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◀ Microstructured optics

JA N UA R Y 2 0 07

PAGE 109

W W W. L A S E R FO C U S WO R LD.C O M

INTERNATIONAL RESOURCE FOR TECHNOLOGY AND APPLICATIONS IN THE GLOBAL PHOTONICS INDUSTRY

Navigating back to profitability Market Review and Forecast PAGE 82

▶ Dispersion compensation sharpens microscopy PAGE 117 ▶ Chalcogenide mid-infrared fiber slows light PAGE 127 ▶ CCD advances improve TDI imaging PAGE 113 ▶ Photonic Frontiers: Organic LEDs PAGE 103

➤ PAGE 180

Manufacturers’ Product Showcase 0701lfw_C1 C1

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Breakthrough TDI-CCD board-level cameras

m o r f w e N

The Hamamatsu C10000 is an OEM boardlevel camera that incorporates a back-thinned, full-frame-transfer CCD with a 12-bit A/D converter, analog gain control, and cameralink interface. It can be configured with a C or F mount lens, depending on the CCD sensor length, or with a custom lens designed to your requirements. The C10000’s high signalto-noise ratio is made possible by Hamamatsu’s unique ability to design low-noise cameras. And, an external trigger signal allows easy synchronization for TDI readout. Proper synchronization is essential for clear, sharp TDI images—without it, images appear blurry or disproportionate.

Superior TDI-CCD image sensors

The next level in TDI-CCD sensors and cameras.

Hamamatsu’s new TDI-CCDs (S10200S10202) are available with image areas from 1024 x 128 to 4096 x 128, multiple high-speed amplifiers, up to 16 ports, and line rates up to 100 KHz. Furthermore, our horizontal readout registers are fabricated with lateral overflow drains (anti-blooming) to keep excess charge from spilling over to adjacent pixels, thus preserving image quality and preventing wash-out.

The C10000 also comes with a Digital Camera Application Programming Interface (www.DCAMAPI.com), which allows seamless software integration. Our C10000 specifications include: • Back-thinned, full-frame-transfer CCD • High signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) • Superior linearity • Medium camera-link interface • 12-bit image data • External trigger signal • Software support • Low-cost package design

Our TDI-CCD image sensor specifications include:

Advanced TDI technology with 100 KHz line rates and 100 times more signal. Hamamatsu TDI technology is unique in its entirety. Through our complete vertical integration, we enable quality assurance and accountability at every step of product development, creating truly advanced TDI-CCDs and boardlevel cameras, with low dark current and a wide dynamic range.

Industry-Leading Characteristics: Including bidirectional readout capabilities, up to 16 amplifier ports, external triggering capabilities to synchronize TDI clocking with the motion of a moving object, and speeds approaching 500 million pixels per second.

Only Hamamatsu offers:

Easy-to-use Software Developer Kits (SDKs): Enabling programmers to develop code specific to each camera’s requirements.

128 TDI Stages for Better Images: Producing huge signal levels, far superior to conventional imaging techniques. State-of-the-art Wafer Fabrication: Mass production in a highly controlled environment—producing highly sensitive back-thinned imagers with high quantum efficiency (QE) and UV response.

The operating principle of TDI.

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To maximize signal-to-noise ratio, it is critical to capture every photon. That is why Hamamatsu employs unique, backthinned, full-frame-transfer CCDs that convert a high percentage of photons into electrons. The light-sensitive vertical register also allows bidirectional chargetransferring capabilities, for the added versatility of imaging both forward and backwards.

Collaboration between our CCD design team, wafer process group, electronics and software engineers has resulted in the most advanced TDI-CCD technology available. For all this, plus the highest level of service in the industry, look only to Hamamatsu.

Custom Design Options: In addition to manufacturing leading products such as the C10000 and image sensors, Hamamatsu specializes in custom-made OEM designs. If you have specific requirements in design, budget, or timing, please contact Hamamatsu directly.

• Back-thinned, full-frame-transfer CCDs • 100% fill factor • 12 µm x 12 µm pixels • 30 MHz readout speed • 50% QE at 200 nm • CCD node sensitivity 3.5 µV/e• Full well capacity of 120 Ke• Readout noise 100 e-rms @ 30 MHz

Visit us at Photonics West Booths 826 & 827

For more information, please visit sales.hamamatsu.com/TDI • USA 800.524.0504 • Europe 00.800.800.800.88

Spectral response of our TDI-CCD sensors.

1/5/07 4:44:47 PM


Breakthrough TDI-CCD board-level cameras

m o r f w e N

The Hamamatsu C10000 is an OEM boardlevel camera that incorporates a back-thinned, full-frame-transfer CCD with a 12-bit A/D converter, analog gain control, and cameralink interface. It can be configured with a C or F mount lens, depending on the CCD sensor length, or with a custom lens designed to your requirements. The C10000’s high signalto-noise ratio is made possible by Hamamatsu’s unique ability to design low-noise cameras. And, an external trigger signal allows easy synchronization for TDI readout. Proper synchronization is essential for clear, sharp TDI images—without it, images appear blurry or disproportionate.

Superior TDI-CCD image sensors

The next level in TDI-CCD sensors and cameras.

Hamamatsu’s new TDI-CCDs (S10200S10202) are available with image areas from 1024 x 128 to 4096 x 128, multiple high-speed amplifiers, up to 16 ports, and line rates up to 100 KHz. Furthermore, our horizontal readout registers are fabricated with lateral overflow drains (anti-blooming) to keep excess charge from spilling over to adjacent pixels, thus preserving image quality and preventing wash-out.

The C10000 also comes with a Digital Camera Application Programming Interface (www.DCAMAPI.com), which allows seamless software integration. Our C10000 specifications include: • Back-thinned, full-frame-transfer CCD • High signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) • Superior linearity • Medium camera-link interface • 12-bit image data • External trigger signal • Software support • Low-cost package design

Our TDI-CCD image sensor specifications include:

Advanced TDI technology with 100 KHz line rates and 100 times more signal. Hamamatsu TDI technology is unique in its entirety. Through our complete vertical integration, we enable quality assurance and accountability at every step of product development, creating truly advanced TDI-CCDs and boardlevel cameras, with low dark current and a wide dynamic range.

Industry-Leading Characteristics: Including bidirectional readout capabilities, up to 16 amplifier ports, external triggering capabilities to synchronize TDI clocking with the motion of a moving object, and speeds approaching 500 million pixels per second.

Only Hamamatsu offers:

Easy-to-use Software Developer Kits (SDKs): Enabling programmers to develop code specific to each camera’s requirements.

128 TDI Stages for Better Images: Producing huge signal levels, far superior to conventional imaging techniques. State-of-the-art Wafer Fabrication: Mass production in a highly controlled environment—producing highly sensitive back-thinned imagers with high quantum efficiency (QE) and UV response.

The operating principle of TDI.

0701lfw_barn_1 1

To maximize signal-to-noise ratio, it is critical to capture every photon. That is why Hamamatsu employs unique, backthinned, full-frame-transfer CCDs that convert a high percentage of photons into electrons. The light-sensitive vertical register also allows bidirectional chargetransferring capabilities, for the added versatility of imaging both forward and backwards.

Collaboration between our CCD design team, wafer process group, electronics and software engineers has resulted in the most advanced TDI-CCD technology available. For all this, plus the highest level of service in the industry, look only to Hamamatsu.

Custom Design Options: In addition to manufacturing leading products such as the C10000 and image sensors, Hamamatsu specializes in custom-made OEM designs. If you have specific requirements in design, budget, or timing, please contact Hamamatsu directly.

• Back-thinned, full-frame-transfer CCDs • 100% fill factor • 12 µm x 12 µm pixels • 30 MHz readout speed • 50% QE at 200 nm • CCD node sensitivity 3.5 µV/e• Full well capacity of 120 Ke• Readout noise 100 e-rms @ 30 MHz

Visit us at Photonics West Booths 826 & 827

For more information, please visit sales.hamamatsu.com/TDI • USA 800.524.0504 • Europe 00.800.800.800.88

Spectral response of our TDI-CCD sensors.

1/5/07 4:44:47 PM


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JANUARY 20 07

VOL . 43, NO. 1

:: W O R L D

NEWS

INTERNATIONAL RESOURCE FOR TECHNOLOGY AND APPLIC ATIONS IN THE GLOBAL PHOTONIC S INDUSTRY

21 FREE-SPACE OPTICS

LASERS

21 OPTICAL METROLOGY

OPTICS ■ DETECTORS ■ IMAGING FIBEROPTICS ■ INSTRUMENTATION ■

Laser link offers fiber quality through cloud cover Incoherent light improves rainbow refractometry

26 X-RAY IMAGING

Single-shot x-ray diffraction aims at imaging macromolecules

31 IMAGING MICROSCOPY

Hybrid microscope probes plasmonic nanostructures

33 SOLID-STATE LASERS

Telecom technology enters competition to supplant argon-ion lasers

34 WAVEGUIDE FABRICATION

Femtosecond pulses leave thermal footprints

37 LASER COOLING

Optomechanical sensing gets very cool indeed

41 CAVITY-RING-DOWN SPECTROSCOPY

LED approach may yield inexpensive field systems

45 OPTOFLUIDICS 38

Miniature stretchable dye laser tunes in the visible

49 RAMAN SPECTROSCOPY

SERS and silver nanorods quickly reveal viral structures

52 FEMTOSECOND-LASER ABLATION

Ultrafast pulses raise optical absorbance in metals

55 SUPERCONTINUUM SOURCES

Compact femtosecond laser emits white light

57 LASER RANGING

Airborne lidar system finds hidden fault lines

61 QUANTUM COMPUTING

Trapped sodium atoms lose remaining degrees of freedom

52

:: N E W S B R E A K S 11 Gallium nitride LEDs fabricated on silicon substrates boost luminous intensity

True negative-index metamaterial operates at 780 nm

82 COVER STORY Our annual Laser Marketplace review and forecast of the laser markets indicates the laser markets are showing signs of recovery. This month we discuss the overall market, along with details on the nondiode-laser market. The diode-laser market review and forecast will be published in the February issue. (Illustration by Chris Hipp)

Kagome photonic-crystal fiber spans broad wavelength range

13 Fiber lasers improve rapid prototyping Microfluidics and photonic crystals may yield optical integrated circuits Imaging system records ocular interface in vivo

15 Subwavelength overlay targets show visible offsets Elliptical beam speeds laser cutting

Surface-discharge lamp zaps away lead paint The information contained in this publication is for general information purposes and is not intended to be advice on any particular matter. No subscriber or other reader should act on the basis of any matter contained in this publication without considering appropriate professional advice. PennWell, and the authors and editors, expressly disclaim any and all liability to any person, whether a purchaser of this publication or not, in respect of anything (and the consequences of anything) done or omitted to be done by any subscriber, reader, or other person in reliance upon the contents of this publication.

