Photonics/Optics

Changing the Nature of Optics in One Step

Optical lenses that can see features smaller than the wavelength of light cannot be made from conventional materials. Creating “hyperlenses” that can take ultra-sharp images needs both designer materials (metamaterials) and innovative optics to be developed. Current methods for fabricating such synthetic metamaterials are complicated and involve assembling artificial cells and patterning processes. To improve the process, Texas A&M scientists developed a one-step method, which directs the self-assembly of metallic gold pillars into a special oxide using pulsed laser deposition.

Posted in: Briefs, Photonics
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How to Test Devices Used in Optical Communications Systems

As signal rates approach 50 Gb/s, bandwidth demand has outpaced conventional circuit boards. Engineers are now turning to PAM4 signaling rather than conventional NRZ as the most viable solution to these design challenges.

Posted in: Articles, Photonics
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Neuroimaging Technique May Help Predict Autism Among High-Risk Infants

According to a recent study, functional connectivity magnetic resonance imaging (fcMRI) may predict which high-risk, 6-month-old infants will develop autism spectrum disorder by age 2 years.

Posted in: Briefs, Photonics
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New Microscope Uses Adaptable Mirror to Create Clearer Images

The National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NBIB) has developed a microscope that increases resolution and contrast in thick biological samples. The new microscope improves on its predecessor by combining two-photon laser scanning microscopy (2PM) with instant structured illumination microscopy (ISIM). Key to the development, was including adaptive optics (AO) to rapidly correct distortions.

Posted in: Briefs, Photonics
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Flexible Liquid Lens Simplifies Inspection

When you buy a new car, you can choose from a wide range of exterior and interior features, transmission and dynamics, and safety bundles, to configure your individual vehicle. From the point of view of engine manufacturing, this entails a wide range of designs and sizes. To meet demands for high quality, the manufacturer must test their engines according to industry-specific guidelines and quality standards. Industrial vision systems make an important contribution to quality assurance and increased efficiency in engine manufacturing. There used to only be a small range of products, whereas nowadays fully automated evaluation of a wide variety of large components and complex geometries is required. A single component may call for as many as 100 features to be inspected in different positions.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Photonics
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Dr. Keiko Munechika, Manager, Nanofabrication, aBeam Technologies, Hayward, CA

Dr. Munechika — along with Alexander Kosh­elev and Giuseppe Calafiore at aBeam Technologies, and Stefano Cabrini at the Molecular Foundry at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory — is developing a process that would enable widespread adoption of nano-optic technology. The team perfected a technique for fabricating a Campanile probe, whose tapered, four-sided shape resembles the top of the Campanile clock tower on UC Berkeley’s campus. The probe focuses an intense beam of light onto a much smaller spot than is possible with current optics.

Posted in: Who's Who, Optical Components, Optics
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Introducing a Novel Spectral Analysis System for Measuring High-Performance Thin-Film Optical Filters

Alluxa offers and manufactures high-performance optical thin films that are used in wide ranging applications including life sciences, research, semiconductor and LIDAR. All of Alluxa's thin-film optical filters and mirrors are hard-coated using a proprietary plasma deposition process on equipment that was designed and built by our team. This allows us to repeatably produce the same high-performance optical thin films in all of our coating chambers.

Posted in: White Papers, Optics, Photonics
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Writing with Light: An ‘Etch A Sketch’ Electrical Circuit

Physicists from Washington State University (WSU) have used lasers to draw conductive circuits into a crystal. The achievement demonstrates a new kind of transparent, three-dimensional electronics: circuits that can be erased and reconfigured, like the drawings of an Etch A Sketch.

Posted in: News, Board-Level Electronics, Electronic Components, Electronics & Computers, Lasers & Laser Systems, Optical Components, Optics, Photonics
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Sound-Off: What’s Next for Optical Design Processes?

Mechanical engineers require a variety of tools to ensure the proper design of optical products like cell phones and autonomous vehicle sensor systems. In a presentation titled "Trends Driving Innovations in Optical Product Design," an attendee asked our expert: What will be integrated into the design process next?

Posted in: News, Optical Components, Optics
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Trends Driving Innovations in Optical Product Design

Companies developing cutting-edge optical products—from virtual reality to autonomous vehicles—can gain an enormous competitive advantage by getting their products to market ahead of their competitors.

Posted in: On-Demand Webinars, Optics
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