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Keeping count of light

Highly sensitive detectors are enabling techniques like quantum cryptography and forms of fluorescence spectroscopy. Tom Eddershaw investigates the technology for detecting individual photons

Master of metal

With Lasys fast approaching, Jessica Rowbury looks at industrial laser processing and finds that solid-state lasers are catching up with CO2 when it comes to cutting thick metals

Photonic sensor to combat TB

A lab-on-chip device, being designed as part of a European project, promises to reduce the cost of diagnosing tuberculosis dramatically - and save many lives in the developing world. Greg Blackman speaks to Wim Van Roy at Imec, one of the coordinators of the project

Made to measure

The rise and rise of LED lighting - and the associated testing - has led to exciting times for photonics company Pro-Lite Technology, as Tim Gillett discovers

On the hunt for other worlds

Searching for planets that lie outside the Solar System is adding impetus to astronomical interferometry, a technique that combines the light-gathering capabilities of an array of telescopes. Jessica Rowbury reports

Lasers in profile

Greg Blackman gets to grips with the various methods for analysing high-power lasers, including a novel method that calculates power according to the weight of the beam

Solar research leads to laser discovery

Perovskites are being tipped as materials that will revolutionise solar power. Now, an Oxbridge team of scientists have used its luminescent properties to make a laser from the mineral. Greg Blackman speaks to Dr Felix Deschler and Michael Price of Cambridge`s Cavendish Laboratory, who worked on the project

Taking lasers to the movies

With Gravity winning big at the Oscars at the beginning of March, Jessica Rowbury looks at how laser projection technology is set to transform the 3D experience of watching blockbuster movies

Cascade of excitement

Tom Eddershaw finds that improvements in power of terahertz lasers are making them more attractive as industrial products

Tracing the rays

The use of optical modelling software for freeform design has increased in recent years, mainly due to the rise of LEDs. Jessica Rowbury looks at what`s involved in designing an LED lighting system through the use of software

Powering the pulse

Greg Blackman on the amplifier technology needed to generate petawatt-class, ultrashort laser pulses

Collision course avoided

Greg Blackman speaks to Dr Richard Fork at the University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH), about his work into developing a laser-based method to stop asteroids colliding with Earth

Printing parts

Laser additive manufacturing is an excellent tool for prototyping, but now the technique is being used to build production-quality parts, as Tom Eddershaw discovers

Microscopy in miniature

Jessica Rowbury looks at how MEMS technology is being integrated into devices that could transform traditional methods of cancer diagnosis

Red hot cooling

Katia Moskvitch finds that, as lasers become more powerful, innovative methods are needed to cool them

Cellular surgery

Performing nanosurgery on live cells promises much as a medical technique of the future. Greg Blackman speaks to Professor Michel Meunier at the Ecole Polytechnique de Montrėal, who presented work on a laser "multi-nanoscalpel" in a plenary talk at Photonics West

Mirror on semicon

To bring EUV lithography into mainstream semiconductor production will require more powerful sources, but there is also a lot of development work underway on the optics for the systems, as Katia Moskvitch discovers

Food for thought

Portable spectrometers are being used in more ways than ever to analyse food and, this year, consumers will even be able to purchase handheld spectrometers to check food before they buy. Jessica Rowbury looks at how these spectrometers are being used to test food

Making energy out surpass energy in

Laser inertial confinement fusion has the potential to solve much of the world`s energy needs, once it can generate more energy than is put in. Tom Eddershaw investigates the current state of laser fusion projects and asks how the research can benefit industry

Taking the pulse of industry

Greg Blackman speaks to Dr Dirk Sutter of Trumpf, who, in December last year, was presented with the 2013 German Future Prize, along with Jens Konig of Bosch and Stefan Nolte of Fraunhofer IOF, for ultrafast laser technology in operation at Bosch manufacturing plants

Many shades of white

The great appeal of solid-state lighting is its efficiency, but when it comes to designing lighting for buildings based on LEDs not everything is black and white, as Greg Blackman discovers

Organic light for organic production

Micro-algae have potential to produce numerous biological products, from biofuels to cosmetics. At the International Display Workshop in December, researchers from TU Dresden and Fraunhofer COMEDD will demonstrate a new bioreactor that grows algae using light from an OLED. Greg Blackman reports

Branding the beam

Tim Gillett traces the 25-year history of Duma Optronics, from its origins as an OEM innovator to its ambitions to become a self-branded market leader

Power of the pulse

Although no commercial systems are yet available, attosecond lasers are the subject of intense research. DARPA, for instance, launched a $6.9 million project on applications of attosecond pulse generation in August of this year. Katia Moskvitch looks at the technology required to generate these ultrashort laser pulses

Sound medical judgement

Photoacoustic imaging is on the threshold of clinical adoption. Jessica Rowbury explores the current progress and looks at what is needed if the technology is to be applied within medicine

Wonder material

Graphene has been heralded as a revolutionary material ever since its isolation in 2004, for which the scientists involved won the Nobel Prize in Physics. Greg Blackman finds out that its unique properties are also beneficial in laser technology

Lasers go digital

The world`s first "digital laser" has been engineered by a team at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research in South Africa. Greg Blackman speaks to Professor Andrew Forbes, who led the research

Reaching for the stars

The first optical components for the European Extremely Large Telescope have been approved by the European Southern Observatory. Jessica Rowbury finds out that developing the technology to make the mirror segments will ultimately strengthen the European optics industry

Standing out to make a mark

The laser-marking business is booming, and competition is often on the price of the laser. However, some companies have concentrated on differentiating the technology, as Tom Wilkie discovers

Plastic fantastic

The three-year PolyBright project, which aims to extend the process capabilities of welding polymers with lasers, has drawn to a close. Dr Alexander Olowinsky at Fraunhofer ILT and coordinator of the project discusses its outcome

Illuminating telecoms

The reach and scope of the telecommunications industry is expanding at a dizzying rate, with photonics an integral part of developments. Tim Gillett reports

Stacking for success

Rob Coppinger finds out how the diode laser industry is setting a high bar for its new powerful systems

Remembered forever

Rob Coppinger finds that ultrafast lasers could make quartz the data storage medium for eternity

World in motion

Aerotech`s motion control products have been used throughout photonics for more than 40 years, as Warren Clark discovers

Lighting the way

Rob Coppinger is enlightened by the laser technology that is making more effective photovoltaics possible

Explosive potential

Their speed of measurement and portability are making Raman spectroscopy systems ideal for security uses such as screening for explosives at airports, as Greg Blackman discovers

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