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Laser Focus World

www.laserfocusworld.com

January 2007

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JANUARY 20 07

VOL . 43, NO. 1

:: F E AT U R E S INTERNATIONAL RESOURCE FOR TECHNOLOGY AND APPLIC ATIONS IN THE GLOBAL PHOTONIC S INDUSTRY LASERS

OPTICS ■ DETECTORS ■ IMAGING FIBEROPTICS ■ INSTRUMENTATION ■

82 LASER MARKETPLACE 2007 Industry navigates its way back to profitablity It’s been a few years in the making, but 2006 yielded some very positive returns. KATHY KINCADE AND STEPHEN G. ANDERSON

103 PHOTONIC FRONTIERS: ORGANIC OPTOELECTRONICS Organic LEDs try to live up to a bright promise Improvements in lifetime, efficiency, and cost should help OLEDS spread widely in handheld devices. JEFF HECHT

109 MICROSTRUCTURED OPTICS Moving toward the nanoscale Optical devices relying on microstructures have unique and valuable properties. HANS PETER HERZIG, IWAN MÄRKI, TORALF SCHARF, AND WATARU NAKAGAWA

113 CHARGE-COUPLED DEVICES CCD advances improve TDI imaging techniques TDI-CCD methods are benefiting from improvements in CCD imaging architectures. JOHN GILMORE AND YAKOV BULAYEV

117 TUNABLE SOURCES Dispersion compensation sharpens multiphoton microscopy 109

The use of a compact pulse compressor integrated with an ultrafast laser results in high resolution and flexibility. VICTOR DAVID, ARND KRUEGER, AND PHILIPPE FERU

:: I N D U S T R Y

REPORTS

121 OPTOELECTRONIC APPLICATIONS: INSTRUMENTATION Next-generation cytometers think outside the box Solid-state lasers are enabling new kinds of analytical tools. KATHY KINCADE

65 LASERS

Mobius comes out of stealth mode Laser specialist Exitech acquired by Oerlikon Iridex to buy Laserscope aesthetic business QPC and Finisar terminate license agreement BinOptics receives additional funding

67 OPTICS

Axsun Series D funds MEMS spectrometers Star Instruments sues Meade over optics InPhase technology wins CPIA award Europe intensifies support for photonics Barr Associates to provide filters for JWST

69 IMAGING AND DETECTOR

Emcore invests in photovoltaics

New IR-detector factory approved Alps Electric secures pocket-projector license Northrop Grumman acquires imaging company Imaging-sensor contracts go to Dalsa

71 FIBER OPTICS

IPG share price soars after IPO debut

Alcatel-Lucent finalizes merger JDSU reports positive first-quarter earnings LSI to buy Agere for $4 billion Luxtera awarded DARPA transceiver grant NeoPhotonics expands DWDM product line

127 MID-IR FIBERS Chalcogenide fiber slows light Arsenic selenide optical fiber enables the efficient slowing of light in a short fiber length. KAZI S. ABEDIN

133 ULTRA-HIGH-SPEED IMAGING High-speed and ultra-high-speed imaging offers broad application coverage Solid-state silicon photomultipliers are small and rugged; in many applications, they can replace photomultiplier tubes. JAMES W. BALES

137 SURFACE CHARACTERIZATION Surface qualification demands a proper measurement technique DAVE CHANEY, JOHN FLEMING, FRANK GROCHOCKI, AND MICHAEL DITTMAN

145 DISPERSION COMPENSATION FBGs enhance dispersion compensation Fiber-Bragg-grating compensators offer a widely tunable option. YVES PAINCHAUD, CARL PAQUET, AND MARTIN GUY

149 ULTRAFAST OPTICS Dielectric multilayer mirrors enable shortest pulse lengths Dispersive dielectric mirrors enable the generation of fewcycle pulses and compensate dispersion in complex optical systems. GABRIEL TEMPEA AND ANDREAS STINGL Laser Focus World

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January 2007

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JANUARY 20 07

VOL . 43, NO. 1

:: CO LU M N S INTERNATIONAL RESOURCE FOR TECHNOLOGY AND APPLIC ATIONS IN THE GLOBAL PHOTONIC S INDUSTRY LASERS

OPTICS ■ DETECTORS ■ IMAGING FIBEROPTICS ■ INSTRUMENTATION ■

9 THE EDITOR’S DESK

Diverse markets buoy laser business

73 SOFTWARE & COMPUTING

Accurate part location is key to successful use of machine vision

76 COMMENT

University-industry relations play a key role in technology development

79 BUSINESS FORUM

How can I get a patent license from my university?

81 INSIDE IMAGING

Sensors get smarter

192 IN MY VIEW

The next big thing: the video scientist

:: D E PA R TM E N T S 11 LETTERS 155 NEW PRODUCTS 162

180 MANUFACTURERS’ PRODUCT SHOWCASE 188 BUSINESS RESOURCE CENTER 190 ADVERTISING/WEB INDEX 191 SALES OFFICES LAS

ERFOCU

S

WO

E

WEB

RLD.COM

Visit www.laserfocusworld.com for breaking news and Web-exclusive articles

ON

TH

WWW.LASERFOCUSWORLD.COM/ARTICLES/280055 WEB EXCLUSIVE INDUSTRIAL LASERS

174

:: CO M I N G

I N F E B R UA R Y

BIOMEDICAL IMAGING: MICROSCOPY

Multidimensional imaging is microscopy’s new catchphrase, and the rising star is multiphoton microscopy, a nonlinear imaging method in which target molecules are stimulated by a pair (or more) of low-energy photons virtually simultaneously to provide sufficient energy to induce excitation and photon emission. Contributing Editor Kathy Kincade provides an overview of multiphoton microscopy techniques, with particular attention to solid-state laser sources now being used.

Thin-disk-laser power scaling improves welding efficiency Successful tests at a Volkswagen manufacturing plant have shown the potential of disk lasers on the production line. HOLGER SCHLÜTER (Trumpf, Farmington, CT)

WWW.LASERFOCUSWORLD.COM/ARTICLES/280529 WEB EXCLUSIVE SCIENCE & TECHNICAL EDUCATION

Science teachers must rise to the challenge of the future In the first of a regular online series of columns, Grace Klonoski, senior director of the OSA Foundation and Member & Education Services for the Optical Society of America, looks at the National Assessment of Educational Progress and what it indicates for the future of technical education. WWW.LASERFOCUSWORLD.COM

For calendar listings click on “Events”

Laser Focus World

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January 2007

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Transform Your Ultrafast Laser. 1.0

Intensity (arb.)

0.8

0.6

0.4

0.2

0 -200 -150 -100

-50

0

50

100

150

200

Time (fs)

The screen capture above shows Silhouette yielding stable, transform-limited, <30 fs, 2.5 mJ pulses with our Legend-USP-HE amplifier seeded by a Micra™ wide-bandwidth oscillator.

Silhouette™ is a new pulse shaper that optimizes the pulse width and simplifies control of wide bandwidth ultrafast amplifiers. By compensating for phase distortions, Silhouette can achieve transform-limited pulse widths. By also modulating the spectral amplitude, Silhouette can increase the amplified bandwidth to give even shorter pulses. The result is the shortest possible pulse width from your ultrafast system. Enabled by the MIIPS (Multiphoton Intrapulse Interference Scan) technique, Silhouette consistently produces pulse widths within a few percent of the transform limit at the touch of a button. This saves you time by eliminating the need to repeatedly tweak your laser to optimize the pulse width. For Silhouette Application Notes describing Silhouette’s pulse manipulation capability in more detail, visit our website at www.Coherent.com/Silhouette3.

tech.sales@Coherent.com www.Coherent.com toll free: (800) 527-3786 phone: (408) 764-4983

Benelux +31 (30) 280 6060 China +86 (10) 6280 0209 France +33 (0)1 6985 5145 Germany +49 (6071) 9680

Italy +39 (02) 34 530 214 Japan +81 (3) 5635 8700 UK +44 (1353) 658 833

Superior Reliability & Performance

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editor’s desk Christine A. Shaw Senior Vice President/ Group Publishing Director (603) 891-9178; cshaw@pennwell.com Stephen G. Anderson Associate Publisher/ Editor in Chief (603) 891-9320; stevega@pennwell.com Carol Settino Managing Editor (603) 891-9234; carols@pennwell.com Hassaun A. Jones-Bey Senior Editor (510) 337-0574 hassaun@pennwell.com John Wallace Senior Editor (603) 891-9228; johnw@pennwell.com Gail Overton Associate Editor (603) 305-4756; gailo@pennwell.com CONTRIBUTING EDITORS Jeffrey Bairstow In My View In-My-View@comcast.net David A. Belforte Industrial Lasers (508) 347-9324; belforte@pennwell.com Jeff Hecht Photonic Frontiers (617) 965-3834; jeff@jeffhecht.com Conard Holton Vision Systems Design (603) 891-9161; cholton@pennwell.com Kathy Kincade Business News (510) 337-1727; kkincade@pennwell.com Uwe Brinkmann Göttingen, Germany +49 5594-1483; Uwe.Brinkmann@T-online.de Bridget R. Marx London, United Kingdom 01923 853967; bridgetbth@aol.com Adrienne Adler ATD Director of Marketing Meg Fuschetti Art Director Chris Hipp Senior Illustrator Melody Lindner Presentation Editor Sheila Ward Production Manager Christine Ward Ad Traffic Manager Debbie Bouley Circulation Manager

CORPORATE OFFICERS Frank T. Lauinger Chairman Robert F. Biolchini President and CEO Mark Wilmoth Chief Financial Officer ADVANCED TECHNOLOGY DIVISION Gloria S. Adams VP, Audience Development ATD PUBLISHING SERVICES DEPARTMENTS Meg Fuschetti Art Director Mari Rodriguez Production Director

Diverse markets buoy laser business Last month I noted the picture of a flourishing photonics industry painted by the recently released Optoelectronics Industry Development Association market report (www.oida.org)—a more detailed look at this report will follow in February’s “Marketwatch.” Meantime, the rebound of investor confidence in optoelectronics was amply demonstrated in December when fiber-laser maker IPG Photonics (www.ipgphotonics.com) went public. The stock surged about 50% on the first day of trading, closing at about $25 per share. The offering yielded $149 million for the company and struck a very positive note as we go into 2007. Echoing this upbeat tone, the just-released Laser Focus World Annual Market Review and Forecast predicts 25% growth of fiber-laser sales in 2007 . . . with global laser revenues (all lasers) increasing roughly 8% and crossing the $6 billion mark for the first time since the telecom “bubble” (see page 82). Of course, wrapped inside the industry’s commercial prosperity are a host of diverse technologies that are continually advancing. From new types of lasers to improved imaging systems, these technologies enable novel approaches to existing applications or create new market opportunities—and in so doing generate increased revenues for the industry. The advent of palm-size blue/green solid-state lasers, for instance, has changed the cytometry landscape, potentially allowing next-generation instruments to go into the field, making cytometry available to a broader audience (see page 121). In industry, the benefits of disk lasers are enabling new approaches to applications like auto-body welding (see online exclusive www.laserfocusworld.com/ articles/280055). In the life sciences, enhanced dispersion compensation in a tunable ultrafast source is benefiting multiphoton microscopy allowing brighter images and deeper tissue penetration (see page 117). And in optics, micro- and nanoscale lens technology can produce optical structures with valuable properties as it allows integration of large and complex optical systems into more compact architectures (see page 109). It is this technological diversity that is keeping business buoyant, so we’ll be sure to keep you informed as we track the many photonics advances of 2007.

