Photonex 2018

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10 October 2018 to 11 October 2018
Coventry, UK

Featuring more than 90 exhibitors and 120 expert talks, Photonex connects the supply chain with the UK’s photonics user communities in industry and research.

The event features a comprehensive technical conference and exhibition spanning biophotonics, lasers for research and advanced manufacturing, sensors and camera systems, imaging, communications and optoelectronics, plus the core optical components.

Buoyant photonics sector convenes

By Laurence Devereux, CEO of Xmark Media, organisers of Photonex Europe

Photonex Europe brings the whole supply chain together under one roof: supplier companies, consultants, industrial users, researchers, science groups and innovative newcomers.

One of the themes this year is ‘wonderful things can happen when people get together’, through which the organisers are pushing how valuable it is to spend time at an exhibition and conference. It makes real conversations, real interactive discussions possible.

The exhibition boasts more than 80 companies at the forefront of science and innovation, spanning advanced manufacturing systems, cameras, comms, components, fibre optics, imaging, lasers, metrology, optoelectronics, sensors and spectroscopy.

There is no doubt that the photonics industry is buoyant; exhibitors are reporting two strong years of growth, sustained by the plethora of new applications coming to the fore, and growth is set to continue. For example, components for lidar, showcased by Hamamatsu at the show, will become a multi-million business in years to come as every car in the future is likely to be fitted with five or more cameras. Several exhibitors report a strong business in supplying integrators, system developers and instrument builders, and that many new companies are popping up as photonics technologies are added into systems and being developed for new applications.

In the world of fibre optics, at the show there will be examples of components and fibres for communications, laser light delivery and sensors. Several companies are exhibiting motion control; one application is for alignment of fibre optics, others are for beamline experiments and industrial laser micromachining systems.

With a stellar line-up of speakers, the supporting Enlighten Conference offers numerous insights into photonics applications. Visitors can choose from high-level programmes covering additive manufacturing, biophotonics and biomedical microscopy, hyperspectral imaging, laser safety, and much more.

Delegates to the Biophotonics and Biomedical Microscopy meeting, in which Professor Melissa Mather from the University of Nottingham is keynote speaker, will be able to take time out in the exhibition to review scientific cameras – CCD, CMOS and sCMOS; hyperspectral and thermal imaging – and advanced microscopy solutions including lightsheet and confocal.

The HSI 2018 hyperspectral imaging and applications conference is a biennial two-day conference, and readers are encouraged to visit the website to learn more about the keynote speakers:  Dr Gonzalo Arce, University of Delaware, USA; Dr John Kerekes, Rochester Institute of Technology, USA; and Sander de Jonge, Quest Medical Imaging, The Netherlands.

One new subject covered in the conference this year is BSI standards. The organiser’s introduction reads: ‘A lot of people think standards are just for big companies because they're complex, expensive tools. Nothing could be further from the truth.’ So come to the conference and learn more about optics and photonics BSI standards.

This introduction to the show only touches upon the wide potential and uses of photonics and what will be on display. The clear message of the event is that photonics is an enabling technology for solving a vast diversity of applications.

Photonex Europe is firmly established as the primary meeting place for photonics in the UK. With such an exciting new programme, this year’s event promises the best opportunities yet.



AP Technologies

At booth A14 AP Technologies will be showcasing OtO Photonics’ crossed-cavity C-T spectrometer ‘HummingBird’, which offers the performance of the firm’s SmartEngine in a significantly reduced package of just 83 x 75.5 x 26.75mm³. The optical bench provides excellent rigidity, ensuring a platform with high thermal, humidity, shock and vibration stability.

HummingBird is currently available with a choice of two 2,048-pixel sensors: a fast-exposure CMOS with dynamic range of 1600:1 and an SNR of 330; or a back-thinned NIR-enhanced CCD with 5000:1 dynamic range and SNR of 500. Further sensors will be added however as the range is expanded.

Users are able to specify their preferred configuration, selecting from a range of six slit sizes between 10µm-300µm and twelve gratings, to achieve resolution down to 0.2nm for 100nm bandwidth in the 200-690nm range, or 1.5nm over the full 180-1,100nm range.

HummingBird is compatible with OtO’s SpectraSmart spectral measurement software and is supported by Windows and Linux SDKs.


Brinell Vision

Brinell Vision will be exhibiting a full range of bespoke imaging filters from the visible to mid-IR range at booth B11. This will include the company’s latest CMOS IR-cut filter CN-IR03, which enables precise colour replication, effective IR blocking and exceptional visible light transmission to provide enhanced image contrast. The filters have been produced to meet the latest ultra-low defect specifications demanded by the optoelectronic industry.

Brinell Vision was launched eight years ago at Photonex 2010, and has since developed a range of optical filters for applications in diverse areas such as laser protection for pilots and IR-imaging for satellites.



