October 2013

FEATURE

Plastic fantastic

The large number of applications of polymers has created the need to improve joining technologies to process them. Polymeric materials have a vast potential for exciting applications in areas such as the conduction and storage of electricity, heat and light; molecular-based information storage and processing; unique separation membranes; revolutionary forms of food processing and packaging; medical devices; housing; and transportation.

FEATURE

Knowing your multiplication table

Raman scattering is well known to be a particularly weak effect, which makes it difficult to measure, especially over short time periods. Electron multiplying CCD technology has changed that to a certain extent, and is opening up areas of research that otherwise wouldn’t be possible. Now entire chemical Raman maps can be made of a sample by scanning it at a microscopic level to determine its chemical composition, aided by the ability of EMCCDs to detect very small signals.

FEATURE

Standing out to make a mark

Of all the industrial applications of lasers, marking materials is one of the broadest and most important. Business has been brisk for the past 15 years or so, and there is steady growth in demand – whether it be for marking, coding, or engraving – driven by many disparate needs ranging from product identification, to safety of medical instruments, marketing, consumer demand, and legislation.