EDITORIAL OFFICES Laser Focus World, 98 Spit Brook Road, Nashua, NH 03062; (603) 891-0123 fax (603) 891-0574 www.laserfocusworld.com

Stephen G. Anderson Associate Publisher/Editor in Chief stevega@pennwell.com

WEST COAST EDITORIAL OFFICE P.O.B. 2348, Alameda, CA 94501-2348 SUBSCRIPTION INQUIRIES (847) 559-7520; fax (847) 291-4816 PRINTED IN THE USA

Editorial Advisory Board Dan Botez, University of Wisconsin-Madison; Connie Chang-Hasnain, UC Berkeley Center for Optoelectronic Nanostructured Semiconductor Technologies; Pat Edsell, NP Photonics; Thomas Giallorenzi, Naval Research Laboratory; Ron Gibbs, Ron Gibbs Associates; Ralph R. Jacobs, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory; Anthony M. Johnson, Center for Advanced Studies in Photonics Research, University of Maryland Baltimore County; Kenneth Kaufmann, Hamamatsu Corp.; Larry Marshall, Private Investor; Jan Melles, Photonics Investments; Masahiro Joe Nagasawa, TEM Co. Ltd.; David Richardson, University of Southampton; Ralph A. Rotolante, Vicon Infrared; Toby Strite, JDS Uniphase.

Laser Focus World

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www.laserfocusworld.com

January 2007

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1/4/07 2:24:20 PM


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Letters Geothermal heat comes from within I enjoyed your article on solar energy and applaud your efforts (“Special Report: Photonics and the energy crisis,” September, p. 68). We have solar panels on our home’s roof and enjoy putting power back on the grid. One minor item in one of the articles caught my eye that I don’t believe is correct (“Catching up with the plant kingdom,” www.laserfocusworld.com/articles/272167). In the first sentence you attribute geothermal power to the Sun. The Sun does an impressive job of warming the Earth’s surface; however, geothermal power is generally associated with volcanic activity whose energy comes from within the Earth. The Earth’s internal heat comes from two main sources: (1) the impact of asteroids and gravitational collapse of material as the Earth bulked up early in our solar system’s history (yes, the Earth and asteroids were orbiting around the protosun/Sun, but I don’t think that is what you meant) and (2) radioactive decay of

some isotopes, mainly potassium, uranium, and thorium. Andrew Calvert U.S. Geological Survey acalvert@usgs.gov

Thanks for spelling it out I have been in the optical business for 30 years and I am still unable to keep up with constantly evolving acronyms. I am comfortable with laser and LED, but would never have known that SERS stood for “surface-enhanced Raman scattering” had your writer not explained it in her October article. It is not uncommon for me to give up on articles in other journals that are incomprehensible because of obscure initials and acronyms. Your policy of explaining every acronym (even LED) is greatly appreciated. Rod Livingston Beta LaserMike Inc. Rod.Livingston@betalasermike.com

Send letters to Managing Editor Carol Settino at carols@pennwell.com.

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newsbreaks Gallium nitride LEDs fabricated on silicon substrates boost luminous intensity At the 2006 IEEE International Electron Devices Meeting (San Francisco, CA) last December, researchers from Matsushita Electric (Osaka, Japan) and the Nagoya Institute of Technology (Nagoya, Japan) described highly efficient gallium nitride (GaN)-based light-emitting diodes (LEDs) fabricated on silicon (Si) substrates. In the first half of a flip-chip growth process, the researchers formed a 2-D photonic-crystal pattern on a seed Si substrate prior to epitaxial growth of an aluminum nitride (AlN) and GaN/AlN multilayer buffer, followed by InGaN multiple-quantum-well (MQW) active layers and a reflective p-type electrode on the surface. The device was then flipped over and bonded onto a thermally conductive Si substrate. The seed Si substrate was removed, leaving a replication of the photonic-crystal pattern in the multilayer buffer. The resulting LED achieved a 70% improvement in luminous intensity over LEDs grown without the patterning process due to the replicated photonic crystal. Moreover, the growth on patterning led to periodic reductions in dislocation density between the multilayer buffer and MQW layers along the sidewalls of the photonic-crystal pattern. The ability to use relatively inexpensive Si substrates is expected to cut manufacturing costs of GaN-based LEDs. Contact Kenji Orita at orita.kenji@jp.panasonic.com.

True negative-index metamaterial operates at 780 nm Besting their own previous world record by almost a factor of two, researchers at the Universität Karlsruhe (Karlsruhe, Germany), Iowa State University (Ames, IA), and the Forschungzentrum Karlsruhe in der Helmholtz-Gemeinschaft (Karlsruhe, Germany) have shortened the operating wavelength of a true negativeindex optical metamaterial from 1.4 μm to 780 nm—reaching the visible spectrum (a negative refractive index is harder to achieve than a negative magnetic permeability, which has already been achieved in the visible). But confirming the results was not a simple matter. The metamaterial consisted of two 40 nm layers of silver sandwiching a single 17 nm layer of magnesium fluoride, all on a glass substrate; a rectangular lattice of nearly square holes with a period of 300 nm was formed through the layers using electron-beam lithography. Determining the refractive index required phase-sensitive time-of-flight measurements based on a Michelson interferometer and 125 fs pulses from a Ti:sapphire laser. The index was found to be –0.6. The material is somewhat lossy; stacking several layers may reduce the loss. Contact Gunnar Dolling at gunnar.dolling@physik.uni-karlsruhe.de.

Kagome photonic-crystal fiber spans broad wavelength range Applications for hollow-core photonic-crystal fibers (HC-PCFs) continue to proliferate as fabrication processes improve and insertion losses decrease (see www. laserfocusworld.com/articles/274709 and www.laserfocusworld.com/ articles/250395). Researchers at the University of Bath (Bath, England) have now overcome the fundamental narrow transmission bandwidth of most HC-PCFs by demonstrating a kagome (Star of David)-structured HC-PCF with tight confinement of light in the core region that spans a broad wavelength range in the visible and near-IR portions of the spectrum. To create the core defect—which ranges in diameter from 22 µm for a single-cell-defect fiber core to 65 µm for a 19-cell-defect fiber core— shorter capillaries are stacked on the interior of both ends of a solid-stacked form, leaving a kagome-shaped air gap in the middle. For the 19-cell kagome fiber, the transmission bandwidth covers a 250 nm range in the visible (approximately 550 to 800 nm) and a 700 nm range in the IR (approximately 1100 to 1800 nm), enabling a range of new applications in gas sensing, high-harmonic generation, and soliton delivery. Contact Fetah Benabid at pysab@bath.ac.uk.

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newsbreaks Fiber lasers improve rapid prototyping

Microfluidics and photonic crystals may yield optical integrated circuits

Rapid prototyping (also called generative manufacturing) is evolving from polymer-based prototyping to metal-based prototyping, thanks to the development of titanium, stainless, aluminum, and cobalt-chrome powders that can be melted or “sintered” one layer at a time using a laser. Research being conducted by SPI Lasers (Southampton, England) is now showing that rapid prototyping can be further improved by the better surface finish and increased fill density made possible by fiber lasers. Compared to conventional carbon dioxide (CO2 ) lasers, fiber lasers have a beam waist up to four times smaller (or 16 times the power- density) at the focal point. Using power levels of 200 W at 1070 nm, fiber lasers can produce 100% dense parts that exhibit 10 times the tensile strength of parts manufactured using CO2 lasers. The temporal and spatial stability of fiber lasers contributes to an overall improvement in the layer uniformity as metal parts are being fabricated, while the energyefficiency and compactness of fiber lasers make them attractive options for industrial-prototyping environments. Contact Steve Norman at steve. norman@spilasers.com.

Researchers at the European Laboratory for Non-Linear Spectroscopy (Firenze, Italy), the University of Trento (Trento, Italy), and the University of Paderborn (Paderborn, Germany) have used precisely controlled microscopic quantities of liquid (on the order of a femtoliter) to locally modify refractive indices in 2-D photonic crystals—a potential method for fabricating the optical equivalent of integrated circuits. A solution of water and the organic dye Rhodamine 6G (with refractive index high enough to introduce permitted states into the photonic bandgap) was introduced into selected pores of photonic crystal via capillary action using a micropipette positioned with 0.1 µm precision with respect to the photoniccrystal surface. A custom-built confocal laser-scanning microscope was used to monitor the process, assisted by the photoluminescence of the Rhodamine dye. Calculations confirmed that the researchers fabricated optical-resonator and waveguide structures as intended. Inserting liquids of specific refractive index and nonlinear constant, local light sources, and liquid crystals to tune the refractive index externally is expected to enable pixel-by-pixel fabrication of erasable and rewritable optical components, such as waveguides, active elements, and sources, as well the assembly of such optical components into integrated optical circuits. Contact Francesca Intonti at intonti@lens.unifi.it.

Imaging system records ocular interface reflections in vivo Pablo Artal and Juan Tabernero at the University of Murcia (Murcia, Spain) have built a prototype imaging system for recording reflections (called Purkinje images) from four ocular interfaces—air-cornea (PI), cornea-aqueous (PII), aqueous-lens (PIII), and lens-vitreous (PIV)—in vivo. The prototype imaging system contains a chin and forehead rest for the subject; a semicircular array of infrared LEDs to illuminate the eye; a telecentric camera objective and CCD camera to collect and record the reflections; an array of LEDs for the subject to fixate on; and other optical components. When an illumination source is aligned with principle line of sight in a well-aligned human eye, the reflection images align around a common center. PI and PII usually overlap due to small corneal thickness. PIII appears largest, and PIV appears inverted. The outermost circle, in the large image on the left of well-aligned reflections, traces the circumference of the pupil. The relative positioning of the Purkinje images changes, however, with misalignments, either among ocular surfaces or between the illumination source and the line of sight. The new instrument is expected to prove useful in basic studies of the eye and in clinical ophthalmology. Contact Pablo Artal at pablo@um.es.

