-cavity semiconductor laser is packaged in a standard 14-pin compact “butterfly” package, and produces a single- frequency output with a linewidth less than 2 kHz, ultra-low phase and relative intensity noise, and high immunity to vibrations, all under a wide range of operating temperatures.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Lasers & Laser Systems, Lasers, Lidar, Research and development, Semiconductors
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Ensuring Safe Operation and Accurate Characterization of Laser Diodes

Laser diodes are very sensitive to electrostatic discharge (ESD), current/ voltage transients, and temperature changes, and extra care must be taken to ensure the laser diode is protected during all operating conditions. Unlike general-purpose power supplies or current supplies, laser diode drivers, mounts, and cables greatly improve the protection of laser diodes and allow low noise operation. A temperature controller helps stabilize the temperature of the laser diode packages, which provides for safe operation and wavelength stability of the laser. For fast and reliable characterization, an optical power meter and integrating sphere-based photodiode detectors are often employed where a good understanding of optical measurements is required.

Posted in: Articles, Features, Photonics, Lasers, Optics, Thermal management, Mountings
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