Optics manufacturer Casix will be displaying a range of bespoke, high-quality aspheric and toric lenses for prototyping, low-volume and high-volume imaging and machine vision applications at booth D35. These lenses can be manufactured in either fused silica or traditional optical glass and can be equipped with an anti-reflective coating.



At booth LP08 CPI will be explaining to attendees how as an independent technology innovation centre it can translate ideas and research into successfully commercialised products and processes. 

CPI can help develop an optical system and its manufacturing process, assist with integrating it into a medical or healthcare device, and lastly help test it on human tissues. This is done via its range of business services, including helping customers access funding, supporting them in demonstrating regulatory compliance, and modelling health economics for the successful adoption of the new technology.


Delta Optical Thin Film

At its booth Delta Optical Thin Film will be showing its range of custom continuously variable bandpass filters (CVBPFs) for mid-size and full-frame CCD/CMOS detectors. These filters offer very high transmission and are fully blocked in the light-sensitive wavelength range of silicon-based detectors.

The combination of CVBPFs with silicon detectors enables the design of very compact, robust and affordable hyperspectral imaging detectors that offer several advantages and benefits over conventional approaches, including: huge aperture and high transmission compared to gratings and prisms, shorter measurement times, a higher suppression of stray light, excellent signal to background ratio, the ability to perform simultaneous 3D measurements, and the ability to take snapshots using a micro lens array.

The advent of affordable hyperspectral imaging makes the technique an attractive tool for volume markets, as well as for consumer products in applications such as cancer detection, precision farming, and food testing in supermarkets.

Elliot Scientific

At booth B10 Elliot Scientific will be presenting its Elliot|Martock range of XYZ flexure stages, which are used for alignment and fibre launch in research and production environments. The firm will also be displaying its portfolio of miniature translation and rotary stages that are often incorporated into OEM products for the optical and semiconductor industries.

For the first time at the show Elliot Scientific will be exhibiting items from its Siskiyou catalogue, including their IXF mirror mounts, which enable the delivery of exceptional pointing stability in thermally demanding situations. Also new for 2018 are high speed green and IR lasers from IPG Photonics, which operating in the pico- and femtosecond regimes are ideal for scientific and medical research.

Lastly, Elliot Scientific will be also presenting its Prizmatix ultra high-power LED light sources.


Hamamatsu will be introducing its new range of silicon photomultipliers (SiPMs), including peak-shifted multi-pixel photon counters (MPPCs) and modules, hole wire bonding MPPCs, the fourth generation of its VUV-MPPC (VUV4) and a new high voltage power supply which is optimised specifically for the firm’s comprehensive line-up. These MPPCs feature a new structure which significantly enhances sensitivity in the NIR region, making them ideal for applications such as industrial lidar applications, distance measurement, radiation monitoring and medical imaging.

Following its acquisition of Energetiq, Hamamatsu will also be displaying an ultra-high brightness, high stability broadband laser driven light source (LDLS) designed specifically for demanding imaging and spectroscopy applications.

Visitors to booth C01 will also be able to see a demonstration of Hamamatsu’s PocketNIRS, a near-infrared tissue oxygenation monitor with wireless data communication function that can measure the concentration change of haemoglobin non-invasively. This ability will be demonstrated by using measured changes in haemoglobin to control a car on a race track.


Horiba Scientific

At booth E13, optical spectroscopy technology manufacturer Horiba Scientific will show its MacroRAM system, a compact bench-top Raman spectrometer that combines high sensitivity, user-friendliness, and flexible sample handling due to its range of compartments. The firm will also be displaying its vast range of optical filters.

Horiba Scientific’s products support a wide array of instrumentation and analytical techniques, such as Raman, photoluminescence, photochemistry and fluorescence spectroscopy.

Ibsen Photonics

Ibsen Photonics will be introducing a new highly efficient 840nm Eagle OCT-S spectrometer with exceptional optical throughput and a compact size for spectral domain optical coherence tomography (SD-OCT).

Eagle spectrometers offer high resolution while being compact and robust, making them suited for OEM integration into medical and industrial-grade instruments for applications such as Raman as well as SD-OCT.

The Eagle OCT-S is particularly compact due to the use of Ibsen’s wide bandwidth transmission gratings, which are also what makes the system highly efficient. The wavelength range of the standard version is 810-900nm, however it can be customised to other ranges. The system is supplied with Teledyne E2V’s OctoPlus camera, featuring 2,048 tall pixels.

Ibsen Photonics can be found at booth C23.



Nanoelectronics and digital technology research hub Imec is showcasing its SWIR- and VNIR-range hyperspectral cameras at booth A33. The cameras feature Imec’s snapscan system, which acquires high-quality hypercube data-sets with exceptional signal-to-noise ratio and spatial and spectral resolution, down to a few hundreds of milliseconds.

