Photonics/​Optics

Photonics

Find the latest news and technical briefs on next-generation photonics technologies. Learn more about applications like biophotonics, silicon photonics, and green photonics.

Latest Briefs & News

NASA Tech Needs : Photonics/Optics
Using Light to Speed Up Computation

A group of researchers in Japan has developed a new type of processor known as PAXEL, a device that can potentially bypass Moore's Law and increase the speed and efficiency of computing. PAXEL, which stands for photonic accelerator, is placed at the front end of a digital computer and optimized to perform...

On-Demand Webinars : Photonics/Optics
NASA Discusses Advances in Photonics for Space and Commercial Applications

NASA is working with U.S. industry and academia to develop photonic integrated circuits (PICs) for use in sensors, analog RF applications, and computing and free space communications. PICs provide reduced size, weight, and power that is critical for microprocessors,...

INSIDER : Manufacturing & Prototyping
New Products: September 2019 Photonics & Imaging Insider

Diffraction-Limited Aspheric Lenses

Optical Surfaces Ltd. (Surrey, UK) is an international supplier of diffraction-limited aspheric lenses for nuclear research laser facilities. Over the last 40 years, Optical Surfaces has produced diffraction-limited aspheric lenses, up to 600mm...

Briefs : Test & Measurement
Simultaneous Imaging and Friction Measurement with an In-Situ Tribometer
Simultaneous Imaging and Friction Measurement with an In-Situ Tribometer

Different instruments are needed to study the interaction of contact surfaces at different length scales. Tribometers measure the coefficient of friction but they...

Simultaneous Imaging and Friction Measurement with an In-Situ Tribometer
Briefs : Nanotechnology
Measuring Stickiness of Microscale Surfaces
Measuring Stickiness of Microscale Surfaces

At the scale of bridges or buildings, the most important force that engineered structures need to deal with is gravity. But at the scale of microelectro-mechanical systems (MEMS) — devices like...

Measuring Stickiness of Microscale Surfaces
Briefs : Test & Measurement
Antenna Near-Field Probe Station Scanner

Antenna characterization techniques are often expensive and time-consuming. NASA’s Glenn Research Center developed a highly versatile and automated system to perform characterization of single or multiple small circuit antennas, printed on-wafer or on other substrates, by measuring the antenna’s...

Briefs : Test & Measurement
Precise Temperature Measurements with Invisible Light
Precise Temperature Measurements with Invisible Light

A portable, stable, standards-quality radiation thermometer was invented that can measure temperatures between -50 °C (-58 °F) to 150 °C (302 °F). The corresponding infrared...

Precise Temperature Measurements with Invisible Light
Briefs : Test & Measurement
Mobile, Dual-Comb Device for Methane Leak Detection
Mobile, Dual-Comb Device for Methane Leak Detection

Accurately detecting, locating, and quantifying leaks of methane — the main component of natural gas and a major fuel source worldwide — is critically important for both environmental...

Mobile, Dual-Comb Device for Methane Leak Detection
Briefs : Data Acquisition
Material for Faster Computer Memory

Scientists are studying bismuth ferrite (BFO) material that has the potential to store information much more efficiently than is currently possible. BFO could also be used in sensors, transducers, and other electronics.

Briefs : Propulsion
Microrobots Activated by Laser Pulses for Treating Tumors
Microrobots Activated by Laser Pulses for Treating Tumors

Microrobots that can deliver drugs to specific spots inside the body while being monitored and controlled from outside the body have been developed that also can treat tumors in the...

Microrobots Activated by Laser Pulses for Treating Tumors
Briefs : Test & Measurement
Laser-Pointing System Transmits Data from Tiny Satellites
Laser-Pointing System Transmits Data from Tiny Satellites

Since 1998, almost 2,000 shoebox-sized satellites known as CubeSats have been launched into space. Due to their small frame and the fact that they can be made from off-the-shelf...

Laser-Pointing System Transmits Data from Tiny Satellites
Application Briefs : Photonics/Optics
Optical Coatings Technology
Optical Coatings Technology

Optical coatings are critical for enhancing the transmission, reflection, polarization, and phase of light incident upon and passing through optical components. There are many different technologies used to...

Optical Coatings Technology
Products : Manufacturing & Prototyping
New Products: September 2019 Photonics & Imaging Technology
New Products: September 2019 Photonics & Imaging Technology

Micromachining Subsystem

SCANLAB GmbH (Puchheim, Germany) has introduced a new member of its precSYS product line. Five-axis precSYS subsystems enable industrial...

New Products: September 2019 Photonics & Imaging Technology
Briefs : Imaging
Optical Distance Measurement at Record-High Speed
Optical Distance Measurement at Record-High Speed

Scientists of Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) and École Poly-technique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) have reported that they achieved the fastest distance measurement attained so...

Optical Distance Measurement at Record-High Speed
Briefs : Software
Calibration Method Improves Scientific Research Performed with Smartphone Cameras
Calibration Method Improves Scientific Research Performed with Smartphone Cameras

Although smartphones and other consumer cameras are increasingly used for scientific applications, it's difficult to compare and combine data from different...

Calibration Method Improves Scientific Research Performed with Smartphone Cameras
Briefs : Internet of Things
Spotting Objects Amid Clutter
Spotting Objects Amid Clutter

A new MIT-developed technique enables robots to quickly identify objects hidden in a three-dimensional cloud of data, reminiscent of how some people can make sense of a densely patterned “Magic Eye” image if...

Spotting Objects Amid Clutter
Articles : Defense
Detecting Chemical Weapons Using Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy
Detecting Chemical Weapons Using Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy
The AIRGARD® air analyzer has been deployed to protect multiple critical infrastructure locations.
Detecting Chemical Weapons Using Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy
Briefs : Nanotechnology
New Imaging Method Aids in Water Decontamination
New Imaging Method Aids in Water Decontamination

A breakthrough imaging technique developed by Cornell researchers shows promise in decontaminating water by yielding surprising and important information about catalyst particles that can't be...

New Imaging Method Aids in Water Decontamination
Application Briefs : Software
Machine Vision Applications in Laser Measurement Systems
Machine Vision Applications in Laser Measurement Systems

Machine vision is a broad term with many applications and definitions, but at its most basic definition it is using an imager or camera along with software to inspect and analyze a...

Machine Vision Applications in Laser Measurement Systems
Articles : Photonics/Optics
Machine Vision Camera Trends: 2019 and Beyond
Machine Vision Camera Trends: 2019 and Beyond
Each passing year, machine vision is finding its way into applications that were not commercially feasible — and in some cases, impossible.
Machine Vision Camera Trends: 2019 and Beyond
Question of the Week : Nanotechnology
Beyond Camouflage, Do You See Other Applications for Artificial ‘Chameleon Skin?’

A Cambridge University team developed an artificial "chameleon skin" that changes color when exposed to light. The material supports a range of applications, including active camouflage, large-scale dynamic displays, and maybe even medical diagnostics.

Blog : Nanotechnology
When Exposed to Light, Artificial 'Chameleon Skin' Changes Color
When Exposed to Light, Artificial 'Chameleon Skin' Changes Color
"Actually it was not something we really planned!" Dr. Andrew Salmon told Tech Briefs.
When Exposed to Light, Artificial 'Chameleon Skin' Changes Color