June 2015

FEATURE

Now you see it, now you don't

At the Conference on Lasers and Electro-Optics (CLEO) which took place 10-15 May in San Jose, California, researchers from the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) demonstrated an instrument than can make small objects disappear from sight.

Since it was published last year in Science, the instrument has been made smaller, and portable, so it can be taken out of the laboratory and into schools to excite and educate students about physics.

FEATURE

Made to measure

The helium-neon laser was invented in 1961 and still forms the basis for many optical metrology techniques. However, semiconductor laser diodes now offer higher powers and a broader range of wavelengths compared to the fixed 632.8nm of the HeNe laser, both of which could see the diode laser start to replace older HeNe technology.

FEATURE

Making sense of material science

Experimental work on a number of novel light sensing materials is opening up their potential use as new materials for optical sensors. Recent research has found that materials not often associated with the world of optical sensors could actually unlock the potential for fast, high-performance and easy-to-manufacture devices by exploiting previously dismissed characteristics.

FEATURE

Flexing display muscles

High-volume display production revolves around large sheets of glass – Gen 10 manufacturing plants, the largest operational, are based on 2,880 x 3,130mm substrates, and Chinese panel maker BOE is currently building the world’s largest TFT LCD fab, a Gen 10.5, with glass substrate sizes of 3,370 x 2,940mm – but what if you could print display electronics on drums in a continuous, low-cost process?

FEATURE

Light technologies to drive industrial Europe, says Photonics21 president

The re-industrialisation of the European economy has been identified as a major priority to bring growth and jobs back to Europe. Europe aims to derive 20 per cent of its GPD from industrial output by 2020, showing that industrial value creation is a cornerstone for Europe’s economy. The recently launched Juncker Investment Package (€315 billion over the next three years) supports this objective as it intends to set up strategic innovation hubs to boost future growth in Europe.