The user-friendly snapscan demo kit enables hyperspectral imaging application research of the highest quality. It provides all the key components required: the hyperspectral image sensor, camera, optics, piezo scanning, active cooling system, lighting, tripod mount and Imec’s most advanced hyperspectral imaging software.


Laser 2000

Laser 2000 will display its new X-LSM stages from Zaber; the Moku:Lab, an all-in-one test and measurement device for laboratories; Niji, a modular LED light source; laser diode modules and multiple wavelength systems from Vortran; optics, optomechanics, and optical filters from Optosigma and Semrock; laser safety equipment from Laservision; Hamamatsu’s imaging cameras; and spatial light modulators by Meadowlark.

Laser 2000 is a specialist in high-performance photonics equipment, serving the UK market for more than 25 years. Its solutions cover academic research and industry.


Laser Components

Laser Components will exhibit its range of photonic components, both products manufactured by one of its four factories and those by its partner suppliers. These components can be divided into three groups: light sources, optics and fibres, and detectors; electronic drivers and amplifiers are also available. The equipment covers wavelengths from FUV to FIR, i.e. circa 194nm to 20µm.

Products on display include: Count single photon counting modules (<10 photons); electro-optical modulators (LiNbO3); infrared detectors (pyroelectric, lead-salt, and thermopile); laser diode modules (including Ø3.3mm); laser optics including high LDT coatings; laser safety curtains, goggles and screens; narrow line width lasers (500Hz); optical amplifiers (CW Yt, Er, Th, and pulsed Er); fibre lasers (CW Yt, Raman, Er, Th, BB, and pulsed: UV, green, Yt, Er, Th); optical filters (SWP, LWP, NBP, and NBW); optomechanical hardware; position sensing detectors; silicon and InGaAs APDs and PIN photodiodes; UV LEDs (UV-A, UV-B and UV-C); and UV photodiodes (SiC, UV enhanced Si).

Applications include: non-contact temperature measurements; gas analysis in medical, automotive and petroleum industries; hazard control; and horizon sensors for scientific and space sectors.

Laser Support Services

Laser Support Services will be at booth D03 to inform attendees about its laboratory equipment and laser and laboratory safety solutions. Its products include: scientific cameras, thermal imaging devices, infra-red cameras and viewers, laboratory safety interlock systems, laser safety panels and curtains, laser safety and diagnostics equipment, spectrometers, opto-mechanic components, breadboards and optical tables, vacuum chambers and components, optics, lasers, laser and alignment eyewear, and laser repair services.

In 2014 the firm opened a walk-in shop in Harwell, allowing customers to see its products in demonstration and ‘try before they buy’. The shop also offers a meeting space to talk to experienced engineers about an application.


Omniscan will be highlighting three of its products at booth F21. The firm is a supplier of optical three-dimensional surface and shape measurement systems, as well as thin-film characterisation solutions.

Firstly, the firm’s new Profilm3D will be shown, which is an ideal non-contact optical profiler for quantitative measurements of 3D form and roughness. Its compact design provides fast, accurate, nanometre-level metrology in an affordable, cost-effective package. The free web-based ProfilmOnline data viewer also allows users to store, share, view and analyse 3D data on a PC, tablet or phone.

Secondly, the new Gocator range of optical line-scan and area-scan measurement systems will also be displayed, which offers features from scalpel blade edge sharpness to road surface topography. With its non-contact, DLP technology, the Gocator range can perform measurements within seconds.

Lastly, the µPG101 will be presented, an affordable, high-resolution table-top direct write system that is the perfect solution for the prototyping of MEMS, integrated optics, micro fluids, lab-on-a-chip devices and any other applications that require high precision, high resolution microstructures.


Optoelectronics Research Centre (ORC)

The Optoelectronics Research Centre (ORC) at the University of Southampton will be at booth LP10 to showcase its capabilities in silicon photonics, specialty optical fibres and advanced materials, and demonstrate its high durability non-toxic chalcogenide glasses from the visible to the thermal infrared LWIR band.

The ORC is also supporting the popular Enlighten Conference on Wednesday 10 October, hosting ‘Industry & Academia: Working Together in Silicon Photonics’, which aims to debate how academia can assist industry in the update of silicon photonics devices and systems. The University’s Cornerstone Project: UK silicon photonics fabrication capability, will also be part of the conference.


Optomel is a new photonics company exhibiting at booth LP06 that commercialises products and devices enabled by self-organised materials. The firm uses an approach that, compared to traditional vacuum processing, enables sophisticated reflective optical filters to be thinner, lighter and larger than existing dielectric interference filters.

Optomel will be exhibiting a variety of filters – including red, green, blue and IR notch filters on rigid, flexible and curved surfaces – that can be used for applications ranging from multi-spectral imaging, bio-photonics and laser protection to reflective display screens for augmented and virtual reality displays. The firm provides a bespoke service to OEMs, integrators and end-users.