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newsbreaks Subwavelength overlay targets show visible offsets As the feature sizes on silicon integrated-circuit (IC) chips become smaller (65 nm feature sizes are in production and 45 nm sizes are coming soon), precisely overlaying the different lithographic levels in IC-chip fabrication becomes ever more difficult. For example, the period of grating-based overlay targets (used for aligning layers to one another) becomes so small that the gratings only reflect zero-order specular light, making them useless for their purpose. Now, Richard Silver and his colleagues at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST; Gaithersburg, MD), K T Consulting (Antioch, CA), and International Sematech (Austin, TX) have developed grating overlay targets based on feature geometries much denser than the Rayleigh criterion for resolution, but that according to simulations are visible to optical systems using light at a 546 nm wavelength when overlaid. In a vernier fashion, two gratings with slightly different (190 and 200 nm) subwavelength pitches produce a much lower-frequency grating, which is easily detected in visible light. In addition, the targets magnify the effect of small offsets—for example, a 2 nm actual offset appears to be a 40 nm offset. Chipmakers are already working with NIST on implementing the technology. Contact Richard Silver at silver@nist.gov.

Elliptical beam speeds laser cutting Using patented technology from JMAR Technologies (San Diego, CA) in which an elliptical laser beam is used to improve material ablation, scientists at Coherent (Santa Clara, CA) and HBL (Daejeon, Korea) have determined the optimum focal-spot geometry for diode-pumped solid-state Q-switched lasers, which will improve singulation (cutting) of thin silicon wafers. In a series of experiments on silicon wafers less than 200 µm thick, changing a circular spot to an elliptical one (by inserting a cylindrical lens in the optical path before the scan lens) enabled a cutting-speed increase from 16.7 to 62 mm/s for a 100-µm-thick wafer when the major axis of the ellipse was aligned along the cutting direction. The elliptical beam apparently optimizes the laser fluence for a given pulse repetition rate and improves the material-removal rate for silicon. Contact Leonard Migliore at leonard. migliore@coherent.com.

Surface-discharge lamp zaps away lead paint Engineers at Phoenix Science and Technology (Chelmsford, MA) have demonstrated an optical approach to cleaning up the stubborn problem of lead paint in older housing; in the technique, short, intense pulses of light vaporize the paint’s surface layer, which can be vacuumed and collected in a filter. Although pulsed lasers can strip paint from aircraft, they are too expensive and complex to use for removing lead paint from housing, says Phoenix founder Ray Schaefer, while flashlamps don’t generate pulses that are short and intense enough. But Schaefer has developed a new type of lamp (top) in which a surface discharge (bottom) forms along a dielectric cylinder in the center of a xenon-filled tube. Separating the discharge from the outer glass tube allows the surface-discharge lamp to operate at higher energy and generate pulses shorter than 100 µs. Laboratory tests of a paint-removal system built around the lamp showed that zapping a piece of wood coated with two coats of dark-green lead paint reduced lead levels from 1.7 to 0.44 mg/cm2, meeting Environmental Protection Agency requirements. White lead paint absorbs much less visible light, but the lamp has peak emission in the UV, where all lead paints absorb strongly. Phoenix has a follow-up grant from the Department of Housing and Urban Development to develop a truck-mounted system for tests with a lead-abatement program in Lowell, Massachusetts. Contact Ray Schaefer at rschaefer@phoenixsandt.com. Laser Focus World

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F R E E - S PAC E O P T I C S

Laser link offers fiber quality through cloud cover The dream of global communication at terabit speeds appears to have moved closer to reality. Researchers at The Pennsylvania State University (Penn State; University Park, PA) have developed signal-processing technology for free-space optics intended for communication through 8 to 10 km of cumulus clouds, all the while retaining fiber-optic signal quality. “Radio-frequency communications are generally reliable and well understood, but cannot support emerging data-rate needs unless they use a large portion of the radio Data link Data link spectrum,” said Mohsen Kavehrad, the W. L. Transmitter Receiver Weiss profesUltra-short-pulsed FSO transmitter sor of electrical Channel Tp Vector Tp External Pulse train Pulsed laser engineering and generator modulator spectral encoding wavelet generator director, Penn m Lens Mask Lens an State Center for Grating Grating Information and CommunicaInput pulse Shaped pulse tions Technology Spectral encoding Research. “The Channel plates Lens Lens Air Force, which Grating is funding this Photo Optical Electronics Decision project through detectors amplifier receiver the Defense AdPenn State researchers have coupled state-of-the-art digital vanced Research signal-processing methods to a free-space laser-communiProjects Agency cations system intended to achieve fiber-optic signal quality (DARPA; Arlingthrough 8 to 10 km of cumulus clouds at gigabit data rates. ton, VA), would like us to deliver close to three gigabytes per second of data over a distance of six to eight miles through the atmosphere.” The potential for achieving such data rates with free-space optics has been traditionally limited by atmospheric clouds, fog, dust, dirt, water vapor, and gases that potentially disperse optical beams, thereby causing so-called “intersymbol interference,” in which each symbol within an optically transmitted message gets spread over many pulses and arrives at the receiver in numerous distorted fragments, somewhat like echoes in a canyon. Kavehrad and Sangwoo Lee, a graduate student in electrical engineering, presented an electronic signal-processing solution to this problem at the IEEE Military Communications Conference, held in Washington, D.C., last October. “In the past, laser-communication systems have been designed to depend on optical signal processing and optical apparatus,” Kavehrad said. “We can make an optical equalizer on paper now, but have no clue as to when it might actually be possible to make a physical one. So we coupled state-of-the-art digital signal-processing methods to a wireless laser-communications system to obtain a reliable,

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Incoherent light improves rainbow refractometry Optical-metrology techniques benefit from the use of semiconductor lasers as bright, low-noise sources with good beam properties, attractive emission properties, small dimensions, and high wall-plug efficiencies. Because the interference effects of coherent light can limit the resolution of certain measurements, however, a bright incoherent light source (ILS) can benefit such applications as optical-coherence tomography (OCT) and secure-chaos-encryption communications. For this reason, researchers at the Institute of Applied Physics at Darmstadt University of Technology (TUD; Darmstadt, Germany) and Sacher Lasertechnik (Marburg, Germany) have developed a novel incoherent semiconductor-laser source.1 Its use has been demonstrated in a rainbow-refractometry experiment in collaboration with the chair of fluid mechanics and aerodynamics at TUD. The ILS relies on the nonlinear dynamic properties of an external-cavity configuration. A Fabry-Perot laser with a center wavelength of 785 nm is collimated by a lens, partially back-reflected by a mirror, and reinjected into the cavity. By setting the ratio of the physical cavity length to the optical length of the semiconductorlaser cavity to 2.5, a resonance condition is achieved between the fundamental frequency of the laser cavity and the external cavity that facilitates enhanced coupling between the longitudinal laser modes, resulting in broadband emission.

Tunable coherence To achieve such conditions, the coherence length of the laser source can be tuned in the range of meters down to the submillimeter scale using the opticalfeedback phase as the control param-

Continued on p. 24

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high-capacity optical link through the clouds. If you don’t limit yourself religiously to the words ‘all-optical’ and consider electro-optical as well, there is a lot that can be accomplished.” Signal processing

The Penn State approach uses proven signal-processing technology and offthe-shelf equipment. The basic algorithm, maximum likelihood sequence detection (MLSD), dates back to the 1950s and, in principle, offers the most accurate results. Instead of detecting symbols one at a time on arrival, MLSD involves writing the length of a communication channel into memory and then processing the entire sequence. “When you are detecting one symbol at a time, overlap in adjacent symbols is considered the enemy,” Kavehrad said. “Overlap becomes useful if you wait, however, because MLSD can reconstruct moreaccurate symbols by simultaneously using all of the information stretched over nu-

merous adjacent pulses.” The number of calculations quickly becomes unwieldy, even with modern computing technology, because multigigabit data rates yield nanosecond-wide symbols. And in any channel where there is dispersion, even in fiber, the symbols are stretched over many pulses. So the trick is to artificially shorten the channel. “Instead of 150 symbols, you may only store 15 symbols upon which to do the estimate,” Kavehrad said. “It’s not quite as exact, but it makes an unrealizable problem realizable.” In laboratory simulations of the technique Kavehrad’s team has achieved biterror rates between 10 –9 and 10 –12. The technique won’t work through, for example, ground-fog distances of 200 km. But 8 to 10 km through cumulus-cloud layers should be plenty for the air-toground needs of the U.S. Air Force, he said. Among cloud types, cumulus presents the largest optical-thickness values (scattering coefficient multiplied by the

distance to be traveled), because they occupy the lowest altitudes and therefore include atmospheric dirt in addition to water droplets. Optical-signal dispersion in 8 to 10 km of cumulus clouds falls within the Mie regime, in which scattering tends to be longitudinally directed along the line of beam travel. Larger optical paths are associated with Rayleigh scattering, which is omnidirectional and much more computationally intensive. Currently, DARPA is funding implementation and technology-maturation phases of the project in parallel. Lockheed Martin (Akron, OH) is building a link, for the implementation phase, across 54 miles of New Mexico desert (not through cloud cover). Researchers at Penn State and at Teledyne Scientific and Imaging (Thousand Oaks, CA) are developing air-to-ground systems that will actually communicate through clouds. A U.S. Army project involves communicating to and from a tank

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through the oil-fog and smoke emitted from the tank’s smoke generator. Because the Penn State approach provides fiber-optic-quality signals, it also offers a potential alternative for extending fiber-optic systems to rural areas without laying cable and may eventually expand the Internet in a third dimension, allowing airplane passengers a clear, continuous signal, according

to Kavehrad. The ultimate military goal, however, is the capability for terabit data speeds between Earth and airplanes and orbiting satellites. “Global communication at terabit speeds has to have free-space optics,” Kavehrad said. “There is no other way to get terabits to a plane. You can’t run a fiber to it. It would be nice, but you can’t do it.” Hassaun A. Jones-Bey

Continued from p. 21 sensitive superluminescent light-emitting diodes, the ILS offers a potentially lower-cost, simpler alternative. In the refractometry experiment, water droplets with diameters between 400 µm and 1 mm were trapped by an acoustic levitator Coherent illumination 8 and illuminated by collimated light 6 from the broadband 4 incoherent source. Θ The image of the 2 scattered-light dis0 tribution from the 137 138 139 140 141 ILS was then comScattering angle Θ (degrees) Incoherent illumination pared to the distriAn image showing angular-intensity distribution for a bution occurring rainbow-refractometry experiment using coherent when the light source illumination (top left; coherence length 7.8 m) shows was tuned to coherpronounced unwanted interference ripple structures. But ent emission with for incoherent illumination (bottom left; coherence length a 7.8 m coherence 120 μm), the smooth intensity distribution as a function of length (see figure). scattering angle improves the refractometry result. The smooth data distribution from the ILS enables improved Rainbow refractometry is a noninvadetermination of the droplet characsive optical-measurement technique teristics, and demonstrates its use in a with applications in such industrial sample metrology experiment. and technological processes as in“One major advantage of our ILS is its ternal combustion engines, medicine, potential for optical metrology in many and agriculture. In the technique, the fields, since it allows realization of intemperature or size of liquid droplets coherent semiconductor-laser light in in a medium is analyzed by determina broad spectral range between the ing the angular intensity distribution UV and mid-IR,” says Michael Peil, one of the scattered light. Interference efof the researchers. Current and future fects between reflected and refracted work concentrates on different laser light beams under coherent illumination types for realization of ILS devices in complicate the interpretation of the inthe near- and mid-IR ranges, with aptensity distribution, and thus the deterplications in remote sensing such as mination of the desired information. In maximizing robustness and minimizing contrast, when the coherence length is size of fiber-optic gyroscopes. shorter than the diameter of the dropGail Overton lets, the simpler interference pattern allows for more accurate determinaREFERENCE tion of the droplet size. Compared to 1. M. Peil et al., Appl. Phys. Lett. 89, 091106 costly pulsed laser sources or feedback(2006).

