October 2014

FEATURE

Clear future for solar power

Scientists from Michigan State University have developed a transparent solar concentrator that can be used on anything with a clear surface – from windows and sun roofs to smart phone screens. By developing a new material which only absorbs light from UV and infrared wavelengths, and not from the visible part of the electromagnetic spectrum, the university team was able to produce a device that is transparent to the human eye.

FEATURE

A day out at your local photonics firm

What is photonics? Those in the industry may know very well what the term means, but the general public might be less aware of what photonics encompasses or where it is used in society. And, just as important, at least for the photonics industry, politicians might not fully realise what photonics is, so there is an incentive to increase awareness here and get photonics on the political agenda.

FEATURE

Microscopy made super

Super resolution microscopy has garnered much attention recently. Capable of generating resolutions 10 times greater than conventional methods, and with a patent for one of the techniques having expired in May, it is no wonder that the major players in the field are moving into the super resolution space.

FEATURE

Rising to the ion challenge

Optical coating companies are building advanced monitoring and metrology into their production to meet the demands for specialised coatings. Vendors, including Advanced Thin Films in the US and Laseroptik in Germany, are now focusing on implementing monitoring mechanisms within their machinery to get better control over the deposition process, and also investing in metrology equipment to test the finished product.