The Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT is developing industrial-scale processes for the high-resolution structuring of thin layers, a development which is expected to be a decisive step to greater efficiencies and lower manufacturing costs for crystalline and thin-film photovoltaics.
Fibre lasers continue to make inroads into applications traditionally dominated by other systems and technical advances are making them more competitive. Whether it is nano, pico or femtosecond lasers, process improvement as well as technical advances are driving fibre lasers into new areas of use.
Time-resolved spectroscopy is taking the world of materials analysis through light to the point where the spectrometer is more sensor than camera and where visible light is no longer the only wavelength under study. Advances in detectors, lasers, their pulse speed, and the timing components and their associated electronics, all mean that researchers can give more consideration to time-resolved spectroscopy.
As far as spectacles go, you can’t get much better than the London Olympic opening and closing ceremonies. Danny Boyle supposedly held back the start of his ‘Isles of Wonder’ opening ceremony until dusk to get the full effect of the light show, which included 70,500 LED ‘pixels’ in the stands that transformed the audience into a giant LED screen. Laser light shows are now part of most large arena music concerts; they illuminate buildings and are even now a tool for marketing, tracing out company logos and slogans.
Acal BFi may not yet be a familiar name within the photonics industry, but its previous incarnations most certainly are – Optilas began life almost 40 years ago. The new name is the latest rebranding step in the merger between Acal and BFi Optilas, which occurred in 2009.