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DARMSTADT UNIVERSITY

Power (a.u.)

eter. The reported coherence length of 120 μm for this 110 mW broadband light source benefits many metrology applications in which unwanted interference effects—such as the well-known speckle phenomena—can now be avoided.

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X-RAY IMAGING

Single-shot x-ray diffraction aims at imaging macromolecules The desire to image macro- and biomolecules is driving the move to very short wavelengths. X-rays have long been used to examine periodic structures such as atoms in crystals; while this use requires only fairly weak x-ray radiation to generate a unique diff raction pattern, imaging a single molecule at x-ray wavelengths will require a much more intense, spatially confined beam for illumination. Fortunately, sources for intense coherent x-ray beams are being developed; however, radiation damage significantly limits the capabilities of conventional approaches. Damage is caused by energy deposited into the sample by the probes used for imaging (this applies to other types of high-resolution probe beams as well, such as electron or neutron beams). Cooling can slow down sample deterioration, but it can-

not eliminate damage-induced sample movement during conventional measurements. The molecule can lose its binding electrons and break before giving rise to its specific diff raction pattern. A few years ago, researchers at Uppsala University (Uppsala, Sweden) predicted that ultrashort, high-intensity x-ray pulses from free-electron lasers could allow diff ractive imaging of single biological molecules.1 The idea was to take advantage of the mass inertia of atomic constituents against kinetic disintegration during the build-up of Coulomb potential by ionization. Those authors calculated the radiation damage as a function of photon energy, pulse length, and intensity and found that, during interaction with a single x-ray pulse, a molecule generates its specific diff raction pattern a few femtoseconds before being significantly damaged.

X-ray free-electron laser

Now an international working group based at Deutsches Elektronen-Synchrotron (DESY; Hamburg, Germany), which includes the Uppsala team and a team from Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (Livermore, CA), has investigated that prediction experimentally, using DESY’s recently completed soft-x-ray gigawatt free-electron laser (see www. laserfocusworld.com/articles/245104).2, 3 As a first test at a 32 nm wavelength, a single micrometer-size pattern cut through a 20 nm silicon nitride membrane was used as the scattering object (rather than a molecule, which is the ultimate goal), just to show that a diffraction pattern can be obtained from such a structure before it disintegrates, and that the diffraction pattern can be evaluated uniquely to reconstruct the object’s structure. The authors expect that later

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Multilayer mirror

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Single-shot diffractive soft-x-ray imaging of submicrometer patterns is obtained with light from the free-electron laser at DESY (above).The object pattern containing two stick figures produces a diffraction pattern (right); a mathematical reconstruction results in an accurate x-ray image (far right).

on, when pulses with shorter wavelengths become available, macromolecules can be imaged in a similar way. A beam of ultrafast (25 fs) pulses, each containing about 1012 photons, was focused onto the silicon nitride membrane containing the object pattern (two stick figures and a star), supplying a power density of 4 × 1013 W/cm2 (see figure). The membrane spanned a 20-mm-wide rectangular window in the sample plate.

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DESY

1 µm

The light scattered from the window containing the pattern was collected by a mirror and reflected to a CCD array at an on-axis distance of 55 mm, while the unscattered beam passed through the mirror via a central hole. The multilayer mirror was designed to yield optimum reflectivity for the locally varying angles of incidence. In this way, a single xray shot generated a diffraction pattern that contained a rectangular cross due

to diff raction at the edges of the rectangular window in the sample holder, and in addition a speckle pattern generated by the object pattern that extended to a 15° angle. A central “black hole” was due to the hole in the mirror, which passed a direct beam. Two characteristic speckle sizes can be seen in the diffraction pattern, one relatively large and the other very small. The larger speckles arise from interference

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within the narrow (submicrometer) inner apertures of the stick figures, corresponding to single-slit diffraction; the smaller speckles are a result of diffraction encompassing both stick figures and the star. A second, subsequent x-ray shot produced predominantly a rectangular cross as the diffraction pattern, demonstrating that the preceding pulse had destroyed the object (this was confirmed by a scanningelectron micrograph). The mathematical reconstruction closely matches the original object pattern. The DESY experiment has shown that a fundamental principle of physicsâ&#x20AC;&#x201D; that of the inertia of massâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;can be exploited for destructive x-ray imaging of microscopic masses, if at a sufficiently small time scale. Uwe Brinkmann REFERENCES 1. R. Neutze et al., Nature 406, 752 (2000). 2. H. N. Chapman et al., Nature Physics 12 (November 2006). 3. V. Ayvazyan et al., Eur. Phys. J. D 37, 297 (2006).

IMAGING MICROSCOPY

Hybrid microscope probes plasmonic nanostructures

Researchers at JILA, a joint institute of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST; Boulder, CO) and the University of Colorado (Boulder), are developing a method of imaging nanostructures that is intended to enhance and complement existing microscopy techniques; it does this by combining diff raction-limited optical excitation with detection of photons and low-kinetic-energy photoelectrons.1 The researchers ultimately hope to combine confocal-fluorescence or Raman spectroscopy with timeresolved photoelectron imaging spectroscopy for applications such as the investigation of local plasmonic effects in nanostructures. So far, they have demonstrated a scanning-photoionization microscopy (SPIM) technique that could, in principle, yield spectroscopic information in thin nano- and Laser Focus World

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operated coarse and fi ne translation stages (see Fig. 1). The researchers performed fluorescence measurements by collecting red-shifted photons with the microscope objective and focusing them through a confocal pinhole into a single-photon-counting photomultiplier module, enabling subsequent generation of confocal-microscopy images. In addition, multiphoton absorpFIGURE 1. A scanning photoionization microscope (SPIM) includes an optical microscope (in vacuum tion enabled photoionization imaging using a Faraday cup that chamber, background) and an ultrafast laser collected photoelectrons to pro(appears as blue, foreground). duce a photocurrent, which the mesostructured polycrystalline metal researchers measured using a picoampatterns, spatially resolved down to meter as a transimpedance amplifier. the single-molecule level. Electron kinetic-energy distributions Their experimental apparatus were also obtained by slowly varying enables simultaneous measurement the Faraday-cup bias. of optical-penetration depth and twoThe researchers observed photophoton photoemission cross section from a diff raction-limited spot size in a photolithographically patterned polycrystalline gold fi lm placed on a glass cover slip. Comparison of these measurements with atomic-forcemicroscopy scans indicates that photoionization contrast varies 20 Âľm as a function of electron escape FIGURE 2. A false-color SPIM image (right) depths and thickness variations reveals the same physical structure of a gold across the sample. The researchpattern on glass as an atomic-force-microscope ers also implemented a simple image (left), but the high-intensity regions form of spatially resolved photo- in the SPIM image indicate that electron emission spectroscopy, which ejection is much more efficient at metal edge they expect to enhance using discontinuities. time-of-fl ight electron-energy analysis. emission at three distinct intensity levels: zero detectable photocurrent from Ti:sapphire light source the glass cover slip (a wide-band-gap The light source in their scanninginsulator), a small but fi nite photocurphotoionization microscopy setup rent from the solid parts in the polywas a Kerr-lens passively modelocked crystalline thin metal fi lm, and strong Ti:sapphire oscillator driven by a photoemission at the metal fi lm edges frequency-doubled diode-pumped (see Fig. 2). solid-state Nd:YVO4 (vanadate) pump The combination of high deteclaser. Frequency doubling and dispertion sensitivity, structural informasion compensation yielded 415 nm, tion, and strong surface specificity 100 fs pulses with 0.18 nJ pulse enermakes developing chemically sensigies, which were focused to a neartive photoelectron spectroscopy with diff raction-limited spot at the sample high spatial and temporal resolutions by a Schwarzschild-type reflective miparticularly desirable for investigating croscope objective. The sample was heterogeneous nanostructured materiscanned over the stationary laser beam als as well as surface-enhanced Raman using a combination of independently scattering (SERS)-active nanoparticles

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in complex environments, such as on electrode sensors or thin fi lms. “The method is in its infancy, but never theless it does have the power to provide a new set of eyes for looking at nanostructured metals and semiconductors,” said David Nesbitt, who leads the research group. The group is currently investigating the even more interesting possibility of mapping out plasmonic contributions to photoemission spectroscopy explicitly in the frequency domain by tuning the system over a series of excitation wavelengths. The research is supported by the Air Force Office of Scientific Research (Arlington, VA) and the National Science Foundation (Arlington, VA). Hassaun A. Jones-Bey REFERENCE 1. O.L.A. Monti et al., J. Chemical Physics 125, 154709 (Oct. 21, 2006).

