Issues

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Flexing display muscles

Greg Blackman on the laser processes involved in making flexible displays, a technology that promises thinner, lighter, and potentially bendable and foldable electronic devices

Making sense of material science

Gemma Church finds that new materials like graphene are exhibiting interesting light sensing properties that could see them used to make faster and more sensitive photodetectors

Made to measure

Greg Blackman investigates some of the diverse optical metrology techniques for measuring distances at the nanoscale to over many kilometres

Now you see it, now you don't

Jessica Rowbury speaks to Robert Schittny at Karlsruhe Institute of Technology about an invisibility cloak the team demonstrated at CLEO in San Jose in May

Phase-shifting glass

A five-year project led by the University of Southampton in the UK has just begun to advance the use of chalcogenide glass, a material with unusual optical properties. Greg Blackman reports

Shedding light on the brain

Initiatives like the BRAIN programme in the USA are investing large amounts of funding into research into the human brain, an area where advanced optical and photonics technologies are highly sought after. Jessica Rowbury reports

Collaboration is dead, long live collaboration!

Following a session he moderated at Photonics West on biophotonics funding, Mark Hutchinson at the University of Adelaide argues that a more integrated, transdisciplinary research environment is needed in biophotonics

The draw from Laser Mégajoule

The Laser Mėgajoule facility in France is one of the latest in large laser installations. Tom Eddershaw looks at how this type of huge project helps the photonics industry

Medical modelling

Jessica Rowbury explores the role optical modelling software plays in designing medical instruments

Explosive potential

Handheld Raman sensing systems are now available for scanning containers for explosives, but the technology has yet to be developed for sensing at any kind of standoff distance. Greg Blackman looks at the efforts being made in Raman imaging for explosives detection at range

Photonics to benefit from US export control reform?

The proposed reforms to US Munitions List Category XII are expected to be published soon, a change in regulation that could be controversial among the optics and photonics industry, writes Jennifer Douris, a lobbyist at SPIE

Beam me down

Free space optical communication was recently demonstrated from the Moon, and in 2020 could be used to transmit data from Mars. Jessica Rowbury reports from a conference at Photonics West where laser communication was discussed as a means to revolutionise data transmission to and from space

Sporting smart clothing

Greg Blackman investigates the latest miniature and wearable sensing technology, including 'smart' textiles incorporating fibre optic sensors to give data on movement

Charles Townes: a 'giant of a friend'

During a plenary session at Photonics West, SPIE CEO Dr Eugene Arthurs paid tribute to his friend Charles Townes, the inventor of the maser, who passed away on 27 January. Jessica Rowbury reports on Towne' life

Gender equality in photonics?

In a traditionally male-dominated industry, Jessica Rowbury looks at the representation of women in the field of optics and photonics

Printing skin via laser

Tom Eddershaw looks at the laser technology developed to print live cells, as well as other applications of biophotonics

Consistency-led lighting

Jessica Rowbury discusses the technologies used to test LEDs and how test equipment manufacturers are keeping up with the simultaneous demand for accuracy and lower cost

EUV ready for volume production?

There have been positive signs from the likes of ASML that EUV lithography is finally ramping up for volume production of silicon chips. Greg Blackman reports

A year to remember

The United Nations has proclaimed 2015 the International Year of Light (IYL) and Light-based Technologies, a chance to engage the public and promote photonics all over the world. Jorge Rivero Gonzalez, the European Physical Society`s IYL 2015 outreach officer, discusses the opportunities the initiative offers

Photonics IP protected?

Dr Andrew Fearnside, a senior associate at law firm Appleyard Lees, sets out the arguments for protecting intellectual property when commercialising photonics innovations, and what to consider when seeking IP protection

Beauty illuminated

Jessica Rowbury looks at the variety of uses for photonics technologies in cosmetics, and discovers how the industry is addressing safety

Handling the heat

In order to reach higher powers, diode laser companies are employing various cooling techniques within their diode stacks. Tom Eddershaw investigates the technology

Compensating for pulsed lasers

Greg Blackman looks at the optics for ultrashort pulsed lasers, including those planned for the Extreme Light Infrastructure Beamlines facility, expected to become operational at the end of 2017

Data transmission above Vienna

Greg Blackman speaks to Mario Krenn at the University of Vienna on work sending light-encoded images 3km through the air across the city`s skies

The VC marriage

Following coaching the start-up companies pitching for finance at Invest in Photonics, Géraldine Andrieux Gustin, a senior partner at Yole Finance, gives her five tips for attracting investment from venture capitalists

Making sense of optical fibres

Fibre optic sensors are now being used worldwide from monitoring stress in airplane wings to helping doctors guide catheters inside their patients. Tom Eddershaw looks at the technology

Rising to the ion challenge

In order to obtain the properties required from complex optical coatings, companies running ion beam sputtering machines have had to improve the control of the deposition process. Greg Blackman looks at the technology involved

Microscopy made super

The resolving power of super resolution microscopy is opening up new areas of research in cell biology, as Jessica Rowbury discovers

Clear future for solar power

Jessica Rowbury reports on a transparent solar concentrator developed at Michigan State University that could lead the way to putting solar cells on windows or even smart phone screens

A safer way to fly

Optical technologies are being tested that could make air travel safer, while at the same time easing the security regulations at airports. Jessica Rowbury reports

Going the distance

With ECOC on the horizon, Tom Eddershaw reports on the latest advances of laser technology for optical communications

Measuring ripples in space-time

The European Space Agency is developing a space satellite to measure gravitational waves based on laser interferometry. Greg Blackman speaks to Dr Peter Weßels at Laser Zentrum Hannover, who is designing the fibre amplifier qualification model for the project

Print production for optics

A 3D printing process for optics could have implications for how optics are designed, manufactured and used, says Greg Blackman

Something in the air

Jessica Rowbury looks at the various light-based techniques for monitoring atmospheric pollution

A test for metrology

Aspheres and other freeform optics are becoming more commonly used in areas like consumer electronics - but, as these lenses move further away from rotational symmetry, can the metrology equipment to test them cope? Tom Eddershaw finds out

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