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Laser lights up Munich

An extensive preview of the Laser 2007, World of Photonics exhibition and the accompanying conference program

Laser 2007, World of Photonics, takes place from 18-21 June in Munich. It will highlight the latest trends in photonics, the newest developments for this key technology and the way it is being employed in industry. The theme this year is ‘light at work’, which will bring together products and applications from around the world. Two years ago, the event attracted more than 1,000 exhibitors and more than 23,000 attendees.

The show is divided into technology and application sections. For technology, areas include: lasers and optronics; optics; manufacturing technology for optics; sensor technology; measurement and testing technology. For applications, areas include: manufacturing; optical metrology; optical information technology; medical device technology and biotechnology; imaging; and lighting.

In addition to the main exhibition, there is a full programme of accompanying events, including forums, special shows, topical days and panel discussions. There are also nine seminar sessions, in which industry specialists will discuss the experience they have gained with the latest laser technologies and will be answering discussion questions in the plenary session. Seminar participants will gain expert, first-hand practical knowledge that they can apply directly within their own companies.

Online registration

Visitors can register online at http://www.world-of-photonics.net/ to take advantage of pre-registration. You will receive an email voucher, which can be printed out and exchanged at the trade show for an admission ticket.

The ticket voucher also gives you free use of all Munich’s public transport system to the exhibition centre on show days. Pre-registration also ensures you will receive full details of Laser 2007, including the programme of accompanying events, before you go. Tickets cost EUR 31 for one day, EUR 55 for two days, and EUR 70 for the duration of the trade fair. The price includes a copy of the official catalogue.

Explore Munich

No visit to Munich would be complete without a trip to one of the city’s celebrated bierkellers. There are plenty of recommended venues, including: Hofbrauhaus (behind the town hall); Augustine Keller (in the middle of the pedestrianised Neuhauserstrasse); Rathauskeller (underneath the town hall); Donisl (alongside the town hall); Zum Spatenhaus (opposite the Opera House); and Durnbräu (in Durnbräugasse, a few minutes from the town hall).

Exhibition highlights

AMS Technologies (www.ams.de) will be showing Blue Sky Research’s CircuLasers, featuring higher power and different wavelengths. CircuLasers are produced by mounting the proprietary µLens directly in front of the diode chip emitter. This transforms the highly elliptical output beam of a standard laser diode into a circular beam.

The lens profile compresses the fast-axis of the beam down to the divergence angle of the slow axis, thus converting the beam’s elliptical shape into a very user-friendly, gradually diverging, circular cross section. A circular beam is ideal for a very wide range of applications including analytical instrumentation, data storage and laser scanning and printing.

The µLens provides maximum power efficiency. Its very high entrance NA (~0.7) captures essentially all of the output power of the diode. Thanks to its flawless diffraction-limited design the µLens gives a suitable wave front-correcting astigmatism in the diode beam.

These CircuLaser diodes are ideal building blocks for modules and fibre-coupled packages. The efficient conversion from electrical to optical power is a big advantage especially in battery-operated systems.

Andor Technology (www.andor.com) will unveil the latest product in its range of Luca EMCCD cameras. Andor has led the way with EMCCD innovation and the LucaEM range represents a new performance standard in ‘workhorse’ cameras, making EMCCD technology now available to every laboratory. The LucaEM R is the latest EMCCD innovation from the company and is a highly cost-effective, yet powerful megapixel EMCCD camera. The LucaEM R is particularly ideal for fluorescence microscopy across a range of signal levels. The camera’s EM gain can be turned on when photons become scarce, while for brighter conditions, ‘gain off’ operation can be selected. With a 1 Megapixel sensor and 8 x 8µm pixels, the LucaEM R offers high resolution over a large field of view.

This latest EMCCD camera utilises a monochrome Megapixel frame transfer EMCCD sensor, providing single photon detection sensitivity and unrestrained QE up to 65 per cent (with enhanced red response) at rapid frame rates, in a TE cooled, compact, USB 2.0 camera platform. Andor’s exclusive RealGain EM gain control offers enhanced user-friendliness and quantitative reproducibility, setting a new precedent in day-to-day EMCCD use. Andor’s well established Baseline Clamp feature facilitates unprecedented quantitative EMCCD performance.

