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The best of Opto

Warren Clark and David Robson review the best of the new products on offer at the recent Opto show in Paris

Berliner Glas Group (www.berlinerglas.de) displayed the complete optical spectrum from coated spherical or plano optics to assemblies and systems solutions.

Berliner Glas analyses, designs, plans, produces, and measures all from one source.

High-grade components of superior accuracy are at the centre of the company’s offering. Its plano and spherical optics are precise, and manufactured to tight dimensions. Its thin-film coating technology and state-of-the-art processes meet customers’ reflective and anti-reflective requirements with various different materials and layer thicknesses, in the spectral ranges of DUV, UV, VIS, NIR, and IR and also in the production of filters with and without gradation.

Berliner Glas offers everything from single precision optical components and opto-mechanical modules to electro-optical assemblies or complete systems.

Imagine Optic (www.imagine-optic.com) is one of Europe’s leading providers of Shack-Hartmann wavefront sensing technologies for adaptive optics, quality control and optical measurement. Since 1996, the company has been supplying customers around the world with the high-quality products and services that they need to perform.

Imagine Optic has recently renewed its range of sensors. The new generation HASO range offers very compact sensors, based on a FireWire/Camera Link 12-bit camera. It offers the best compromise between measurement dynamic and accuracy available on the market. Indeed, HASO enables the measurement of up to 1800l WFE (tilt and focus included), with a l/100 rms absolute accuracy, warranted by our calibration process.

HASO has the ability to provide absolute measurement, which means the ability to measure on either divergent, convergent and parallel beams. The new HASO V3 wavefront analysis software, now delivered with each sensor, offers network monitoring, multi-user configuration, more robust calculation and more ease of use.

Since 1982 AMS Technologies (www.ams-technologies.com) has been serving the European market as a leading distributor of high-tech components and systems. In the field of opto-electronics, fibre optics, high-voltage electronics and thermal management, AMS Technologies represents global technology leaders and companies that develop innovative, leading edge products.

AMS Technologies is committed to creating value by identifying the solution that fits the customer’s specific requirement. This can be achieved by identifying the right standard-component, by customisation of existing solutions or by developing a new product for the most demanding applications.

Headquartered in Germany, AMS Technologies serves all Europe from local offices in UK, France, Italy, and Spain. Experienced local sales engineers with deep knowledge of individual applications help customers and suppliers to be more successful in their markets.

Customer applications include sensing and detection, test and measurement, space and defence, tele and datacom, high-voltage applications, and cooling of power electronics.

CVI Technical Optics (www.cvilaser.com), a leading manufacturer of optics displayed examples from its 200,000-strong catalogue of laser-grade components.

The company manufactures: high laser-damage threshold optics; windows; lenses; polarisers; waveplates; mounts; filters; and Etalons, from the DUV to the IR range.

Products range from 9µm in diameter up to 1m in diameter, all manufactured to the most demanding customer specifications. CVI can supply any need, from OEM, R&D, aerospace and military, through to medical, industrial or the semiconductor industry, and quantities of from one to one million.

Edmund Optics (www.edmundoptics.com) displayed its Tech Spec line of achromatic lenses. The most popular 6.25, 9.0, 12.5, and 25mm achromats are now offered with a multilayer broadband anti-reflection coating designed to minimise reflections in the visible spectrum. These BBAR achromats feature more than 99 per cent transmission from 425 to 675nm and are ideal for applications requiring maximum throughput, including biomedical, machine vision, and military uses. Achromatic lenses consist of two optical components cemented together to form an achromatic doublet, which is computer optimised to correct for on-axis spherical and chromatic aberrations.

Also on display were its ReflX objectives. The 15X finite conjugate objectives, available with either a UV-enhanced aluminium or protected gold coating, feature a standard 160mm back tube length and may be used interchangeably with common DIN objectives. However, the all-reflective design makes them ideal for applications requiring broadband collection and focusing, including ellipsometry, fluorescence, and FTIR spectroscopy. Like all members of the ReflX family, the new objectives feature high numerical apertures, long working distance, and no chromatic aberration.

Frankfurt Laser Company (www.frlaserco.com) has introduced a new series of industry-grade line laser diode modules for machine vision and alignment applications. They are easy to use, plug-and-play laser systems suitable for alignment and positioning of materials including garments, cloth, paper, stone, wood and metal.

The lasers offer a wide range of projections, including adjustable line, uniform or Gaussian, crosshair, line arrays, multiple dots, concentric rings, scope etc. Different models offer both bright red and green colours and variable intensities in order to maximise the visual appearance of the projection, even against the darkest materials. 

Hamamatsu Photonics (www.sales.hamamatsu.com) introduced its new range of silicon photodiodes in miniature CSP package, the S10356, S10357 and S10358. These new devices utilise a unique design to reduce the size of the external packaging into which the photodiode is mounted. They are rear illuminated so that light is incident from the back of the photodetector. All of the electrical connections are made on the front side of the device. Unlike conventional photodiode technology, the flip-chip arrangement means that there are no wirebonds. Instead, the detector is connected electrically using bump bonded solder contacts. There is no need for peripheral contacts and external packaging, and so the whole assembly can be minimised.

