Photonics/Optics

New Products: May 2017 Photonics & Imaging Insider

High Efficiency Double Spot Beam Splitter

LASER COMPONENTS (Bedford, NH) has introduced the HEDS (High Efficiency Double Spot) beam splitter. Double spot beam splitters are diffractive optical elements (DOE) used for separating an incoming laser beam into two identical beams. They are most commonly used in lithography as well as high power applications such as cutting and perforation. Until now, a small portion of light was lost in higher diffraction orders. Some applications cannot tolerate even a 1% loss, so this DOE boasts an efficiency well above the standard value of 81%. HEDS is available in wavelengths between 193 nm and 10.6 µm.

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Scanning Electron Microscope

JEOL USA (Peabody, MA) has introduced a new Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) that combines the performance of a Field Emission SEM with the simplicity of the JEOL InTouchScope™ SEM series. The new JSM-IT300HR features a rugged in-chamber specimen stage and large chamber to accommodate a wide variety of samples of different shapes, sizes, and weights. The specimen chamber’s twelve geometrically-optimized analytical ports allow for multiple detectors, creating a virtual nano-lab inside the SEM. Low vacuum capability is a standard feature and allows for imaging and analysis of all types of samples in their native state.

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Optical Transmitter

The Micro ATx high-fidelity optical transmitter from APIC Corporation (Culver City, CA) combines an ultra-low-RIN (-168 dB/Hz) continuous wavelength (CW) laser (1530-1565 nm), a low Vπ amplitude modulator, a low noise amplifier, power conditioning and control electronics into a small yet rugged package (14 x 5 x 2 cm). When used in combination with APIC’s highly linear 20 GHz analog receiver, the resultant link performance, with a selectable low noise amplifier (LNA), has a gain greater than 8 dB; a noise figure (NF) lower than 8 dB; an SFDR ~ 111 dBHz2/3; and an RF bandwidth from DC through 20 GHz.

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20 GHz Realtime Spectrum Analyzer

Saelig Company, Inc. (Fairport, NY) has introduced the Spectran HF-80200 V5 RSA rack-mounted real-time 9kHz-20GHz Spectrum Analyzer that can capture even intermittent signal transmissions. The Spectran HF-80200 V5 RSA scans from 9kHz to 20GHz in less than 20mS, so that even erratic transmissions or interference can be captured. The HF-80200 V5 is controllable through a USB interface or LAN/Ethernet, allowing continuous logging and streaming of almost any frequency range, and direct access to the analyzer through an Internet-connected PC. It offers AM and FM demodulation. All V5 rackmount spectrum analyzers are housed in a durable aluminum case and feature a built-in 20dB preamplifier.

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Line Scan Cameras

Teledyne e2v (Chelmsford, UK) has developed OctoPlus, a new range of line scan cameras for Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) applications. OctoPlus is based on new image sensor pixel architecture and is specifically tuned to provide the most accurate images of the retina and cornea; mapping tissue structure, measuring thickness and visualizing blood flow dynamics for diagnostics. Specific advantages of OctoPlus include a 250 percent larger field of view compared to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved commercial Swept Source OCT (SS-OCT) and a +5dB signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) in comparison with equipment currently available in Spectral-Domain OCT (SD-OCT).

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Red to Near-IR Enhanced Photodiode

Opto Diode Corporation (Camarillo, CA) has introduced the NXIR-5C, a red to near-infrared (NIR) enhanced photodiode with a circular active area of 5 mm2. With a spectral response from 320 nm to 1100 nm, the rugged photodiode is housed in a custom 4.7 mm x 4.9 mm ceramic carrier surface-mount device (SMD) package. The NXIR-5C provides superior responsivity with low reverse bias and high sensitivity at 0.62 A/W @ 850 nm and 0.35 A/W at 1064 nm. It has low dark current at 1nA, low capacitance of 5 pico-farads (pF) at 10 volts, and high shunt resistance greater than 100 MΩ.

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E-Arm Focus Mount with LED Ring Light

Aven’s (Ann Arbor, MI) E-Arm Focus Mount with Integrated LED Ring Light and independent brightness Controller provides ease of use for inspection purposes. An eco-friendly 60 LED ring light provides even, shadow-free illumination, and a variable light control adds flexibility. These energy-efficient LEDs provide a minimum of 20,000 hours of high-output illumination. The adjustable tilt of the E-arm permits a variety of inspection angles. The E-Arm Focus Mount is compatible with all Aven Binocular and Trinocular Stereo Zoom Microscopes, Boom and Articulating Arm Stands.

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Programmable Light Source

The RS-7-4 SpectralLED™ is a new digitally programmable, color tunable, calibrated light source from Gamma Scientific (San Diego, CA) that bolts directly on to existing image sensor testers from manufacturers such as Teradyne and National Instruments, and can be readily adapted to test head manipulators and handler instrumentation custom built by end users. The LED-based RS 7 4 offers a longer calibrated, stable lifetime than tungsten sources. Plus, the color temperature and spectral power distribution of the RS-7-4 can be rapidly varied through software control, and the output is extremely linear over its entire output range.