AOT (www.aotlasers.com) will be showing its new laser product, Model: AOT: YVO:25QI. This laser is designed with cost efficient performance in mind for laboratory equipment suppliers and users who require an efficient short pulse 1064nm laser source. The specification includes: rep-rate of 0-25kHz, TEMoo beam profile, 1.5ns (nominal) pulse length, pulse energy to 40:J (30kW pk power), and to more than 750mW maximum average power.

The laser is in OEM format and comprises a head ~ 75(H) x 75(W) x 225(L) mm and a PSU/control unit ~ 135(H) x 110(W) x 250(L) mm, with total weight ~ 5kg. The head connects via a D-connector to the back of the PSU/control unit by a conduit cable, nominally 2m long. The user inputs required are: single phase 110-250W AC of < 40W, and a TTL trigger source to set the laser pulse reprate. A precision 10-turn potentiometer sets the laser power. The laser PSU/control unit also includes a customer accessible safety interlock link.

Armstrong Optical (www.armstrong optical.co.uk) will be showing three main product areas. Firstly, an infrared interferometer range of products – these well-established systems enable testing of infrared optical components and systems for both the 3-5µm (MWIR) and 8-12µm (LWIR) wavebands. Secondly, it will be showing examples of charts and targets for the testing of camera and other optical systems – many of these charts have been produced to comply with ISO standards (eg ISO12233, 15739 etc), but custom charts and targets can be supplied on request. The charts and targets can be supplied on an assortment of different media ranging from photopaper through glass to silicon wafers. Lastly, the company will be happy to discuss the supply of wafers in a variety of glass types and also components in CaF2, MgF2 and several other crystalline materials. These components are used, for example, for the manufacture of MEMS and microfluidic devices and in excimer laser applications.

Avantes (www.avantes.com) will introduce a newly-developed light source ‘AvaLight DH-BAL’ for their extensive AvaSpec Spectrometers line. The new development offers balanced properties and allows users to increase the various dynamic ranges of their existing instruments to a great extent. The new product complements the large range of AvaLight sources.

The new AvaLight eliminates the D-alpha line at 655nm, which has been problematic for users of deuterium sources due to its tendency to saturate detectors. In addition, the intensity of the Halogen portion of the spectrum can be adjusted to provide customers with the capability to further balance the spectral properties of the AvaLight for a given application. The AvaLight DH-BAL includes a shutter that can be operated manually or via TTL signal from the Avantes spectrometer platform. AvaLight DH-BAL can be used from 200-2500 nm and is available as a deuterium only source.

Bookham (ww.bookham.com) will be launching its high power, 8W, single emitter module for fibre laser pumping. The un-cooled single emitter module uses the latest generation of multimode pump laser chips from the Bookham Zurich facility and delivers 8 to 10W light output power at 940nm from a multimode fiber with a 105µm core diameter and 0.15 or 0.22 numerical aperture. During a 2,000 hour accelerated lifetest, at 10A injection current and 45°C heat sink temperature, the modules have proven their long-term stability. The hermetic transistor-like package, which incorporates a floating anode and cathode, is available as a three- or two-pin version.

Cedip Infrared Systems (www.cedip infrared.com) will be showing Titanium, which is designed for demanding data acquisition of radiometric infrared images in either the MW or LW IR spectral bands and features high-speed imaging and radiometric calibration. Further features include: 320 x 256 and 640 x 512 resolution; pixel pitch as small as 15µm; diverse spectral ranges available, including 1.5 to 5µm (InSb), 3 to 5µm (InSb), 7.7 to 9.5µm (MCT, QWIP), and 7.7 to 11.5µm (MCT); fast frame rates and variable FPA integration; ruggedised enclosure; Camera Link and Gigabit Ethernet digital video; interchangeable optics; optional removable filter wheel; and radiometric calibration with Hypercal.

