Photonics/​Optics

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

Briefs: Photonics/Optics
The soft robot harvests energy from a laser beam and can crawl on horizontal surfaces and climb vertical walls and an upside-down glass ceiling.
Briefs: Electronics & Computers
To modernize optical storage, Purdue researchers are replacing Morse code with colored “digital characters.”
Briefs: Photonics/Optics
A novel nanostructure produces uniquely shaped light.
Briefs: Photonics/Optics
A new imaging method allows researchers to see inside complex semiconductors, without destroying them.
Briefs: Photonics/Optics
Northwestern researchers have developed a new microscopy method that allows scientists to see the building blocks of “smart” materials.
Briefs: Photonics/Optics
Researchers are using a standard RGB digital camera to accurately monitor soil moisture.
Briefs: Photonics/Optics
An atom-based sensor can determine the direction of an incoming radio signal.
Briefs: Motion Control
An alternative, environmentally friendly production method creates permanent magnets.
Briefs: Energy
These organic solar cells can be useful where constant, low power generation is sufficient.
Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control
A connection between electricity and mechanical motion in soft, rubber-like materials could improve robot range.
Briefs: Photonics/Optics
The technology potentially enables a new generation of miniaturized electronic and optoelectronic devices.
Briefs: Transportation
This could lead to the commercial development of smart glass, with applications ranging from imaging to advanced robotics.
Briefs: Photonics/Optics
The size and shape of the nanostructure can be controlled as it is assembled piece by piece.
Briefs: Energy
This cell could potentially operate around the clock, balancing the power grid over the day-night cycle.
Briefs: Photonics/Optics
The system could one day replace LiDAR and cameras in automated manufacturing, biomedical imaging, and autonomous driving.
Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control
The machines fold themselves within 100 milliseconds and can flatten and refold thousands of times.
Briefs: Sensors/Data Acquisition
Recent advances could make it feasible to deploy networks of methane sensors to detect this greenhouse gas at large facilities.
Briefs: Test & Measurement
Applications include remote sensing, laser spectroscopy, and gas analysis.
Briefs: AR/AI
This technology bends light more efficiently, enabling more immersive augmented reality display systems.
Briefs: Photonics/Optics
These tiny detectors could record characteristics of light such as color, polarity, and angle.
Briefs: Photonics/Optics
The algorithm identified a new compound potentially useful for photonic devices and biologically inspired computers.
Briefs: Photonics/Optics
This tool could help surgeons better treat tumors and brain diseases.
Briefs: Photonics/Optics
Movements of individual particles of light are reconstructed to see through clouds, fog, and other obstructions.
Briefs: Photonics/Optics
Using gold nanomaterials, this disk can hold data securely for more than 600 years.
Briefs: Transportation
The technology could help computers process visual information more like the human brain.
Briefs: Semiconductors & ICs
The inexpensive cameras are easy to produce.
Briefs: Photonics/Optics
Artificial intelligence is used to decode X-ray images faster, which could aid innovations in medicine, materials, and energy.
Briefs: Photonics/Optics
The new photonic architecture could transform digital communications, artificial intelligence, and quantum computing.
Briefs: Energy
One of the final hurdles to hydrogen power is securing a safe method for detecting hydrogen leaks.

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