Photonics/Optics

Fabricating Custom Components from Stock Optics

Two quantities are perennially in short supply on engineering projects: time and money. When it comes to producing custom optical components in less time, for less money, one feasible approach is to modify off-the-shelf components to meet customers’ unique requirements. This tactic is particularly valuable in the prototyping stage or for one-of-a-kind instruments, when a full production run would be unjustifiably expensive and take an unreasonably long time.

Posted in: Applications, Photonics, Optical Components, Articles, Application Briefs

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Ruggedized Displays Improve Automotive Safety

Navigation and entertainment screens in cars are becoming ever-larger and, in some cases, the central control point for drivers and passengers. Many manufacturers consider using glass to cover the displays. It gives the same pleasing surface feel and high-quality look that users of tablets and smartphones have come to expect. However, glass also bears the additional risk that in the event of a crash it may splinter and injure the occupants.

Posted in: Applications, Photonics, Application Briefs

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Securing and Validating Critical Vision Data

Manufacturing companies are placing increasing emphasis on data security throughout their operations to protect confidential data and to validate that their systems are protected against unauthorized and unwanted changes. The critical role that vision plays in many manufacturing processes makes it essential that system security be improved for vision applications. A new generation of vision-specific security tools offers improvements in access control, change tracking, auditing, and general network security to help ensure the integrity of vision applications while at the same time protecting data confidentiality.

Posted in: Applications, Photonics, Application Briefs

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Laser Scribing of Photovoltaic Materials

Solar technologies use the sun’s energy to provide heat, light, hot water, electricity, and even cooling, for homes, businesses, and industry. Despite sunlight’s significant potential for supplying energy, solar power provides less than 1% of U.S. energy needs.

Posted in: Applications, Photonics, Application Briefs

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Hyperspectral Imaging What is it? How does it work?

Hyperspectral imaging has grown increasingly popular over the past ten years in military, industrial, and scientific arenas. The ability to precisely characterize the color of a viewed item, whether a camouflaged vehicle, a bruise on an arm or on fruit, or a wide swath of vegetation, allows the user to make informed decisions only dreamed of in the past. What once required large, delicate, and expensive laboratory spectrometers is now being done in real time aboard satellites, unmanned aerial vehicles, and portable handheld units.

Posted in: Photonics, Application Briefs

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Using CVD Diamond to Cool Hot Devices

Increasing power densities and decreasing transistor dimensions are hallmarks of many of today’s semiconductor devices, including high-voltage power transistors, laser diodes, and RF power amplifiers. GaN devices, such as power converters for photovoltaic cells and cellular base-station power amplifiers, are further enabling higher power densities in smaller die sizes. Both trends are significantly increasing the thermal management challenge within the chip and surrounding package or module.

Posted in: Applications, Photonics, Application Briefs

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Using Adaptive Optics to Perform Deep-Tissue Cell Imaging

In biological imaging, the object of interest is not always in plain sight. This is especially true when performing microscopy of cells buried deep within tissues. The tissues covering the cells tend to bend and scatter the light passing through them, which prevents acquiring sharp images of the cells below. To overcome this, researchers at a leading science campus developed a novel way to use adaptive optics in microscopy.

Posted in: Applications, Photonics, Application Briefs

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