Tech Briefs

Photonics & Imaging

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Access our comprehensive library of technical briefs on photonics and imaging, from engineering experts at NASA and major government, university, and commercial laboratories.

Latest Tech Briefs

Briefs: Photonics/Optics
Tests showed the metalens they made could focus its 197-nanometer output onto a spot measuring 1.7 microns in diameter, increasing the power density of the light output by 21 times.
Briefs: Photonics/Optics
Plasmonics is a technology that essentially traps the energy of light in groups of electrons oscillating together on a metal surface.
Briefs: Photonics/Optics
It achieves 40 channels by combining a frequency comb light source based on a new photonic crystal resonator developed by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) with an optimized mode-division multiplexer.
Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
This method increases the efficiency of light-emitting diodes and other optical elements.
Briefs: Lighting Technology
These micro LEDs can be folded, twisted, cut, and stuck to different surfaces.
Briefs: Imaging
Bulky, heavy LiDAR systems in self-driving cars could be replaced with a single chip.
Briefs: Photonics/Optics
The millimeter-sized flat lens can be used in wearable displays for virtual reality, which requires compact, lightweight, and cost-effective components.
Briefs: Imaging
Researchers built electroluminescent soft artificial muscles for flying, insect-scale robots.
Briefs: Photonics/Optics
Diffraction Suppressed Mirror

Precise optical systems, especially those sensitive to information loss, are typically designed to minimize the use of mirrors. This is due to the Airy disk effect inherent to all conventional mirrors, which is a result of diffraction of the incident light. This effect represents information loss between the...

Briefs: Communications

Scientists discovered a new platform for quantum technologies by suspending two-dimensional (2D) crystals over pores in a slab of gold. When heated, the metal reflows to form a porous structure...

Briefs: Photonics/Optics

Super temporal resolution microscopy allows imaging of fluorescent molecules 20 times faster than traditional lab cameras normally allow. A general method has been developed to let a...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers

A middle infrared light source can detect greenhouse and other gases as well as molecules in a person’s breath. The compact system, which resembles a tiny suitcase, contains just two parts: a standard...

Briefs: Photonics/Optics

Classical laser communication gimbals are coupled to 105um multimodal receiving fibers for the high-power transmission of data, fine pointing, and tracking. These fibers cannot be used in...

Briefs: Internet of Things

Light-emitting diode (LED)-based communications techniques allow computing devices, including cellphones, to communicate with one another using infrared light. However, LED...

Briefs: Sensors/Data Acquisition

Robots are good at making identical repetitive movements such as a simple task on an assembly line. But they lack the ability to perceive objects as they move through an environment. A...

Briefs: Imaging

Robotic vision has come a long way, reaching a level of sophistication with applications in complex and demanding tasks, such as autonomous driving and object...

Briefs: Photonics/Optics

A terahertz laser was developed with high constant power, tight beam pattern, and broad electric frequency tuning for a wide range of applications in chemical sensing and imaging. The...

Briefs: Photonics/Optics

The importance of optical image quality and the trend toward thinner smart-phones have pushed manufacturers to increase the number of cameras in order to provide cellphones with better...

Briefs: Photonics/Optics

A new research focusing on topological control capabilities in an integrated acoustic-electronic system at technologically relevant frequencies could pave the way for additional research...

Briefs: Photonics/Optics
High-Speed Communication Vouchsafed by the Laws of Quantum Physics

Security in encrypted communication is a top priority because of our highly connected and mobile society’s increasing reliance on the internet. Engineers at Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science and the Research Laboratory of Electronics, MIT, have developed...

Briefs: Imaging

Traditional glassmaking techniques can be costly and slow, and 3D printing glass often results in rough textures, making them unsuitable for smooth lenses. Using a new...

Briefs: Sensors/Data Acquisition

Researchers have developed a robot that uses radio waves, which can pass through walls, to sense occluded objects. The robot, called RF-Grasp, combines this powerful sensing with more traditional computer vision...

Briefs: Sensors/Data Acquisition

Scientists have developed color-changing, flexible photonic crystals that could be used to develop sensors that warn when an earthquake might strike next. The wearable, robust, and low-cost...

Briefs: Materials

3D printers working in the millimeter range and larger are increasingly used in industrial production processes. Many applications, however, require precise printing on the micrometer...

Briefs: Materials

A Penn State-led team of interdisciplinary researchers developed a polymer with robust piezoelectric effectiveness, resulting in 60 percent more efficient electricity...

Briefs: Imaging

Researchers have developed tiny optical elements from metal nanoparticles and a polymer that could replace traditional refractive lenses to realize portable imaging systems...

Briefs: Energy

Researchers have developed technology to produce next-generation composite glass for lighting LEDs and smartphone, television, and computer screens. The technology was a step forward in perovskite...

Briefs: Materials

Optical limiting — a manner of telecom switching without the use of electronics — is an all-optical method that could improve the speed and capacity of Internet communications. A...

Briefs: Transportation

A new composition of germanosili-cate glass created by adding zinc oxide has properties good for lens applications. The new family of zinc germanosilicate glass has a high refractive index comparable...

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