CVI Laser (www.cvilaser.com) will be showing its F-Theta lenses, which are commonly used in conjunction with galvonometer scanning mirrors in laser marking, engraving, and cutting systems along with Nd:YAG or fibre laser sources. F-Theta lenses provide a flat image field at the plane of interest. CVI designs have been developed for common wavelengths and focal lengths. Standard features include air-spaced design for high damage threshold, anti-reflection coatings on all surfaces, and M85x1 screw thread for easy fixturing. In addition to the standard lenses, CVI designs custom lenses for other OEM applications, specifications levels or price ranges

Elliot Scientific (www.elliotscientific.com) will be showing its comprehensive range of fibre launch and waveguide alignment systems with manual or piezo actuators, miniature micropositioners, precision mirror mounts and the new Lab Essentials range of optomechanical components. Also in the range are the Timewarp autocorrelator for femtosecond lasers and the company’s award-winning laser tweezers. In addition to its range of standard products, Elliot can also supply custom components and OEM assemblies to customer specifications.

Elliot Scientific will also be displaying the Firefly-THz Laser from M Squared Lasers. This is based on novel, highly efficient intra-cavity optical parametric oscillator (OPO) technology developed by the University of St. Andrews, UK. Output powers >10µW at 400Hz (10x higher power than equivalent THz sources) have already been demonstrated, with continuous tuning from 1 to >3.5THz (<100 to 250µm). Higher powers and wider tuning are also expected.

Femto Messtechnik (www.femto.de) will be displaying the new HCA-S-400M series of 400MHz Photoreceivers. The latest addition to Femto’s photoreceiver programme offers a bandwidth of DC to 400MHz for fast optical measurements with rise times as low as 1ns. Two models with either a built-in Silicon or InGaAs photodiode cover a spectral range from 320 to 1700nm. The photoreceivers incorporate a HF amplifier with very low noise and a gain of 5 x 103 V/A for the fast and sensitive measurement of signals with an optical power down to 4µW. An integrated offset circuitry allows the compensation of the photodiode dark current and of unwanted background signals overlaying the actual signal of interest. The signal is fully DC-coupled to allow accurate measurement of pulses and digital signals without signal overshoots and baseline shifts. The well-shielded metal package contains tapped holes for standard mounting posts and the compact size allows the use of the photoreceiver on lab tables even in narrow spaces. In addition to models with free space input alternative FC or SMA fibre inputs are also available for measurements on fibre optic systems.

Typical applications of the HCA-S-400M photoreceivers include spectroscopy, laser characterisation, pulse and transient measurements, testing of communication equipment, industrial sensing, as well as general lab use in scientific applications.

Finisar’s Advanced Optical Components (AOC) (www.finisar.com /aoc.php) introduces a range of VCSEL reflective sensors designed for use in high-volume industrial and commercial applications. The reflective sensors offer superior beam profile, higher signal-to-noise ratio, and higher speed and reliability when compared to edge emitting lasers and LED solutions. The HVS6003-001 is a hermetic TO can reflective sensor with an integral lens and an operating temperature of -40 to +85°C. The VCSEL emits a narrow, coherent output at 850nm and the focusing optics produce a spot at ~15mm from the package. The reflected light is detected by the integral phototransistor, with 1mW typical optical output power from the VCSEL. The SNR of the device is >20dB, unheard of in other reflective sensor solutions.

The HVS6003-002 is a leadframe packaged sensor utilising the same VCSEL and phototransistor as the HVS6003-001 but packaged in an industry standard, low cost, surface mountable package. The VCSEL illuminates the target without a lens and the phototransistor detects the reflection. Particularly suited to commercial applications such as printers and peripherals, the HVS6003-002 can easily detect targets beyond the range of LED-based sensors at a fraction of the drive current and at higher speeds.

Frankfurt Laser Company (www.frlaserco.com) will be showing high power versions of its small green lasers, MicroGreen and MiniGreen. The optical output power of the new MicroGreen is 30mW and 250mW for the new MiniGreen.

The MicroGreen laser is mounted on a 5.6mm laser diode header and measures 9mm in length. Respectively, MiniGreen has 9mm diameter and 13mm length. The lasers are developed to be incorporated in devices demanding small space and low current consumption.

