Applications news

Frequency combs measure greenhouse gases over a two-kilometre path

News image6 November 2014
Laser frequency combs have been used to monitor the concentrations of greenhouse gasses over a distance of two kilometres. The technique was demonstrated by the National Institute of Standards and Technology in collaboration with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

Laser technology used to detect biogas leaks from metres away

News image5 November 2014
Fraunhofer scientists have developed a laser-based system that can detect methane leaks in biogas plants from up to 15 metres away. The device is based on optical emission and backscattering spectroscopy

Raman spectroscopy helps US police keep drugs off the streets

News image30 October 2014
The United States law enforcement agency has been using Raman spectroscopy to help keep illegal drugs off the streets. In September, police stopped several large-scale drug manufacturing operations with help from Raman devices

Laser scanning helps researchers see the wood for the trees

News image15 September 2014
Laser mapping has helped researchers characterise forest stands in New Zealand. The team at Scion, a New Zealand Crown Research Institute (CRI), used handheld mobile laser scanners to locate and measuring individual trees on the ground

New 'water lens' uses sunlight to sanitise dirty water

News image4 September 2014
A 'water lens' developed by researchers from the University of Buffalo, New York, could one day help the 1.1 billion people in the developing world who do not have access to clean water

Electro-optical technology to track space debris from Earth

News image28 August 2014
A new electro-optical system has been developed that will identify, track and characterise debris objects in space from Earth.

Application Features

Electro Optics coverEnlightened electronics

Greg Blackman addresses some of the remaining issues for integrating photonics on silicon chips


Electro Optics coverMicroscopy in miniature

Jessica Rowbury looks at how MEMS technology is being integrated into devices that could transform traditional methods of cancer diagnosis

Electro Optics coverFood for thought

Portable spectrometers are being used in more ways than ever to analyse food and, this year, consumers will even be able to purchase handheld spectrometers to check food before they buy. Jessica Rowbury looks at how these spectrometers are being used to test food

Electro Optics coverSound medical judgement

Photoacoustic imaging is on the threshold of clinical adoption. Jessica Rowbury explores the current progress and looks at what is needed if the technology is to be applied within medicine

Electro Optics coverMany shades of white

The great appeal of solid-state lighting is its efficiency, but when it comes to designing lighting for buildings based on LEDs not everything is black and white, as Greg Blackman discovers

Electro Optics coverIlluminating entertainment

Greg Blackman looks at some of the spectacular shows and art installations now possible with laser diodes