Photonics/Optics

Evaluation Module

The DLP® LightCrafter™ platform from Texas Instruments (Dallas, TX) allows developers to harness spatial light steering from a compact module. Users can create, store, and display high-speed pattern sequences through DLP LightCrafter’s USBbased application programming interface (API) and graphical user interface (GUI).

Posted in: Products, Products, ptb catchall, Photonics

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Optical Manufacturing Guidelines for Medical OEMs

With careful planning, system integrators can select the optimal optics, filters, light sources, and cameras for their medical diagnostic instrumentation. Custom integration of original equipment manufacturer (OEM) products can be complex, particularly for medical device integrators that build diagnostic instruments incorporating numerous optical components. Often, objective lenses, illumination sources, and imaging detectors are assembled and custom-mounted into finished instruments. Such components must not only meet stringent performance requirements, but often have to meet established Food and Drug Administration (FDA) standards.

Posted in: Briefs, MDB, Briefs, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Medical, Photonics

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Organic Solar Cell Initiative

Imec (Leuven, Belgium) has announced the European FP7 project X10D, an initiative aimed at developing tandem organic solar cells with an increased conversion efficiency and lifetime. The ultimate goal of the X10D project is to introduce organic photovoltaic technologies (OPV) into the thin-film PV market.

Posted in: Products, Products, ptb catchall, Photonics

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Controlling Heat Curing Adhesive Processes Using Infrared Spot Curing

Novel infrared fibers provide precision heating and curing of glues in medical device assemblies, improving workflow and design. Adhesives are often used as the joining compound between substrates in the medical device industry. Typical applications for adhesives include tube-to-connector bonding, steel-cannula-to-hub bonding, and any other joining process. Adhesives work particularly well in the assembly of dissimilar materials where traditional solvent-welding methods are being eliminated due to workplace safety legislation and where other joining methods such as ultrasonic welding and laser welding are inadequate.

Posted in: Briefs, MDB, Briefs, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Medical, Photonics

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Transforming Gaussian Beams into Uniform, Rectangular Intensity Distributions

The majority of laser types in current use produce output beams with circular or elliptical crosssections, with either Gaussian or near- Gaussian intensity profiles. This Gaussian intensity distribution is acceptable, and often beneficial for many applications in which the laser beam is being focused to a small spot. However, there are also many different uses for which a uniform intensity distribution (often referred to as a “flattop”) would be more optimal. For example, in materials processing tasks, a uniform intensity distribution ensures that the entire laser illuminated area is processed evenly. It is also valuable in situations where the laser light is used essentially for illumination. This is because uniform illumination makes identical features that all appear to have the same brightness, regardless of where they are located in the illuminated field, simplifying the image processing task and increasing contrast and resolution. These same benefits apply over a wide range of other applications that can be broadly classed as “illumination,” from machine vision, through flow cytometry, inspection, and even some medical uses.

Posted in: Articles, Features, Photonics

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Designing Optical Systems With Off-The-Shelf Products

Utilization of COTS (commercial off-the-shelf) products is now almost a bylaw of government and military design projects and is becoming of increasing interest in commercial designs, as well. Optical systems are no exception; the use of stock optics can provide tremendous advantages in terms of reduced cost and development effort. The key is finding the most appropriate way of employing stock optics in a custom design.

Posted in: Articles, Applications, ptb catchall, Photonics

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High-Speed Digital Interferometry

Optical decoding eliminates the need for high-speed detectors and digital signal processing. Digitally enhanced heterodyne interferometry (DI) is a laser metrology technique employing pseudo-random noise (PRN) codes phase-modulated onto an optical carrier. Combined with heterodyne interferometry, the PRN code is used to select individual signals, returning the inherent interferometric sensitivity determined by the optical wavelength. The signal isolation arises from the autocorrelation properties of the PRN code, enabling both rejection of spurious signals (e.g., from scattered light) and multiplexing capability using a single metrology system. The minimum separation of optical components is determined by the wavelength of the PRN code.

Posted in: Briefs, TSP, ptb catchall, Tech Briefs, Photonics

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