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.

INSIDER: Photonics/Optics
Single-Molecule Nanosubmarines Powered by Light

Rice University scientists have created light-driven, single-molecule submersibles that contain just 244 atoms. The motors of the "nanosubmarines" run at more than a million RPM, and the sub's top speed amounts to less than 1 inch per second.

Briefs: Photonics/Optics
Optical Alignment of the Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) Spacecraft

Theodolite autocollimation metrology continues to play an important part in spacecraft optical alignment. Spacecraft optical alignment is both art and science for using optical instruments to place or determine the orientation and envelope of critical components on...

Briefs: Photonics/Optics
Low-Excess-Noise, High-Gain Avalanche Photodiodes

Avalanche photodiodes (APDs) are widely used to sense and amplify optical signals into electric signals based on their high quantum efficiency of photon detection and desirable internal gain. The high internal gain associated with APDs, however, may also lead to increased levels of excess noise...

Briefs: Photonics/Optics
A Novel Approach to Liquid-Level Sensing Using Fiber Bragg Grating Technology (CryoFOSS)

The Cryogenic Fiber Optic Sensing System (CryoFOSS) offers an approach to liquid-level sensing that uses fiber optic Bragg sensor technology. The innovation is able to sense liquid levels to within 1/4-inch spatial resolution and can actively discern between...

Briefs: Photonics/Optics
Radiation Design of Ion Mass Spectrometer for Europa

An ion mass spectrometer was developed (IMS) that can operate in the high radiation environment of Jupiter’s magnetosphere and its icy moons. If successful, this instrument will provide the first plasma composition measurements within Jupiter’s magnetosphere. This entails development of...

Briefs: Photonics/Optics
Algorithm for Determining Solar Aspect from Images Generated by the HEROES Mission

The goal of the High Energy Replicated Optics to Explore the Sun (HEROES) mission was to adapt an existing balloon payload, known as High Energy Replicated Optics (HERO), for solar observation. HERO used an on-axis star camera for fine aspect sensing, but this...

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Semiconductor Quantum Cascade Lasers Fabricated Without Epitaxial Regrowth

Laser absorption spectroscopy has emerged as one of the most important applications for semiconductor quantum cascade (QC) lasers, particularly in the mid-infrared spectral regime where many gases of interest exhibit fundamental absorption features. Laser absorption...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers

A fiberoptic bus interconnect for spacecraft with multi-Gb/s data rate capacity is designed to provide seamless coordinated control and data exchange at typical intra-spacecraft distances. The...

Briefs: Photonics/Optics
MEMS Glow Discharge Plasma Electron and Ion Source

A microelectromechanical system (MEMS) glow discharge plasma electron and ion source (GDEIS) was designed for operation in high-pressure environments such as planetary atmospheres for mass spectroscopy. Glow discharge electron/ ion sources create electrons and ions from gas molecules in an...

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Conformal Nanotube Baffle for a Compact Coronagraph

The development of a conformal nanotube process is enabling for many applications in solar physics and space astrophysics (e.g., direct detection and imaging of exoplanets). Coronagraphs are key heliophysics instruments because they image coronal mass ejections (CMEs), which are the most...

Briefs: Photonics/Optics
Fabrication of Ion Optics Using Additive Manufacturing

Ion optics, or grids, for ion thrusters or ion sources are traditionally made by subtractive manufacturing methods such as milling/drilling or chemically etching holes from thin sheets of bulk material. This innovation uses additive manufacturing (AM), or 3D printing, to build the grids from...

Briefs: Photonics/Optics
A 16-Beam, Non-Scanning, Swath-Mapping Laser Altimeter Instrument

The purpose of this work was to develop and demonstrate technologies for a next-generation, efficient, swath-mapping space laser altimeter. The Lidar Surface Topography (LIST) mission concept allows simultaneous measurements of 5-meter-spatial-resolution topography and vegetation...

