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HRH The Princess Royal to visit SPIE Photonex


The UK's leading photonics show SPIE Photonex is set to welcome Anne, Princess Royal, on Wednesday 25 October in Glasgow, Scotland.

This year’s show, set to take place between 24-26 October, will gather the best and brightest of the industry in Glasgow – home to many of the companies and institutes of Scotland’s thriving photonics community – where they’ll disseminate the latest advances emerging from their labs and into the hands of industry. The show’s approximately 60 exhibitors will showcase the latest photonics technologies, while its technical conferences – with 85 presentations overall – will share the latest research in three rapidly developing areas of innovation: quantum technologies, silicon photonics and functional materials.

Coverage of key photonics advances

Electro Optics’ Photonics100 honoree Miles Padgett, Royal Society Research Professor at the University of Glasgow and Principal Investigator at quantum imaging hub QuantIC, will help chair the conference: Quantum Technology: Driving Commercialisation of an Enabling Science, in which he is also a co-author on eight of the presented papers. These will cover topics such as: advances in multimode fibre imaging; single photon imaging with digital holography; quantum imaging with a photon counting camera; and drone-based gas leak detection systems for industry. 

Photonex Presentation

The Photonex technical conferences – with 85 presentations overall – will share the latest research in quantum technologies, silicon photonics and functional materials (Image: SPIE)

Padgett will also be joined by fellow Photonics100 honoree Dr Callum Littljohns, Cornerstone Coordinator at the University of Southampton, who will chair the conference: Emerging Applications in Silicon Photonics. This will host papers including: integration challenges in silicon photonics platforms; post-processing silicon photonic circuits using focussed ion beams; and hybrid photonic integration technology for quantum key distribution. 

The last conference: Functional Materials: Advances and Applications, will cover topics including: beam shaping for high-speed surface functionalisation; machine-learning based microwave ghost imaging using reconfigurable metasurfaces; and anti-soiling/reflective coatings for enhancing PV panel performance via hollow silica nanoparticles.

Exhibition set to spotlight the latest photonics tech

Is your firm exhibiting at Photonex? To be included in the below, make sure to send us a description and image of the technology your company will be showcasing.

Alrad Instruments | Booth 201/203 

The Alrad Photonics team will be at booth 203 exhibiting the firm’s photonics portfolio, covering components and systems including: structured light lasers for machine vision; laser diode modules for scientific, biomedical and industrial applications; precision optics including diffraction gratings and filters; special optics for high-power lasers; a compact laser marking system; laser protection eyewear; laser drivers; photodiodes; thermopiles; image sensors; and accessories.

Alrad Photonics

Meanwhile, the Alrad Imaging team will be at booth 201 showcasing the firm’s imaging product portfolio, which covers the spectrum from the UV through to the visible and infrared (NIR/SWIR/IR/thermal wavelengths). The portfolio includes the latest scientific camera technology and vision components including optics, acquisition and illumination products. Alrad Imaging offers bespoke software and complete system solutions together with its integration partners, suitable for applications in the machine vision, scientific, medical, agriculture, UAV/drone and security sectors. The firm is a member of the UKIVA (United Kingdom Industrial Vision Association) group of companies within the PPMA (Processing and Packaging Machinery Association).

Established in 1970, Alrad has provided components and systems to the industrial, scientific and instrumentation markets for 50 years and has a wealth of experience in all aspects of photonics and imaging.

AP Technologies | Booth 512

AP Technologies will be demonstrating its new Bullet series of micro-spectrometers from OtO Photonics. These compact models feature a modified C-T cavity combining collimating and focusing optics into a single concave mirror, enabling compact dimensions with no loss of sensitivity or resolution.

AP Technologies

A common issue with ultra-compact spectrometers is high stray light. To address this problem, OtO has developed a patented internal coating ‘OtO Black’ with dramatically reduced reflectivity of ~3% from <400nm to >1,700nm – a huge improvement on the typical deep grey or black anodised coatings. As a result, Bullet series spectrometers achieve stray light performance of <0.2%.

AP Technologies will be showcasing two models from the series – SilverBullet for 180-1,100nm and RedBullet for 900-1,700nm. Both can be specified with a choice of wavelength range and slit widths.

ElFys | Booth 112

Finish firm ElFys will be exhibiting its light sensors, which it claims offer better sensitivity than ‘anything seen before’. The technology is designed to improve light sensing applications ranging from health monitoring to analytical instrumentation and security X-ray imaging.


ElFys says the superior performance of its photodetectors is based on an inventive combination of modern MEMS nanotechnology and atomic layer deposition. The firm has developed a proprietary technology that produces high- performance photodetectors and removes any rigid limitation on the direction of the incoming light.