At 30mW of optical power output, MicroGreen requires as low as <200mA of input current and can be powered with 1.8VDC. Lasers demonstrate perfect Gaussian beam profile and low optical noise <1.5 per cent.

Applications include: target designation, pointing and alignment, marking, laser displays, nondestructive testing, underwater imaging, crystal inspection, photo processing, medical imaging and treatment, patient positioning, wafer inspection, micro-material processing, particle counting, metrology, interferometry, printing, and photo-luminescence.

Different laser applications require different characteristics from the pumping lamps. This is why Heraeus Noblelight (www.heraeus-noblelight.com) has developed two new lamp types that will be presented at the show. The first lamp type has been developed especially for high-precision laser applications that require a very stable light output. It is used especially in medical equipment manufacturing, e.g. fine drilling of hypodermic needles or stents.

The second type is a lamp that delivers very high power pulses over a long lifetime. With 1kW average power and 100kW peak power, it is ideal for industrial high-power drilling, welding and cutting applications. Even under harsh operating conditions with long pulses and low frequency, this lamp reaches a lifetime of up to 4m shots and more. At high frequencies and lower powers, a lifetime of more than 40m shots has been achieved.

id Quantique (www.idquant ique.com), a Swiss company based in Geneva, will be showing examples from its optical instrumentation business. The id100 family is a single-photon detection module based on a Si APD and operating in Geiger mode. It offers high detection efficiency over a wide spectral range, low dark count rate and best-in-class timing resolution of 40ps. The id100 is available with 20 or 50µm active area and with free space or multimode fibre coupling. The id101 is a small single-photon detector for the visible range. This product targets OEM applications. Packaged in a standard TO5 header, the id101-50 a 50µm (or the id101-20, 20µm) diameter Geiger-mode APD integrated with fast quenching electronics, is mounted on a thermoelectric cooler.

The id200 family is a single photon detection module based on InGaAs/InP APD biased beyond breakdown voltage. It features high detection efficiency, as well as low noise and low timing resolution (jitter). The id200 is available with single or multimode fibre input and as an option an RS232 computer interface. Finally, the id300 is a short pulse laser source, at a wavelength of 1310nm or 1550nm. The id300 is now available with an FP (Fabry-Perot) or DFB (distributed feedback) laser. The pulse duration is 300ps and a polarisation-maintaining fibre is available upon request.

Laser Components (www.lasercomponents.co.uk) will be showing its increased variety of PLDs. Using proven Nanostack technology for 905nm PLDs that include several epitaxially integrated emitters, through stacking peak power levels between 70W and 210W can be achieved. These PLDs are optimised for applications including ceilometers and LIDAR, where long distances (>1km) are measured. For shorter distances, this technology is also available with a 75µm emitter (12W), making fibre- and micro-optic coupling easier.

On the detector side Laser Components has extended its product range as well. New is a reach-through APD with a diameter of 1.5mm, bridging the gap between the existing 230µm, 500µm, and 3.5mm APDs. The SAR1500 has been optimised for the NIR range (900nm-1064nm) and, at the same time, has a high sensitivity in the visible range. Fibre-coupled versions of the 230µm and 500µm APDs are now available.

Laseroptik (www.laseroptik.de) will introduce its latest major innovations for the laser optics market. The German coating specialists will present their rapid prototyping service, Laseroptik Express, which offers coatings and optics within short delivery times. The best option is a 24-hour coating service for urgent matters. Furthermore, Laseroptik will be adding ion beam sputtering (IBS) to its coating portfolio. In addition to e-beam evaporation, ion-assisted deposition and magnetron sputtering, this advanced technology will round up and complete Laseroptik’s technology profile for even better layer quality. The company is a manufacturer of high power laser optics and optical coatings and produces UV and DPSS laser mirrors, beam splitters, edge filters, thin-film polarisers, gradient optics and attenuators.

Laser Quantum (www.laserquantum. com) is an established UK company and a recognised contributor to the photonics industry. Specialising in CW green, blue and infrared diode pumped solid state lasers – including single frequency and stable high power visible lasers – Laser Quantum’s products are known globally for reliability, compactness, rugged design, excellent performance and long lifetime.