SOLID-STATE LASERS

Telecom technology enters competition to supplant argon-ion lasers Technology developed during the telecom boom of a few years ago is currently turning plenty of heads in the commercial laser markets with the rapidly expanding use of industrial fiber lasers. It appears, however, that the fiber laser is not the only case in which telecom-based technology is challenging traditional laser-system design for commercial applications. For instance, at Photonics West this January, JDSU Periodically Fiber Bragg (San Jose, CA) plans to poled Beam-shaping/ Laser diode grating crystal light loop enter the market with a 488 nm diode-pumped solid-state laser in a fiber-based architecture targeted at markets for biotech instrumentation, digital printing, and semiconductor manufacturing, and which resembles an erbium-doped-fiber-amplifier (EDFA) module. The idea of a compact 488 nm solid-state contender aiming for a piece of the market domain held by argon-ion lasers is not new. Laser-industry heavyweights Coherent (Santa Clara, CA) and Newport (Irvine, CA) have already entered that market with optically pumped semiconductor lasers (see www.Laser Focus World.com/articles/ Schulze, Dec. 2006) and frequency-doubled external-cavity semiconductor lasers (see www.laserfocusworld.com/articles/276768). JDSU is entering this fray with an emitter designed like an EDFA. A 976 nm diode is coupled through single-mode fiber, first to a fiber-Bragg-grating (FBG) gain element, then into a periodically poled waveguide for frequency conversion, and finally into optics for beam shaping and stabilization. The laser module will also have an optional fiber-coupled output port. “The point is to design and build lasers in a totally different way, based on telecom processes and practices—rather than the custom, highly skilled approach of traditional laser manufacture—to take advantages of economies of scale,” says Len Mirabella, director of marketing for commercial lasers at JDSU. Mirabella adds that the inherently scalable technology platform will also enable extension of this approach to other wavelengths for different industries and different markets. Hassaun A. Jones-Bey

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A decade ago, experiments first showed that focusing femtosecond laser pulses into a piece of undoped glass could permanently change its index of refraction.1 Yet the underlying physical mechanisms behind this effect remain elusive; while many groups have adopted the technique to manufacture optical waveguides, the quality associated with the fabrication process is often substandard for many of the contemplated commercial applications. One barrier to improving the process has been the lack of diagnostic tools capable of measuring the refractive-index change with the desired sensitivity and spatial accuracy. Now, researchers from the Technische Universiteit Eindhoven (TUE; Eindhoven, The Netherlands) and Translume (Ann Arbor, MI) have demonstrated a thermal technique that reveals with great spatial accuracy the subtle changes resulting from the focusing of weak femtosecond pulses in fused silica.2 Principal investigator Yves Bellouard, an assistant professor at TUE, acknowledges that near-field refractometers, commercially available from a few vendors, are capable of measuring small index changes, but he points out that their spatial accuracy is at best marginal for this application. This lack of appropriate analytical tools motivated his work to find an alternative diagnostic. Thermal and topographical mapping

Bellouard and his collaborators are using a scanning thermal microscope (STh M; an atomic-force microscope equipped with a cantilever incorporating an embedded thermal probe) to detect femtosecond-generated index changes in fused silica. During scanning, the STh M cantilever follows the sample’s surface topology. From the resulting data, a topographic profile of the scanned surface is created. At the same time, the thermal probe locally heats the sample surface to a set temperature; the power needed to reach this target

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Conductivity mapping of a femtosecondlaser-exposed specimen of four different laser tracks (top) and corresponding topography (bottom) were obtained with a scanning thermal microscope. The topography map is used to identify changes in thermal conductivity that only result from structural changes in the material. The conductivity map reveals that some of these waveguides, fabricated in two passes, show an imperfect overlap.

temperature is monitored, and from this data a thermal map is obtained. The two data sets are compared to identify local changes of thermal conductivity resulting from material changes. With a Ti:sapphire laser producing 100 fs pulses at 800 nm and a 250 kHz repetition rate, the researchers wrote parallel lines at varying spacings in a 15-mm-wide sample of high-purity fused silica (Dynasil 1100), all of them 400 µm below the surface. The lines were written at a rate of 500 µm/s in the same scanning direction. The fi nished sample was cut with a diamond saw, then polished for examination with the STh M; topography and thermal-conductivity properties were measured (changes in thermal conductivity and in refractive index are both caused by the femtosecond pulses, and are thus intimately related).

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“To date, writing waveguides in fused silica with femtosecond pulses is a rather slow process,” says Bado. “The processing speed depends on numerous factors (including the desired optical quality of the waveguide, index difference between the core and the cladding, cross-section shape, and ability to carry long wavelengths such as 1550 nm). It is typically in the 20 to 500 µm/s range. Using the thermal data collected by Professor Bellouard, we intend to improve the efficiency of the writing process. For example, we are looking at improving the writing optics (spot size, spot symmetry, and so on) using the thermal data. Hopefully, this will result in a faster writing speed and will increase the commercial potential of this technique.” John Wallace

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REFERENCES 1. K.M. Davis et al., Optics Letters 21 (November 1996). 2. Y. Bellouard et al., Applied Physics Lett. 89, 161911 (2006). 3. J.W. Chan et al., Optics 26 (November 2001).

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Higher refractive index does not necessarily mean densification in the traditional sense (that is, more matter), notes Philippe Bado, one of the researchers. Although fused silica is amorphous from a global point of view, on a short scale it exhibits some order in the form of rings of molecules; when exposed to femtosecond pulses, the proportion of smaller rings increases.3 “We believe this results in a change in refractive index (the molecular bonds in the small rings are more ‘stressed’) without requiring more material,” says Bado. The SThM allowed the researchers to detect the thermal footprint associated with femtosecond-generated waveguides. The associated refractive-index change was measured to a spatial accuracy of better than 50 nm. With this precision, manufacturing defects associated with the direct-write process and related hardware were clearly visible (see figure). Bellouard and his colleagues are now using this data to improve the waveguide-manufacturing process.

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Optomechanical sensing gets very cool indeed Radiation pressure—the ever-present but (usually) exceptionally weak effect of incident light—is already predicted to play a role in some of the most sensitive optical measurements, such as the next generation of gravitational-wave interferometers. But recent work by Pierre-François Cohadon and his group at the Laboratoire Kastler Brossel (Paris, France) has for the first time experimentally confirmed the prediction that radiation pressure can passively cool microresonator mirrors, driving them to temperatures as low as 10 K.1 The result is promising for the pursuit of one of the “holy grails” of condensed-matter research: reaching the quantum ground state of a macroscopic resonator. The method has been shown to measure the displacements of a microresonator mirror with a thousandfold improvement in sensitivity over previous methods. The researchers cut 1-mm-long holes

1 mm apart in a silicon wafer using deep reactive-ion etching, forming a doubly clamped silicon beam (see figure) to form one mirror of a Fabry-Perot cavity. The other, a standard curved low-loss coated silica mirror, was used to couple in a highly stable 1064 nm TEM00 laser beam. The technique relies on the Pound-Drever-Hall technique, a feedback approach in which the laser is phase-modulated and the relative phase of the reflected sidebands compared. At low frequencies, the resulting error signal helps to cavity-lock the resonator and the incident laser; at higher frequencies, it provides a measure of the displacements of the resonator mirror. Previously such optical-sensing attempts have used resonators with a finesse (a measure of the reflectivity of the optics and thus the sharpness of the cavity resonance) on the order of 10. The quality of the substrates and coatings in



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measurement time—represents an improvement of three orders of magnitude over the best previous approach of using single-electron transistors as detectors in nanoscale resonators.2 Passive radiation cooling

But the most significant result, says

Cohadon, is the demonstration of cooling solely due to radiation pressure. In 1999, the same team pioneered an active, feedback-controlled cooling mechanism that registered the displacements of a cavity mirror and canceled them with externally applied radiation pressure in a scheme akin to noise-canceling headphones. 3 But in the new work, Cohadon says, “the

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the new research resulted in a finesse of 30,000. Such a high finesse allows a high cavity-storage time, or number of round trips in the cavity, effectively increasing the sensitivity of the displacement measurement to 4 × 10–19 mHz –1/2 at 1 MHz. This sensitivity—corresponding to a billionth of the size of a single atom for a 1 s

A cooled microresonator cavity is represented, adjacent to three roomtemperature resonators (top); the actual resonators are cut into a silicon wafer (bottom).

intracavity radiation pressure does everything by itself; it is a ‘passive’ mechanism.” Nonlinear coupling between mirror motion and the optical field results in an “optical-spring” effect: by detuning the cavity from resonance, the intracavity radiation pressure is modified by the mirror’s motion and the corresponding radiation pressure modifies the effective “spring constant.” The finite storage time of the cavity creates a lag between mirror displacements and changes in the force, and the mirror

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is subjected to a force with a component proportional to its velocity. The result is additional damping—made significant by the high-fi nesse cavity— that effectively quenches the Brownian motion of the mirror, lowering its temperature. Such self-cooling techniques are a tantalizing prospect for those who work at the border between classical and quantum physics; the researchers have already characterized their system for experiments in search of macroscopic quantum ground states and zero-point fluctuations.4 With only the quantum noise as a fundamental limit, the next steps are the study of the quantum aspects of both the resonators themselves and the light field contained within. In contrast to the previous most effective nanoresonator approach, the current method must necessarily use resonators at least as big as the micron-scale laser spot, meaning lower displacements and lower ultimate temperatures required to reach the quantum ground state. But Cohadon is convinced that the technique can do the cooling itself and has sensitivity to spare, noting that there is room for improvement in the fi nesse limited only by the quality of the resonator optics. “As for the long-term goal to see the quantum ground state of a mechanical resonator,” he says, “performing the experiment at liquid-helium temperature or below is of course a required beginning.” That gives a head start of two orders of magnitude in temperature. From there, the passivecooling mechanism should bring the experiment firmly up against Heisenberg’s limit, at which point condensedmatter research will truly make a quantum leap. D. Jason Palmer

CAVITY-RING-DOWN SPECTROSCOPY

LED approach may yield inexpensive field systems Researchers at the University of Nebraska (Kearney, NE) have reported successful use of light-emitting diodes (LEDs) in-

stead of laser sources to perform cavityring-down spectroscopy (CRDS). (In CRDS, a high-finesse optical cavity con-

REFERENCES 1. Arcizet et. al., Nature 444, 71 (2006). 2. LaHaye et. al., Science 304, 74 (2004). 3. Cohadon et. al., Phys. Rev. Lett. 83, 3174 (1999). 4. Arcizet et. al., Phys. Rev. Lett. 97, 133601 (2006).

