Photonics/Optics

Multispectral Imaging Camera

The SpectroCam™ Multispectral Imaging (MSI) Camera from Ocean Thin Films (OTF) (Largo, FL) combines a scientific-grade CCD array with a precision rotating optical filter wheel. With a single-point spectrometer, users can analyze spectral differences from sample to sample and then, by selecting discrete filters in and around spectral areas with the most significant differences, use SpectroCam to create an image that shows vivid contrast between the samples. The SpectroCam has a wideband CCD that is responsive from the visible through near-infrared spectrum. Image speed is 20 fps at full resolution, and the standard F-Mount configuration accommodates a range of lens choices, focal lengths, and fields of view. Each system includes a lens, eight standard interchangeable filters, and software.

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HD Zoom Lens

Resolve Optics Ltd (Chesham, UK) offers the adaptable Z10-HDCF compact f/1.8 highdefinition zoom lens. The motorized 10x HD zoom lens is 87.5mm long and 45mm square. The Z10-HDCF, which is lighter than 500g, is also able to focus upon objects up to 450mm from the lens. A camera mount incorporates topside and back focus adjustment. A changeable rear cell enables the Z10-HDCF to be simply adapted for use on camera formats between 1/3- and 2/3-inch including 3CCD formats.

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Laser Diode Driver

The laser diode drivers iC-NZN and iC-NZP from iCHaus Corp. (Bodenheim, Germany) operate laser diodes in both CW and spike-free pulse mode, with up to 155 MHz. The devices allow either the optical output power (APC) or laser diode current (ACC) to be controlled. Blue laser diodes can also be operated with iC-NZN. The maximum available laser diode current is 300mA, and the devices have an adjustable current limit. When the current limit is reached, it is signaled as an error message output which also indicates undervoltage and overtemperature. There is a safety shutdown function for the output stage in the event of overtemperature. The device can also be driven by either LVDS or TTL pulse signals. iC-NZN and iC-NZP have a standby mode with a low current consumption of < 50 μA.

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Single-Photon Counter

AUREA Technology (Besancon, France) has introduced the SPD_B, a single-photon counting module used for short near infrared wavelengths [1,000 to 1,350 nm]. The SPD_B is an ultra-low-noise, highquantum- efficiency, and low-timing-jitter near-infrared single photon counter. The SPD_B includes a Geiger-mode InGaAs avalanche photodiode and thermoelectric coolers that ensure high detection efficiency up to 30%, a very low dark count rate of < 5.10-6 per ns gate, and a low timing jitter of < 180ps. The SPD_B comes with a graphical user interface compatible with LabView and C++.

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Hybrid Sensor

OSRAM Opto Semiconductors (Sunnyvale, CA) has released a “3 in 1” SFH 7773 digital sensor that combines an IR LED emitter and detector chips together, eliminating the need to install a separate IR emitter to enable the proximity sensor function. Apertures are integrated into the package to reduce crosstalk. The SFH 7773 detects objects up to a distance of 15cm (5.9 in.) while simultaneously measuring the intensity of the ambient light. Its power consumption is a maximum of 5μA in standby mode and 300μA in operational mode. The integration time of the detector and, thus, the detection range of the proximity sensor, can be selected via the I2C interface. The 5.3mm x 2.5mm x 1.2mm sensor can also be adjusted to the transparency of the smart phone cover. A variety of sensitivity levels is available, ranging from 3 to approximately 65.500 lux and 0.03 to 655 lux.

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2011 Products of the Year

The votes are in and the winners of the 2011 Photonics Tech Briefs Readers’ Choice Product of the Year Awards have been selected. The three PTB Products of the Year awards will be presented to each company in person.

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Multiple-Event, Single-Photon Counting Imaging Sensor

This sensor has applications in high-energy physics and medical and biological imaging systems. The single-photon counting imaging sensor is typically an array of silicon Geiger-mode avalanche photodiodes that are monolithically integrated with CMOS (complementary metal oxide semiconductor) readout, signal processing, and addressing circuits located in each pixel and the peripheral area of the chip. The major problem is its “single-event” method for photon count number registration. A single-event single-photon counting imaging array only allows registration of up to one photon count in each of its pixels during a frame time, i.e., the interval between two successive pixel reset operations. Since the frame time can’t be too short, this will lead to very low dynamic range and make the sensor merely useful for very low flux environments. The second problem of the prior technique is a limited fill factor resulting from consumption of chip area by the monolithically integrated CMOS readout in pixels. The resulting low photon collection efficiency will substantially ruin any benefit gained from the very sensitive single-photon counting detection.

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