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New avenues

CO2 lasers have a future with organics as Rob Coppinger discovers

Nature has the answer

Rob Coppinger finds that millions of years of insect evolution is aiding scientists in their quest for better LEDs

The finest in filters

Spectrogon has been leading the way in optical filters and associated products for decades, as Warren Clark discovers

Printing at the extreme

Immersion lithography has all but reached the limit of how small it can print features on silicon chips. Extreme UV lithography promises to be the answer, but there`s still a lot of work to be done before the technology is ready for commercial use, as Greg Blackman discovers

Smoothness needs stiffness

As delicate as optics are, the processes used to smooth their surfaces are
rough. Rob Coppinger examines how computer control and special fluids
are making the difference

Leaders in lasers

For 40 years, JK Lasers has been developing industrial lasers around the world, as Warren Clark discovers

Getting back to nature

From measuring air and water quality using spectroscopy to gauging wind speed with lidar, Greg Blackman investigates how photonics technology is gathering environmental data in the field

More power, more speed

Rob Coppinger discovers how new applications with fibre are keeping the laser industry in good health

Positive outlook

The rebranding exercise for Acal BFi is almost complete, as Warren Clark discovers

Show stopper

Greg Blackman looks at the laser technology wowing audiences at shows from the likes of Coldplay, as well as seeing how new laser pistols used in modern pentathlon performed at this summer`s London Olympics

Focusing on the distant past

Optics allow distant places to be seen in focus but Rob Coppinger peers into the universe of astronomy where the vision of deep space is also the past

Light in profile

Greg Blackman on the intricacies of beam analysis and the range of sensors laser manufacturers employ to characterise a source

Beyond line of sight

Since the dawn of photography the photographer has had to have their subject within sight, but as Rob Coppinger finds US researchers have turned a corner for the ultimate imaging technology

Focus on growth

Trioptics has grown rapidly in the past three years, as Warren Clark discovers

Striking back

Cancer strikes fear into the hearts of its victims but Rob Coppinger finds that lasers are now able to excise that enemy within, deep inside the human body

Guiding light

Greg Blackman on photonic crystal fibres, newer optical fibre designs where light can be guided in air rather than the conventional silica

Solar wind of change

Light harvesting is set to reap the rewards of many years of research and Rob Coppinger talks to the scientists about the new dawn for our energy future

Quick as a flash

If striking fear into the hearts of your enemy is not enough, Rob Coppinger seeks to shed light on the US military's intention to launch lightning bolts

Design for light

Optical design software specialist Lambda Research is 20 years old, as Warren Clark discovers

Crystal power

Historically viewed as having power and symbolism, Rob Coppinger digs for the solutions to the rare earth conundrum the crystal growing industry faces

My fibre-sense is tingling

The sensing properties of the humble optical fibre lends its use to measuring strain and temperature variations along structures like oil pipelines stretching hundreds of kilometres, as Greg Blackman finds out

Nutrition is only skin deep

Medical staff will now be able to check whether patients are following healthy diets by scanning their skin, Rob Coppinger uncovers

Diamond lights

Element Six provides synthetic diamond for use in the photonics industry, as Warren Clark discovers

A smooth coat

Rob Coppinger tackles the rough and the smooth of the latest challenging thin film production techniques

Design radiance

Greg Blackman on the intricacies of optimising imaging and illumination systems with optical software

Illuminating the future

Rob Coppinger probes the difficulties of super laser operation and the technology that will overcome the challenges

A clean sheet

The paperless office has never been realised but laser technology, Rob Coppinger explains, could mean offices with less paper and less toner consumption

Keeping safe

Safety specialist Laservision's history starts almost 40 years ago, as Warren Clark discovers

Stretching the imagination

A stretchable display may sound like an impossible and crazy idea, but the enabling technology is just around the corner. Nadya Anscombe looks at the research

Spectroscopy everywhere anytime

Rob Coppinger finds that the age of the smartphone and MP3 player is changing customer expectations, raising industry's game when it comes to portable spectroscopy

Ablating light optics

Scientists see ablating 1.5kW CO2 lasers or 1030nm ultra short pulse lasers as the key to better optics. Rob Coppinger digs deeper into the issue

Marking time

Small decorative logos for mobile phones and sophisticated codes for industrial traceability require laser technology to become more precise and reliable, as Rob Coppinger discovers

Resolving power

Greg Blackman finds out that in order to acquire a high-quality image from a machine vision camera, a lot depends on the quality of the optics

Blink and you'll miss it

Industrial-grade femtosecond lasers are now available, but do they offer any significant advantages over their picosecond rivals? Greg Blackman finds out

Projecting power

Mobile phones could be providing home cinema-like experiences if new laser sources for pico projectors are as successful as expected

All the right moves

While its products are getting smaller, Avantes is growing as a company, as Warren Clark discovers

The ultimate shield

The military conflicts of the past ten years have shown the dangers of roadside bombs and cheap mortars. Rob Coppinger investigates the laser systems being developed to counter those threats and more

Shaping light

Greg Blackman peers into diffractive optics, a vital optical element for a range of applications including deep UV lithography and manufacturing aircraft components

Twist and shout

Liquid crystal technology is to deliver cheap tuneable lasers. Rob Coppinger talks to University of Cambridge researchers about how chiral nematics is making it happen

Fantastic plastic

Organic materials can enable innovative, low-cost, compact devices. Many fascinating projects were presented at Photonics West. But, as Nadya Anscombe finds out, challenges still remain