Unlike traditional discrete photodiodes, the new devices have minimal dead space around the edge, enabling individual sensors to be ‘stacked’ or ‘cascaded’ to produce either 1D or 2D photodiode arrays.

The features of its new ‘flip-chip’ silicon photodiodes make them ideal for any application requiring a large light-sensitive area, but where using minimal board space is at a premium, for example, in X-ray imaging applications where large-area 2D arrays are needed, such as in medical and industrial CT.

The French company ULIS (www.ulis-ir.com) of the Sofradir group, which designs, develops, manufactures and sells uncooled infrared detectors, launched its 25µm family: the UL 02 15 2, the UL 04 17 1 and the UL 03 19 1.

ULIS provide a wide range of products in 25µm: the family vary from a 160 x 120 pixel array format (the UL 02 15 2) dedicated to low-cost thermography equipment applications, to a 640 x 480 pixel array format (the UL 04 17 1) which provides high-definition and high-performance solutions to applications such as medical imaging, enhanced driver night vision, security and thermography. Also available is the medium-sized UL 03 19 1 (384 x 288), which uses the same package as the 640 x 480, for easier system upgrade or system standardisation.

New scientific digital camera solutions from Andor Technology (www.andor.com) were unveiled. Andor showcased the new affordable LucaEM – a cost-effective yet powerful camera making EMCCD available to every laboratory. Also find out about the new iXonEM+ DU888 – a   Megapixel back illuminated EMCCD.  

Andor Technology has led the way in developing spectroscopy solutions over the last decade. Customers viewed the range of data collection solutions at the Andor booth. Solutions included the Shamrock SR 303i, a fully automated, high-throughput, flat field imaging triple grating turret spectrograph as well as the Andor NewtonEM EMCCD detector and Andor’s propriety SOLIS (S) Software.  

Toptica (www.toptica.com) displayed the single diode laser modules iBeam and iPulse. The entire standard wavelength spectrum covers 375nm, 405nm, 445nm, 473nm, 640nm, 660nm and 675nm – with many more wavelengths available on request.

Some key specifications now include excellent beam quality, high single-mode fibre coupling efficiencies, high asynchronous pulse modulation, ultrafast rise time (less that 0.5ns), minimum pulse duration (less than 2ns) and optional multi-level setup, for pulse pattern applications. By using a sophisticated optical set-up with an advanced micro-optical alignment, the elliptical diode laser beam is transferred into a nearly perfect circular beam (ellipticity typ. 0.95 to 1.05).

The polarisation ratio is better than 100:1, ideal for microscopy or ellipsometry.

All lasers can be optionally coupled into single-mode fibres with the FibreDock unit. Three fast modulation options are available: analogue modulation, digital asynchronous modulation and multi-level modulation.

Easy and reliable control of all laser parameters and status reports is achieved by the RS 232 serial interface and a standard terminal software package (e.g. WindowsHyperTerminal).

IMRA America (www.imra.com) exhibited at Osyris’ stand during Opto 2006. Established in 1990, IMRA is a leader in the research, development and manufacturing of ultrafast fibre lasers for commercial, OEM, and scientific applications with more than eight years’ experience. IMRA’s ultrafast technology includes Femtolite Series oscillators and FCPA µJewel Series amplified lasers that are compact, maintenance-free turnkey solutions for use in biomedical, materials processing, instrumentation and scientific applications, based upon IMRA’s portfolio of more than 70 patents. Their presence in Europe includes a new Premier Application Research Laboratory (PAL) in Aachen Germany, in conjunction with the Lehrstuhl für Lasertechnik (LLT) RWTH University Aachen / Fraunhofer Institut für Lasertechnik (ILT). IMRA’s PAL is available to allow the consumer to test their processes with IMRA’s lasers at a convenient location in Europe.

Newport (www.newport.com) introduced the Oriel IS-Series of minispectrometers. They offer significant advantages over traditional minispectrometers. Spectra-Physics have combined over 30 years of experience in designing and manufacturing spectroscopic instruments with the feedback from their customers, to produce a new family of instruments that addresses the needs of both the researcher, and the systems integrator. Models cover various spectral ranges, in both fibre-coupled and free-space configurations, for high-resolution and moderate-resolution needs.

Finally, Laser Components (www.lasercomponents.co.uk) unveiled the IAE200 series, which is ideal within the 1000nm to 1650nm spectral range. The active area of these APDs is 200µm diameter. The APDs are packaged in TO-46 cans or on a ceramic submount that can be easily integrated into a hybrid assembly. With a typical capacitance of 1pF, bandwidths of at least 500MHz can be obtained.