D. JASON PALMER is a freelance writer based in Florence, Italy; e-mail: djasonpalmer@gmail.com.

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0701lfw_41 41

www.laserfocusworld.com

January 2007

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Traditionally, CRDS has been performed with pulsed-laser sources offering spectral resolution well LED Gas in under 1 nm. The bulk, expense, and Function relatively high electrical-power congenerator sumption of pulsed-laser sources Electronic trigger line have tended to confine such systems Gated photon counter to the laboratory, however. Light from a pulsed LED (570 nm, 12 nm full width The development of cavity-ringat half maximum) was coupled into a 32 cm linear down spectroscopy systems based optical resonator, and a ring-down waveform on continuous-wave (CW) lasers obtained on a gated photon counter. This LED (switched on and off periodically approach to cavity-ring-down spectroscopy may by an acousto-optic modulator, for lead to development of inexpensive gas sensors instance) offers the possibility of and atmospheric-monitoring systems. using relatively inexpensive and taining the gas or liquid specimen enables compact laser-diode sources; howvery sensitive measurements; see www. ever, these only operate over relatively laserfocusworld.com/articles/219797). narrow spectral bandwidths that, while While LEDs do not provide the high providing high spectral resolution, also spectroscopic resolution of laser sources, limit the breadth of potential applicathe low cost and broad bandwidth of LED tions for systems in the field. sources could extend the use of CRDS to Handling a weak signal a much broader range of potential appliLight-emitting diodes offer much cations in the form of inexpensive, porbroader bandwidth and are much less table optical-sensing systems. Gas out

-HV

expensive than laser sources in terms of cost and power consumption, but the inefficiency of coupling the relatively diff use light from an LED through the entrance mirror to a ring-down cavity yields an output signal too weak to be measured using the conventional waveform-sampling approach (photodiode or photomultiplier with oscilloscope). The Nebraska researchers got around this problem by measuring the signal cumulatively using a photomultiplier tube and photon-counting electronics (see figure). The LED source was a yellowgreen LED, switched on and off electronically at frequencies ranging from 5 to 16.5 kHz. Each ring-down waveform took about two minutes to acquire; the spectral resolution at full-width halfmaximum was ±12 nm. “Light-emitting-diode CRDS offers certain practical advantages when high spectroscopic resolution is not needed,” said Jon Thompson, an assistant professor at the University of Nebraska. Potential

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applications, using currently available LEDs and ring-down mirrors in visible and near-IR spectral regions, include sensing of gases such as iodine, bromine, ozone, nitrogen dioxide, and the nitrate radical. An additional application of the LED-CRDS technique may be to monitor atmospheric particulates that affect air quality and visibility. “It would be exciting to extend the LED method into the UV region where it could be applied to more absorbers, but so far work with the LED technique has only been in the visible region,” Thompson said. “But there is no fundamental reason that the technique can’t be applied to other frequencies by using different LED wavelengths, provided an LED has been developed at the desired wavelength.” Possible methods for improving the performance of LED-based systems include using brighter or multiple LED sources (see www.laserfocusworld.com/ articles/254166). Another possibility might be to excite the resonator cavity from within, thereby avoiding coupling losses through the cavity’s entrance mirror. Significant improvements might eliminate the need for photon-counting electronics and enable the use of an oscilloscope or fast data-acquisition card, he said. The researchers are also considering the merits of CW LED illumination,

which would enable sensing through cavity-enhanced spectroscopy instead of CRDS. Some work has already been done in that field with very positive results, Thompson said.2 Cavity-enhanced spectroscopy measures integrated output power, which, like the ring-down time constant, depends on the contents of the cavity, but unlike the ring-down time constant, can be measured using a CW signal. Continuous-wave measurements, however, introduce concerns related to source/detector drift and stray light. Making the LED CRDS technique available for widespread commercial use would require additional development to create an integrated system. The university has fi led a provisional patent and hopes to interest a small instrument company in further developing the commercial aspects of the technique. In the meantime, the researchers are looking into making LED-based measurements in other spectral regions and developing broad-bandwidth sensing systems covering spectral regions up to 50 nm wide. Hassaun A. Jones-Bey REFERENCE 1. J.E. Thompson and K. Myers, Measurement Science and Technology 18, 147 (January 2007). 2. S. M. Ball et al., Chem. Phys. Lett. 398, 68 (2004).

OPTOFLUIDICS

Miniature stretchable dye laser tunes in the visible Small, broadly tunable lasers can be of great use in spectroscopy (see www. laserfocusworld.com/articles/259939). In the interest of developing such lasers for use in the visible spectrum, researchers at the California Institute of Technology (Pasadena, CA) have created a stretchable optofluidic dye “laser on a chip.”1 Because the chip is made of polydimethysiloxane (PDMS) polymer, a tug by a mechanical actuator quickly and precisely changes the period of the device’s distributed-feedback (DFB) geometry, and thus the output wavelength. While a single laser of this type might

have a tuning range of 30 nm, arrays of lasers on one chip (or, alternatively, changing the dye in a single laser) potentially allow for tuning across the entire visible spectrum.

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Using soft-lithographic replica molding, the researchers fabricated an optofluidic DFB waveguide-laser cavity; the 2 × 3 µm cross section of the waveguide ensured single-mode operation (see figure). Periodic PDMS posts spaced 3080 nm apart along the 1 cm waveguide defi ned a 15th-order DFB

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An integrated array of five optofluidic dye lasers has DFB periods ranging from 3080 to 2240 nm.

Bragg grating and also kept the waveguide from collapsing. A solution of Rhodamine laser dye with a refractive index of 1.409 was introduced into the waveguide, the cladding of which had a refractive index of 1.406. The 3080 nm DFB period results in a 15th-order resonant wavelength of 577.8 nm and a free spectral range (FSR) of 41.3 nm (other DFB orders

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are possible depending on the dye used). At most, two resonances are supported within the FSR, but gain discrimination ensures that only a single longitudinal mode actually lases. The laser is optically pumped by an Nd: YAG laser emitting 6 nm Q-switched pulses at a 532 nm wavelength. The waveguide serves as a microfluidic channel; if need be, the dye within the waveguide can quickly be replaced by other dye types. The dye can either be flowing, to replace dye bleached by the pump-laser light, or remain unmoving in the waveguide (acceptable for some experiments with low levels of pulsed pump light). The researchers tuned the laser by gluing its two ends to micrometer stages (one with a resolution of 1 µm) so that the laser was suspended between them, and moving one stage. A tuning range of 565 to 594 nm (15th order) was achieved with Rh6G dye; another dye, Rh101, resulted in a 613 to 638 nm range (14th order).

January 2007 www.laserfocusworld.com

The PDMS prototype endured stretching and relaxation without failure. “We tried 100 cycles without fatigue,” says Zhenyu Li, one of the researchers. “The excellent elastic properties of PDMS have enabled the material to be used for on-chip mechanical valves for microfluidic manipulations; such valves show no fatigue after 4 million actuations in which the deformation is larger than what we used (about 5%). The allowed elongation of PDMS given in its specification is 120%.”2 The proof-of-concept device is low in optical output. “We haven’t measured the average power yet because of the short pulse duration, low repetition rate (10 Hz), and small emitting area,” notes Li. “The emitted energy per pulse is expected to be less than 100 nJ, but the intensity can be as high as 50 kW/cm2 and can be seen by the naked eye. The device has not yet been optimized for maximum power because the pump shape is not matched to the laser-cavity shape.

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If high power is desired, the transverse laser dimension can be increased.” In addition to its obvious application in visible/near-IR absorption spectroscopy, the stretchable laser would be wellsuited for use in multiplexed biological and chemical sensors such as multiplexed surface-plasmon-resonance-

based sensors and multicolor-fluorescence-actuated cell sorters, says Li. John Wallace

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REFERENCE 1. Z. Li et al., Optics Express 14(22) (Oct. 30, 2006). 2. M.A. Unger et al., Science 288 (April 2000).

RAMAN SPECTROSCOPY

SERS and silver nanorods quickly reveal viral structures

YIPING ZHAO, UNIVERSITY OF GEORGIA

Surface-enhanced Raman scattering tural parameters such as spacing and (SERS)—a process that increases the tilt angle, however, Zhao and chemistry sensitivity of Raman spectroscopy by professor Richard Dluhy found a way to exploiting surface-plasmon effects—is significantly amplify the Raman signal. emerging as a promising nanoscaleTheir patented method involves placing imaging modality. Still, while this 30rows of silver nanorods at a density of year-old technique overcomes the sen13 nanorods/mm2 and a 72°±4° angle sitivity limitations of standard Raman spectroscopy by inExcitation creasing the Raman signal up light Raman scattering to a millionfold, it suffers from some very practical problems: notably the lack of easily and affordably produced uniform substrates (see www. laserfocusworld.com/artiAg cles/274732). nanorod Researchers at the UniverAg film sity of Georgia (UGA; Athens, Glass GA) have developed a SERS Researchers at the University of Georgia used technique that can detect viruses, silver-nanorod arrays and SERS to rapidly (30 to and potentially other bioagents, 50 s) detect human viruses in specimen volumes much faster than existing apand differentiate between respiratory viruses, virus proaches using a method that of- strains, and viruses containing gene deletions fers the ability to manufacture without manipulating the virus. consistently uniform silver subfrom the normal on the substrate that strates.1 Their spectroscopic assay, based on SERS using silver-nanorod-array subholds the sample (see figure). strates fabricated by oblique-angle depo“The big problem with SERS is the sition, allows for rapid detection of trace ability to create a large substrate with levels of viruses with a high degree of high sensitivity that is also very unisensitivity and specificity, according to form,” Zhao said. “Our technique to Yiping Zhao, assistant professor of physfabricate the substrate is thin-fi lm depoics at UGA. sition—the same as is used in semiconWhile Raman spectroscopy has preductor manufacturing—so we can make viously been used to characterize virus very uniform nanorods and large-area structure, unenhanced Raman specsubstrates. These novel substrates allow troscopy has a very small scattering us to develop SERS-based biosensors cross section, limiting its use as a lowrapidly, accurately, and cost-effectively level bioanalytical sensor. By experito detect extremely low levels of viruses, menting with different nanorod structhus bridging a critical need for a rapid, Laser Focus World

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sensitive, and reliable means of diagnosing or detecting viruses that does not currently exist.” Multiple substrates, multiple spots

In initial experiments, the UGA group was able to measure the SERS response

of different virus samples and detect differences between viruses, viral strains, and viruses with gene deletions in biological media—all in under a minute. The prototype system comprised a near-IR confocal Raman microscope, a fiber-optic-interfaced 785 nm diode laser, and cooled

CCD detectors. The laser power at the sample varied from 10 to 15 mW, with spectral-collection times in the 30- to 50-second range. Using SERS, spectra were collected from multiple substrates and multiple spots across each substrate with enhancement factors of greater than 10 8. To determine the capacity of SERS to distinguish different RNA viruses, the baseline-corrected enhanced Raman spectra of adenovirus (Ad), rhinovirus (rhino), and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) have been acquired. “The results of these studies show that the SERS spectra of viruses can be used to rapidly distinguish between viruses and virus strains, thus serving as a rapid and reproducible means to molecularly fi ngerprint viruses,” Zhao said. “These results also suggest that it is possible to use SERS to collect the spectra of various viruses and virus strains to develop a reference library of vibrational Raman fi ngerprints that can be used to rapidly and accurately identify viruses in very small (0.5 to 1.0 µL) volumes.” Since these initial experiments, Zhao and his colleagues have been working to develop a smaller, less-sensitive, portable system that uses a fiberoptic probe for clinical and field-based applications. Their goal is to enable the technology to be used outside a lab environment for applications such as detecting water pollution, explosives, and nuclear waste. “Th is technique saves days to weeks,” said Ralph Tripp, eminent scholar in vaccine development at the UGA College of Veterinary Medicine. “You may someday be able to apply it to a person walking off a plane and know if they’re infected.” Tripp said the system’s preliminary results are so promising that the researchers are also working to create an online encyclopedia of Raman shift values. With that information, a technician could readily reference a Raman shift for a particular virus to identify an unknown virus. Kathy Kincade REFERENCE 1. S. Shanmukh et al., NanoLetters 6(11) 2630 (2006).