The devices can: 

  • Sense light incoming from a tilted direction with high detection performance
  • Collect the light up to 90% at 70 degrees of incident angle
  • Achieve high photoresponse independently on the light incoming angle
  • Detect all the light in a wide spectrum through your optics
  • Customise your detector design with superior photoresponse

ElFys was founded back in 2017 and is located in Espoo, Finland.

Hamamatsu Photonics | Booth 104

Optoelectronic components and systems manufacturer Hamamatsu Photonics will be exhibiting its new ORCA-Fire digital CMOS camera, the award-winning ORCA-Quest qCMOS camera, and a range of its other core component technology. 

Hamamatsu Photonics

Following the completion of the firm’s acquisition of Energetiq in 2017, it will also be showcasing the LDLS ultra-high brightness, high-stability broadband source specifically designed for demanding imaging and spectroscopy applications.

The company’s corporate philosophy emphasises the advancement of photonics through extensive research. Its products are designed to cover the entire optical spectrum and provide solutions for a wide range of applications, including analytical, consumer, industrial, and medical instrumentation. The firm’s team looks forward to welcoming attendees to the booth, where experts will be on hand to discuss any product or application needs.

Laser Components | Booth 405

Laser Components will be showcasing its range of InGaAs APDs (avalanche photodiodes), which now includes the new IAL series. Compared to the firm’s already-established IAG series, which it claims to be the ‘world’s best’ APD with a Vbr-Vop of up to 7V, the IAL series offers a Vbr-Vop of approximately 4V. In this assessment of working voltage range, gains of greater than 20 can be achieved at the lowest noise values.

Laser Components

These low-cost detectors are mainly used in laser range finding applications. They cover a wavelength range between 800-1,700nm and reach their peak sensitivity at 1,550nm. In the 1,000-1,600nm range, their quantum efficiency is 70%. The active area of the IAL APDs has a standard diameter of 200µm. Variations with D=80µm and 500µm are also available as options. The components are manufactured in hermetically sealed TO-46 packages or as SMDs in M6 packages and are also available in a fibre-coupled version.

Photek | Booth 310

Photek is a designer and manufacturer of vacuum-based tubes, camera systems and electronics for charged particle detection and imaging. Its range includes camera systems, image intensifiers, photomultiplier tubes, neutron detection and imaging systems, and streak tubes.


The firm will highlight its new AuraTek-PCS detector, which incorporates multi-anode PMT to provide 256 independent photon counting channels with 30ps time resolution. This makes it ideal for quantum detection, FLIM/FRET high throughput screening, and lidar.

Photek also has a wide range of detectors from MCP-PMTs to intensifiers, as well as electronics and systems. Whether you require ultra high-speed gating, high sensitivity, low noise, large area detection or imaging solutions, the firm is eager to discuss your specific application needs.

Photonic Solutions | Booth 110

Photonic Solutions will highligh the ‘Qneo’ system of the Qseries spectrometer family, which offers a footprint smaller than a credit card and covers a spectral range from 950-1,700nm. Qneo breaks size and cost barriers that have prevented high-volume integration of NIR sensing into process control and handheld analysers. 

Photonic Solutions

The Qneo, Qmini, Qwave, and Qtube systems of the Qseries are included in Broadcom’s matchbox-sized UV/Vis/NIR spectrometers. These are designed for industrial integration with high optical performance in a rugged housing over the wavelength range 190-1,700nm. They have embedded USB, SPI and UART serial interfaces, and free ‘Waves’ Software for general-purpose spectroscopy and SDK to ensure fast response times for real-time analytics.

Photon Lines | Booth 102

Photon Lines will exhibit photonics components and systems including the Pco.edge 10 BI LT back-illuminated sCMOS camera from Excelitas PCO; Resonon’s Pika-NIR hyperspectral camera; and a FAST-series high-speed thermal imaging camera from Telops.

Photon Lines

Other products will include light sources for fluorescence microscopy, such as: lasers and laser light engines from Omicron; ultrafast femtosecond lasers from EUV to IR; and other advanced microscopy solutions including STED, confocal and adaptive optics attachments for bioimaging.

Photon Lines also supplies OEM quantities of acousto-optic modulators, pulse pickers and frequency shifters. 
Prospective Instruments’ MPX multiphoton microscope system will also be shown, combining imaging techniques including non-linear MP (two-photon, SHG & THG) and wide field epi-fluorescence and fluorescence lifetime imaging.

Lead image: Shutterstock/CappaPhoto

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