June/July 2006

FEATURE

Out of the lab

However, recent advances in technology, such as inexpensive, robust CCD detectors and MEMS chips, have meant that spectrometers can now be housed in small, sturdy packages. The spectrometer is becoming a 'black box' technology, rather than a specialised piece of lab equipment. The latest advances in spectrometer technology are allowing scientists to take the spectrometer out into the field. The lab is being taken to the sample.

FEATURE

LED there be light

A field where LEDs show great promise is in architectural applications. The highly directional nature of LED illumination, alongside the saturated colour output they offer, provides architects with lighting options, both internal and external, that simply aren't possible using conventional lighting. This also makes LEDs particularly suitable for so-called task lighting - highlighting particular architectural or decorative features, or providing local spot lighting.

FEATURE

Poised for growth

The laser industry today is at a crossroads in its history, and has an opportunity for a period of rapid growth, founded on the adoption of manufacturing and design standards and best practices applied to the core technologies driving a new generation of laser systems. At JDSU, we have described this new industry paradigm as a transition from 'design excellence' as the sole source of competitive advantage to integrating 'process excellence' into any new business model.

FEATURE

Distributing from an island

Unless they are very rich, the only thing most people will know about the Isle of Man is that it hosts the annual TT motorbike races. If they are rich, they will know it is also a tax haven. Few will suspect that this peaceful, lush outcrop, halfway between the north west coast of England and Northern Ireland, is also a leading centre for the production of high quality laser optics. It has become the European beachhead for the recent expansion of the CVI Laser Optics catalogue.

FEATURE

Out of the lab

In many ways the spectrometry field is a mature market - the principles involved (measuring the specific frequencies of light absorbed or emitted by a sample to determine its physical or chemical make up) have been known for almost a century. However, until recently the practice of spectrometry was largely lab-based. The equipment used was delicate and bulky, meaning any substance to be sampled had to be taken to the lab. This process could be both costly and time consuming.

FEATURE

A year of growth

Since we last reported to you, a little more than a year ago, Photonics Cluster (UK) has had a remarkably successful period of growth. We have seen a meteoric rise in membership levels, and our events programme has been expanded and extremely well attended.