Photonics & Imaging

Photonics/​Optics

Explore the latest technical briefs and product breakthroughs in photonics and optics. Resources include breakthroughs in lasers, laser systems, fiber optics, optical components, and photonics.

INSIDER : Sensors/Data Acquisition
Optical Lace Gives Robots a Soft Touch
Optical Lace Gives Robots a Soft Touch

A synthetic optical lace developed by a Cornell Ph.D. student creates a linked sensory network similar to a biological nervous system. The flexible, porous lattice structure is manufactured from...

Optical Lace Gives Robots a Soft Touch
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 : Photonics/Optics
Nanowire Arrays Could Improve Solar Cells
Nanowire Arrays Could Improve Solar Cells

Transparent electrodes are a critical component of solar cells and electronic displays. To collect electricity in a solar cell or inject electricity for a display, you need a conductive contact, like...

Nanowire Arrays Could Improve Solar Cells
INSIDER : Sensors/Data Acquisition
Conventional Imaging Lessons Let Scientists See Around Corners
Conventional Imaging Lessons Let Scientists See Around Corners

Along with flying and invisibility, high on the list of every child’s aspirational superpowers is the ability to see through or around walls or other visual obstacles. That...

Conventional Imaging Lessons Let Scientists See Around Corners
INSIDER : Nanotechnology
Nano-Particles Used to Increase Power, Improve Eye Safety of Fiber Lasers
Nano-Particles Used to Increase Power, Improve Eye Safety of Fiber Lasers

Scientists at the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory have devised a new process for using nano-particles to build powerful lasers that are more efficient and safer for...

Nano-Particles Used to Increase Power, Improve Eye Safety of Fiber Lasers
Tech Talks : Photonics/Optics
Sterilization of Optical Fibers for Medical Devices: What You Need To Know

Optical fibers are found in many areas of medicine from cardiology to dentistry to medical sensing. Before they’re used in the human body, they must be sterilized to ensure they’re free of microorganisms. This 10-minute presentation reviews a study that investigated...

INSIDER : Imaging
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...

On-Demand Webinars : Photonics/Optics
Freeform Optics Design for Illumination Applications

Freeform optical elements give designers new and exciting degrees of freedom when it comes to designing optics for illumination applications. These same freeform elements can also add a new layer of complexity to the design process due to added degrees of freedom. This dramatically increases...

Briefs : Photonics/Optics
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 : Test & Measurement
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 : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
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 : Photonics/Optics
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 : Photonics/Optics
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 : Sensors/Data Acquisition
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 : Data Acquisition
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 : Materials
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 : Semiconductors & ICs
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 : Test & Measurement
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 : Sensors/Data Acquisition
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 : Sensors/Data Acquisition
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 : Imaging
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 : Sensors/Data Acquisition
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
Facility Focus : Aerospace
Facility Focus: Georgia Tech Research Institute
Facility Focus: Georgia Tech Research Institute

The Georgia Tech Research Institute (GTRI) is the nonprofit applied research division of the Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech) in Atlanta, GA. Founded in 1934 as the Engineering...

Facility Focus: Georgia Tech Research Institute
Application Briefs : Electronics & Computers
3D-Printing a Unique Metal Part
3D-Printing a Unique Metal Part
VELO 3D
Campbell, CA
www.velo3d.com

Over the past four years, Enrique Enriquez, president of KW Micro Power, has worked in pursuit of his company’s goal: a microturbine generator roughly...

3D-Printing a Unique Metal Part
NASA Spinoff : Automotive
Methane Detector Sniffs Out Leaks
Methane Detector Sniffs Out Leaks

Methane is everywhere on Earth. It’s the main ingredient in the natural gas that powers heating, cooking, and electricity. It’s also a potent greenhouse gas. The presence of methane is also interesting...

Methane Detector Sniffs Out Leaks
Briefs : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Robot “Eye” Provides 360° Field of View
Robot “Eye” Provides 360° Field of View

The production of precision products depends on robot control systems knowing the location of the adhesive bonding head or welding head to the nearest millimeter at all times. This means the robot...

Robot “Eye” Provides 360° Field of View
Articles : Transportation
Products of Tomorrow: September 2019
Products of Tomorrow: September 2019

Semi-Liquid Metal Anode for Next-Generation Batteries

Researchers from Carnegie Mellon University have developed a semi-liquid lithium metal-based anode. Lithium batteries made using this new...

Products of Tomorrow: September 2019