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Coming to a Lab Bench Near You: Femtosecond X-Ray Spectroscopy

Upon light activation (in purple, bottom row’s ball-and-stick diagram), the cyclic structure of the 1,3-cyclohexadiene molecule rapidly unravels into a near-linear shape in just 200 femtoseconds. Using ultrafast X-ray spectroscopy, researchers have captured in real time the accompanying transformation of the molecule’s outer electron “clouds” (in yellow and teal, top row’s sphere diagram) as the structure unfurls. (Credit: Kristina Chang/Berkeley Lab)

The ephemeral electron movements in a transient state of a reaction important in biochemical and optoelectronic processes have been captured and, for the first time, directly characterized using ultrafast X-ray spectroscopy at the Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab). Like many rearrangements of molecular structures, the ring-opening reactions in this study occur on timescales of hundreds of femtoseconds (1 femtosecond equals a millionth of a billionth of a second). The researchers were able to collect snapshots of the electronic structure during the reaction by using femtosecond pulses of X-ray light on a tabletop apparatus.

Posted in: News, Lasers & Laser Systems, Optics, Photonics, Measuring Instruments, Test & Measurement
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Engineers Invent Method to Control Light Propagation in Waveguides

Artistic illustration of a photonic integrated device. In one arm an incident fundamental waveguide mode (with one lobe in the waveguide cross-section) is converted into the second-order mode (with two lobes in the waveguide cross-section). In the other arm the incident fundamental waveguide mode is converted into strong surface waves. (Illustration courtesy of Adam Overvig and Nanfang Yu)

A team of Columbia Engineering researchers, led by Applied Physics Assistant Professor Nanfang Yu, has invented a method to control light propagating in confined pathways, or waveguides, with high efficiency by using nano-antennas. To demonstrate this technique, they built photonic integrated devices that not only had record-small footprints but were also able to maintain optimal performance over an unprecedented broad wavelength range.

Posted in: News, Nanotechnology, Optical Components, Optics, Photonics
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Need Glass? Push Print.

LLNL researchers have reported the synthesis of 3D printed transparent glass components using a "slurry" of silica particles extruded through a direct-ink writing process. From left: LLNL chemical engineer and project lead Rebecca Dylla-Spears and LLNL materials engineer Du Nguyen.

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory scientists and academic collaborators from the University of Minnesota and Oklahoma State University have demonstrated the synthesis of transparent glass through 3D printing, a development that could ultimately lead to altering the design and structure of lasers and other devices that incorporate optics.

Posted in: News, Lasers & Laser Systems, Optical Components, Optics
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Using Sensor Fusion to Analyze Laser Processing in Additive Manufacturing

Sensor: “A device that detects or measures a physical property and records, indicates, or otherwise responds to it.” A sensor is a device that detects a physical quantity and responds by transmitting a signal.

Posted in: Articles, Imaging, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Lasers & Laser Systems, Photonics
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Development of Sodium Lidar for Spaceborne Missions

The metal layers at mesospheric altitudes are excellent tracers of neutral atmosphere dynamics, and have been used since the 1960s to study the chemistry and dynamics of the mesosphere. Ablation from meteors is believed to be the chief source of metals such as Na, Mg, K, Fe, and Ca in the middle atmosphere. Due to its relative abundance, large backscatter cross-section, and visible atomic transition, sodium (Na) has been used extensively for lidar studies of the mesosphere.

Posted in: Briefs, Photonics
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Bringing New Vision to Laser Material Processing Systems

The use of modern laser technology has become standard in industrial manufacturing thanks to its speed, accuracy and effectiveness. Lasers are used to engrave parts, electronic printed circuit boards or chip cards. They perforate packaging; structure semiconductor wafers; drill, cut and weld plastics or metals; and create highly complex structures via 3D printing.

Posted in: Articles, Imaging, Machine Vision, Lasers & Laser Systems, Photonics
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Additive-Manufactured, Very Lightweight, Diamond Turned Aspheric Mirror

Industrial-grade, lightweight mirrors used in military and aeronautics have tight specifications brought on by demanding performance parameters. For example, a mirror that is used in an orbiting telescope would have to be extremely lightweight, stiff, and be configured to operate in extreme temperatures. These parameters traditionally work against each other. A material that is stiff is typically heavy, and a mirror that is lightweight and machinable may greatly distort when exposed to extreme heat or cold. Furthermore, materials that fit some of these parameters may not be easily machined to create a mirror, an art that requires high-precision tooling.

Posted in: Briefs, Photonics
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Choosing a Light and Color Measurement System for LEDs

LED-based lighting and display systems are becoming increasingly popular due to their low cost, flexibility, and efficiency. Measuring the light and color output of LEDs is, therefore, becoming more important as their performance is compared to and evaluated against traditional technologies. In addition, inherent performance variations from device to device must be understood and controlled.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Imaging, LEDs, Lighting, Photonics
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3D Imaging Reveals Sub-surface Battery Flaws

Ed Barnard

Traditional imaging technologies have been used to investigate overall solar efficiency, but many of the methods only offer surface views. A new – and “exciting” – ultra-fast laser technique developed at the Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory provides a deeper look and maps a solar cell in three dimensions.

Posted in: Articles, Imaging, Photonics
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