Articles: Photonics/Optics

Optoelectronic components must be protected from the radiation they are exposed to in military, space and nuclear environments to prevent malfunction and damage. Radiation hardening electronics...

Application Briefs: Photonics/Optics

Chances are you’re familiar with HDTV. Most of us have one of these in our living rooms. In fact, according to a recent study, more than 80% of US residents probably...

Products: Photonics/Optics

Lambda Research Corporation (Littleton, MA), the US distributor of opsira metrology equipment and designer and publisher of illumination and optical design software, has introduced the...

Products: Photonics/Optics

Ophir Photonics (North Logan, UT) recently announced the 120K-W Laser Power Meter, the only commercial sensor for measuring very high power 120 kW lasers. The 120K-W Laser Power Meter consists of a beam dump with...

Products: Manufacturing & Prototyping

Vision Research (Wayne, NJ) has enhanced its UHS-Series line of 1 megapixel (1Mpx) ultrahigh-speed cameras. The new Phantom v2512, v2012, v1612, and v1212 cameras are now available with either 72GB, 144GB, or...

Products: Manufacturing & Prototyping

OZ Optics’ (Ottawa, Canada) series of laser diode sources delivers an ultra-stable output, either directly or via a fiber optic cable. Sources are available at wavelengths ranging from 375 nm to 2050 nm, and with...

Products: Photonics/Optics

The new Revolution series of q-switched, green, pulsed lasers from Coherent, Inc. (Santa Clara, CA) provides average power up to 80W at a wavelength of 527 nm, with a beam profile featuring an extremely smooth energy...

INSIDER: Sensors/Data Acquisition
New Sensor Peers Inside Fingertip

Scientists from The Langevin Institute, Paris, France, have constructed a new fingerprint imaging system that peers inside the finger to take a picture — a more reliable and secure way of identifying individuals. The fingerprint sensor, based on full field optical coherence tomography (FF-OCT), uses an...

INSIDER Product: Photonics/Optics

Bristol Instruments, Inc. (Victor, NY) recently introduced the 828B Optical Wavelength Meter that can measure the absolute wavelength of WDM lasers to an accuracy of ± 1 pm. This accuracy is maintained over long...

INSIDER Product: Photonics/Optics

Texas Instruments (TI) DLP® Products (Dallas, TX) has released the DLP9500UV chipset, a high resolution ultraviolet (UV) DLP chip designed to quickly expose and cure photosensitive materials in industrial and medical...

INSIDER: Photonics/Optics

Invisibility cloaks are a staple of science fiction and fantasy, from Star Trek to Harry Potter, but don’t exist in real life. Or do they? Scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)’s Lawrence Berkeley...

INSIDER: Photonics/Optics

A new spectroscopy method is bringing researchers at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) closer to understanding – and artificially replicating – the solar water-splitting...

INSIDER: Photonics/Optics

Researchers at Missouri University of Science and Technology have developed a relatively inexpensive and simple way to split water into hydrogen and oxygen through a new...

INSIDER Product: Photonics/Optics

LASER COMPONENTS (Bedford, NH) has begun introducing pyroelectric and lead salt detectors to the market. With this in mind, they also now offer low-cost accessories such as new IR filter sets. Fourteen standard...

INSIDER Product: Photonics/Optics

G&H Instruments (Orlando, FL) has introduced the new and improved OL 770-NVS Night Vision Display Test and Measurement System for the measurement of NVG-compatible lighting and displays. With all of the features of...

Briefs: Photonics/Optics

Every lens has an absolute upper performance limit dictated by the laws of physics. This limitation is controlled by the working f/# of the lens and the wavelength( s) of light that pass through the...

Briefs: Photonics/Optics
Megahertz-Rate Molecular Tagging Velocimetry

In recent years, a large number of Lagrangian-based optical velocimetry techniques have been developed that are known, collectively, as either flow tagging velocimetry or molecular tagging velocimetry. In either case, the method is based on the use of an optical resonance to “tag” a pattern into a...

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