Photonic Solutions

Photonic Solutions will be showcasing its motorised micro-positioners from its latest partner, New Scale Technologies. The precise closed-loop micro-stages and actuators are all-in-one modules with built-in controllers, which are easy to integrate into handheld and portable instruments. They enable smaller, smarter imaging systems, scientific instruments, medical devices, aerospace and defence systems, plus much more.

Also on show will be Oxxius’s range of CW DPSS and diode lasers, together with its ultra-compact laser combiners. Housing up to seven different wavelengths within a rugged, compact housing, the combiner is a compact and flexible multi-colour laser source ideal for bioimaging.

The latest in optical spectroscopy instrumentation from Photonic Solutions’ partners Sciencetech will be on show. Sciencetech couple its expertise in light source manufacture and spectroscopy to design and produce complete systems such as tuneable light sources, photovoltaic testing solutions and solar simulators.


At booth C20 Photonis will be informing attendees about Cricket, its plug and play adaptor designed to convert any scientific camera into an intensified camera that is capable of capturing images across a broad spectral range of 200-900nm. Connecting the adaptor is simply done via a universal C-mount interface. Simply adjust the fine focus and begin.

In addition to providing an intensified image, Cricket can also convert UV and NIR photons into green photons with emission characteristics that perfectly match the spectral response of a solid-state camera. High 3ns temporal resolution can be achieved using an optional gating module, with Cricket also capable of supporting 1μlx sensitivity or single photon counting.

The Cricket is compatible with most CCD, CMOS, EMCCD and sCMOS cameras, and is ideal for a large number of applications including physics research, FLIM, plasma research and corona detection.


Pro-Lite Technology

Pro-Lite Technology will be exhibiting a wide array of products at the show.

Visit booth E01 to see: The latest imaging photometers and colorimeters from Westboro Photonics; High quality hyper- and multi-spectral imaging cameras from HySpex, Cubert and Surface Optics including a new multimodal snapshot spectral and polarisation imager with video-rate acquisition and processing; The latest in miniature spectrophotometers and radiometers from Admesy, Jeti and Ocean Optics; Uniform light sources from LabSphere designed to meet demanding testing challenges in hyperspectral, multispectral, SWIR and VIS-NIR optical regimes; and high-throughput spectrometers for Raman, fluorescence, UV/VIS and NIR spectroscopy based on volume phase gratings from Wasatch Photonics.

Also on display at the booth: A new modular LED light source from In Tandem Designs with interchangeable single and multi-LED modules; Advanced motion systems and piezo motor/drive components from Nanomotion; Holographic light shaping diffusers and micro optics from Luminit for the lighting, display, automotive, and high-tech industries; Laser protection from LaserVision, and information on laser safety training courses.

Pycko Scientific

Pycko Scientific will be at booth A32 to discuss its portfolio of radiological monitoring technologies and solutions, including a range of organic scintillators and detector assemblies from Eljen Technology, which PyckoScientific also now represents. Eljen Technology specialises in the development and manufacturing of organic plastic scintillation material, encompassing cast plastic scintillators as well as liquid scintillators.

Raptor Photonics

Raptor Photonics will be exhibiting some of its high performance, industrial-grade and extremely rugged ultra-low light digital and analogue cameras at booth B16.

The firm specialises in complete cameras and core engine solutions using CCD, EMCCD, SWIR and LWIR sensor technology. For example, its SWIR cameras use indium gallium arsenide (InGaAs) sensors and are capable of imaging from 400nm through to 1,700nm. The extreme low-light capability of Raptor’s cameras makes them ideal for day/night surveillance, homeland security and scientific markets.

Raptor Photonics also offers a range of sensors with different resolutions (320, 640 and 1,280 pixels) along with cooling, readout and interface alternatives, providing a range of options for visible and SWIR imaging. The firm’s low-noise electronics and ROIC design ensure that the images on its cameras are exceptional both quantitatively and qualitatively.

Scitec Instruments

The MDL-XS series CW diode lasers from CNI Laser will be exhibited on booth C10 by Scitec Instruments. These compact lasers feature integrated electronics, are plug-and-play, and offer a range of wavelengths extending from 37nm in the UV to 940nm in the infrared.

The lasers on display will have outputs at 450nm (blue), 520nm (green), and 637nm (red). The lasers can be either TTL or analogue modulated, or a combination of both, at frequencies of up to 1MHz. The systems are ideal for applications in the life sciences, environmental inspection and machine vision and have an expected lifetime of 10,000 hours.

Scitec Instruments will also be exhibiting its range of optical choppers, a new optical chopper synchroniser and lock-in amplifiers, together with alignment lasers from Z-Laser and laser eyewear from NoIR Laser.

X Mark Media