Laser Quantum will be displaying a wide-range of products, including the new Opus 532, the world-renowned Finesse laser and a selection of other DPSS systems, including the single frequency Torus 532 and the additional colours of the Ignis 660 and Ciel 473.

Laser Quantum has an international team of research and development scientists, a dedicated and creative production staff and a friendly, helpful sales and support team.

LEW Techniques (www.lewtec.co.uk) will be showing high performance laser diode heatsinks with super-sharp edges, very flat and smooth die bonding surfaces, with optional pre-deposited Au/Sn solder. These features enable the positioning of high power laser diodes right to the edge of the mount, facilitating maximum performance of the diode while minimising hotspots and voiding. For maximum thermal conductivity, mounts such as the ‘C’ type are typically fabricated from Cu with optional expansion compensating W/Cu inserts in the laser bonding area. Alternatively, smaller mounts such as the ‘Q’ and ‘W’ type can be fabricated totally from W/Cu. Strongly attached standoff ceramics, with or without tags, are also available.

With the demands for ever-higher output power the need for highly engineered heat sinking mounts increases. To ensure the quality of the critical features is maintained LEW performs all key processing in-house, including ceramic metallising and dicing, braze and solder assembly, electroplating, vacuum deposition of coatings and solders as well as grinding, lapping and precision machining of the sharp edges.

In addition, LEW Techniques will be exhibiting its capabilities in photonic miniature component manufacture for the mounting of LEDs, lasers and photodiodes, including monitor submounts, sub-carriers, wraparound connections, heatsinks, hermetic window lids, turnkey packages, C, Q, W and other mounts and thick- and thin-film applications.

Newport Corporation’s Spectra-Physics Lasers Division (www.newpor t.com) will display its new Solstice one-box ultrafast amplifier. The company’s latest femtosecond solution has an output average power of more than 2.5W at 1 or 5kHz, high contrast pulses of less than 100fs, and a high quality beam (M2<1.3). This innovative, rugged laser system has been designed to deliver hands-free, cutting-edge performance and ultra stable operation for a wide range of applications in both scientific research and industrial environments.

In order to ensure hands-off, reliable operation, the Solstice uses the Spectra-Physics Mai Tai ultrafast oscillator and the Empower pump source. To further enhance the system, the amplifier module uses the same Eternalign optical mounts that have ensured the success of all of its industrial lasers.

Oerlikon Optics (www.oerlikon.com /optics) will be displaying NightVision, an optical filter that achieves more than 90 per cent efficiency of near-infrared light visible onto a car’s monitor. The new active night vision system for road traffic, uses near-infrared (NIR) radiation, captivates both experts and potential customers. The required technical developments obtained by Oerlikon Optics were achieved in close collaboration with leading car lighting manufacturers. For the first time the Oerlikon Optics NightVision filter, produced via the sputtering process, allows active night vision systems with extreme radiation power to exploit the NIR wavelengths while efficiently blocking visible light without red illumination interference.

Photonic Products (www.photonic-products.com), alongside Sanyo, Sony and Opnext laser diodes, will be showing a 532nm green laser module incorporating a Sanyo laser with DPSS structure and integral thermo-electric control, enabling it to be operated at a stable temperature level that provides constant optical performance and wavelength precision. Also on show will be tiny laser modules, 29mm long x 8mm diameter, which generate a 70o full angle cross or a 58o or 88o full angle line with uniform intensity distribution, at 635nm and 650nm, factory focused at 1000mm. On the stand will be laser modules with integral ‘near end of life detection’ facility set to generate a signal that triggers an audible alarm or LED warning light when the laser diode is approaching the end of its operational life. Finally, there will be precision engineered mounting posts, post holders, clamps and brackets designed primarily for the research and industrial laboratory to enable flexible positioning of laser sources on a breadboard or optical table.

PicoQuant (www.picoquant.com) will show its new product development, the multichannel diode laser system PDL 828 Sepia II, which is fully computer-controlled and which allows to drive laser heads in CW and pulsed operation.

Further, it will present highlights of its product line that includes: pulsed, modulated and fast switched diode laser drivers; laser diode heads from 375 to 1550nm; sub-ns Pulsed LEDs from 260 to 600nm; PC modules for single photon counting/multi-channel scaling; time-resolved confocal microscopes and FLIM & FCS upgrade kits for laser scanning microscopes; and fluorescence lifetime spectrometers.

Raicol (www.raicol.com) will unveil its Periodically Poled Stoichiometric Lithium Tantalate (PPSLT), a non-linear optical material suitable for frequency conversion applications over a broad wavelength range from UV till mid-IR. PPSLT’s high resistance to higher power levels of pumping light makes it the material of choice for compact solid state laser systems wherein output power of few Watts is required.

A high non-linear optical coefficient makes PPSLT very attractive for various applications, especially in visible light generation. Moreover, it can be extremely useful for next generation projection systems wherein cost-effective, highly reliable, high-quality laser sources are needed

Raicol is also introducing the RTP Q-Switch, operating at up to 500Khz repetition rate for nano, pico and femtosecond lasers. By using 500kHz RTP Q-Switch, industrial laser manufacturers can reduce the laser process time dramatically saving money and time for their customers. The RTP Q-Switch higher damage threshold value makes it suitable for medical, military, space and telecommunications applications.

Roditi International (www.roditi.com) is the exclusive distributor in Europe for Saint-Gobain Crystals and will be displaying a variety of laser materials including Nd:YAG, Ti:Sapphire, Ruby, CTH:YAG, Er:YAG and Yb:YAG. Experts from Saint-Gobain will be on hand to discuss your requirements further and assist with the choice of material for your laser system. In addition to working with major laser manufacturers across Europe, Roditi International is also a major supplier of a range of crystal products. These include sapphire substrates, windows and tubes, quartz crystal wafers and bars, along with optical and electronic grade lithium niobate and tantalate (including MgO, Er and Fe doped material). Examples of these materials will be on display and full product specifications will be available to enable customers to choose the appropriate material for their application.

Scanlab (www.scanlab.de) will be showing iDrive, a fully digital control concept emerging from the closed loop between the galvanometer’s digital driver and the PC control board RTC 5. The RTC 5 communicates with the intelliSCAN via a scan head communication protocol. Among other features, iDrive offers simultaneous real-time monitoring of multiple galvanometer parameters and operational status. This capability is indispensable for processes requiring monitoring and traceability on-site or by a remote control centre. Process development time is significantly reduced as optimisation of scan head settings occurs without manually inspecting the processed material. Another control feature of iDrive is proportional laser pulsing, where speed feedback from the galvanometer is used to modulate the laser, ensuring consistent energy deposition and eliminating burn-in effects. Multiple tunings are stored on the intelliSCAN electronics. Optimised tunings specific to process requirements enable faster and more precise positioning.

Scitec Instruments (www.scitec.uk.com) will be exhibiting a DSP lock-in amplifier together with a high-speed optical chopper. The Model 450S lock-in amplifier has been designed for computer control and features both Ethernet and RS232 interfaces. All settings can be managed under browser control. State-of-the-art electronics have been used to produce an instrument that is exceptionally versatile and easy to use. Its frequency range is from 1mHz to 200kHz. The Model 310CD is a high-speed optical chopper based on 102mm diameter discs. Chopping frequencies of up to 120kHz are available. These high frequencies are achieved by using an electronically-commutated motor. A range of standard chopper discs is available to provide a choice of optical aperture sizes and chopping frequency range.

Sill Optics (www.silloptics.de) has designed two new colour-corrected air-spaced lenses for collimation or focusing of fibre-delivered laser systems. The speciality of these lenses is their colour correction for 1064nm and 633nm. The focal points of both wavelengths are within 0.01mm. This allows an exact definition of the position and size of the processing laser spot. Due to combination of the two focal lengths (135mm and 103mm) three different spot sizes are adjustable (0,66x, 1x and 1,33x). The lenses are designed for fibre apertures of 0.22 and work diffraction limited with normal laser beams of up to 30mm diameter.