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FEMTOSECOND-LASER ABLATION

Ultrafast pulses raise optical absorbance in metals In the process of studying laser-matter interactions, researchers at the University of Rochester (Rochester, NY) have found evidence that the underlying physics may not be thoroughly understood. For instance, the commonly accepted idea that femtosecond-laser ablation leaves negligible heat in the ablated material appears to be inaccurate, at least for metals. The upside of this discovery, however, is that certain materials produced through femtosecond-laser-pulse irradiation may fi nd important industrial uses. Femtosecond-laser ablation has found a wide range of applications that include high-precision materials micromachining, thin-fi lm deposition, generation of ultrashort x-ray pulses, and synthesis of nanoparticles. The commonly held view of femtosecond-laser ablation is that energy deposited by ultrashort laser pulses does not have enough time to move into the bulk sample. One of the reasons for this misperception may be that a lot of ablation is performed in dielectric materials as opposed to metals, which have higher conductivity. Even in looking at metals, no one had directly measured energy absorbed following femtosecond-laser ablation because it is very hard to perform such

THESE FEMTOSECONDLASER-INDUCED STRUCTURES CAN INCREASE ABSORBANCE TO VIRTUALLY 100%. a measurement, according to Chunlei Guo, assistant professor of optics at the University of Rochester. Normally, what is measured is the incident and reflected energy; the absorbed energy is then calculated as the difference of the two. “With ablation, you damage the surface; it will be very difficult to measure the absorbed energy this way, because all the

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A femtosecond-pulse-created “black” metal has close to 100% optical absorbance.

diffuse reflectance cannot be easily collected,” Guo said. So his team measured absorbed energy directly using a calorimetric technique that has been previously used in studying interactions between nanosecond lasers and matter .1, 2 The researchers used an amplified Ti: sapphire laser system generating 60 fs pulses with energies of about 1.5 mJ/ pulse at a 1 kHz repetition rate and a central wavelength at 800 nm to illuminate sample metals. Calorimetric measurements of temperature change in the bulk sample enabled determination of energy deposition in the material, which was divided by the incident energy to provide an accurate absorbance ratio. Using these methods to test different metals at different levels of energy deposition, the researchers found gradually increasing levels of absorbance. A mechanically polished undamaged metal surface typically has about 10% absorbance. A femtosecond-laser-treated metal surface fi rst develops nanoscale roughness in the form of nanobranches and spherical nanoparticles; as pulse energy increases, microscale structures can arise in the form of micropores, circular microgrooves, central microchannels, and regular periodic ripples. A further increase of pulse energy can also lead to displacement and redeposition of ablated materials. Finally, these femtosecond-laser-induced structures can increase absorbance to virtually 100%. “When you create nanoscale structures, you tremendously increase the surface area, which would be also useful in chemistry,” Guo said. The additional surface area can be used to make fuel cells more efficient, for ex-

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ample, by enabling addition of much more catalyst to a reaction, because the catalyst could be spread over much larger areas. Relating to the interaction of highintensity lasers with matter in general, Guo said, “there are a lot of things we still don’t understand. These are very violent processes in which, for example, thousands of photons may knock on a single atom at the same time. So the processes become highly nonlinear. We are also looking at the responses of individual atoms and molecules of interest in high fields. Th is study, by reducing the complexity from many particles in materials to an individual atom or molecule, helps us to understand laser-matter interactions at a very fundamental level.” Hassaun A. Jones-Bey REFERENCE 1. C. Guo, SPIE Proc. 6118(08) 1 (2006). 2. A. Y. Vorobyev and C. Guo, App. Phys. Lett. 86, 011916 (2005).

SUPERCONTINUUM SOURCES

Compact femtosecond laser emits white light Supercontinuum or white-light laser sources—suitable for applications in spectroscopy and microscopy—usually consist of a pump laser and a microstructured fiber (either a photonic-crystal fiber or a tapered fiber). Although 80 fs pulses from a Ti:sapphire laser and 200 fs pulses from an ytterbium (Yb):glass laser have already been used to generate supercontinuum light, researchers at the Universität Stuttgart and the Max-Planck-Institut für Festkörperforschung (both in Stuttgart, Germany) have demonstrated a morecompact and lower-cost portable femtosecond supercontinuum source with a footprint of only 62 × 23 cm2 and a folded-cavity design.1 An isotropic 9.5% Yb-doped phosphate glass with dimensions 5 × 2 × 4 mm3 is

used as the gain medium and all parameters are polarization independent, allowing the use of unpolarized fiber-coupled laser-diode pump sources that have a better beam quality than laser-diode bars. Because even moderate pump powers can produce high output, a Peltier cooler can be used instead of water cooling. The laser cavity consists of a z-folded design with a total resonator length of 7.5 m, which leads to a pulse repetition rate of 20 MHz (see figure). The laser medium is pumped by a 976 nm, 5.2 W fiber-coupled laser diode from a multimode fiber with a 50 μm core diameter. The laser beam is focused onto a semiconductor saturable-absorber mirror (SESAM) that supports stable solitary modelocking. To minimize the number of components, the intracavity disper-

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SESAM Glass plates sion and self-phase modM1 M2 ulation are compensated M4 M3 by flat dispersive mirrors. M8 M5 Finally, an output coupler M6 delivers the output from LD M7 BiFi L1 L2 M10 the resonator, which M9 Yb:glass OC achieves its long beam The compact structure of this femtosecond path primarily through a supercontinuum source depends on multiple lenses and Herriott-type multipass mirrors in a z-folded cavity configuration. The beam path cell at the center of the inside the multipass cell (between mirrors M4 and M5) is cavity. only indicated for clarity; in fact, the beam bounces nine Although the cavity times on each of the two mirrors. structure appears complex, its configuration is mathematically power of 290 mW was achieved between determined by a simple equation. The 400 and 1650 nm when 600 mW of averlaser can be tuned by inserting a 1-mmage power was coupled into the fiber by thick quartz plate within the cavity that the laser. acts as a birefringent filter. Pulses with The 0.43% root-mean-square (rms) 180 fs pulse width can be tuned between intensity noise of the pump laser re1038 and 1047 nm, for example. In the sulted in an overall 0.79% rms intensity modelocked regime using pump powers noise for the white-light source. For a between 4.5 and 5.2 W, the laser generat- 15 nm spectral section around a center ed 150 fs pulses at a pulse repetition rate wavelength of 633 nm, computed noise of 20 MHz. Below 4.5 W, continuouswas only 2.34% rms. wave (CW) operation of the laser was The researchers expect that the footobserved. print of this compact laser could be furNext, this femtosecond laser was used ther reduced by using smaller mechanical to pump three different kinds of tapered components. “Compared to a combinafibers to generate supercontinuum light. tion of a Ti:sapphire laser with a green To protect the laser against backreflecpump laser and a nonlinear fiber, this tions from the fiber, a Faraday isolator system is at least half the size,” says Felix was placed between the laser-output Hoos one of the researchers. “By using coupler and the fiber-coupler optics. All custom components and a smaller pump three fibers had a waist length of 90 mm, diode, we believe that it should be posbut different waist diameters of 2.0, 2.7, sible to nearly halve the size of the laser and 4.3 μm. The smallest waist diameter described in this paper, and it should also produced a supercontinuum spectrum be possible to save much space by using shifted into shorter ultraviolet wavesmaller fiber-coupling optics.” lengths, while the thickest waist diamGail Overton eter shifted the spectrum into longer REFERENCE infrared wavelengths. For the 2.7-μm1. F. Hoos et al., Optics Express 14(22) 10913 (Oct. 30, 2006). waist fiber, a spectrum with an average

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Topographically rough scape and image the N fault-zone corridor n = 36 Abandoned forest-floor topography, drainage W E including the traces of Dextrally Faults and dragged ridge active faults. S lineaments Use of lidar to locate faults was pioFaulted and incised terraces neered in the Puget lowlands west of SeatSu rfac tle, WA, and along the e fa ult Faulted quaternary terrace trac northern San Andreas e Possible trench site fault system in California. The European Ground surface model Topographically rough 0 km 0.25 0.5 (trees removed) fault-zone corridor team used lidar data to generate detailed With trees removed, the Idrija Fault Zone is clearly revealed on topographic images of the lidar image (based on digital spatial data licensed from the the Idrija and Ravne Natural Environment Research Council). strike-slip faults in the operating at a wavelength of 1.06 µm Eastern Alps in northwest Slovenia (see and a repetition rate of about 30 kHz. figure). The area has a history of seismic activity. There have been three significant earthquakes recorded in the last 30 years: Data-correcting algorithm a 1976 event measuring 6.4 moment mag- From an operating altitude of 600 to 1000 meters, the resulting height nitude (a scale similar to but now superdata has an absolute accuracy of betseding the Richter scale), a 1998 event ter than 15 cm, although relative accumeasuring 5.6, and a 2004 event measurracy is usually better. Analysis of the THE TEAM USED LIDAR last-pulse-return data indicated that a significant number of returns were not DATA TO GENERATE coming from the ground, but rather from objects in the forest canopy. To reTOPOGRAPHIC IMAGES solve this problem, the team used an alOF FAULTS IN THE gorithm developed at TerraSolid (Jyvaskyla, Finland) to compute a surface EASTERN ALPS IN model based on the generation of soNORTHWEST SLOVENIA. called triangulated irregular networks from known ground-return points. “This study highlights the potential ing 5.2. The largest earthquake ever recorded in the Alps-Dinaride junction was contribution of lidar surveying in both low-relief valley terrain and high-relief the 1511 western Slovenia earthquake, mountainous terrain to a regional seiswhich measured 6.8 and was responsible mic hazard assessment program,” says for at least 12,000 deaths. team leader Dickson Cunningham, a reAerial lidar surveys of the region searcher from the University of Leicester were flown in 2004 and 2005 by the (Leicester, England). “Many regions of U.K. Natural Environment Research the world have undiscovered seismicalCouncil (NERC) Airborne Remote ly active faults hidden by dense forests. Sensing Facility Piper Navajo ChiefThese include Indonesia, India, northtain aircraft , using an ALTM 3033 liwest North America, all Andean nations, dar instrument manufactured by Opand the Alpine countries of Europe. Untech (Vaughan, Ont., Canada). The fortunately for people living in these reIdrija survey covered a swath apgions, these faults can be ticking time proximately 2.2 km wide and 23 km bombs. For the first time, we are able to long and was flown over a gentle valsee how the faults connect at the surley. The Ravne Fault survey covered a face and cut the landscape. This allows swath approximately 2.4 km wide and us to assess whether the faults are likely 17 km long and was flown over a rugto produce large earthquakes or small ged mountainous region in the Krn events in the future.” and Vogel Ranges. The lidar system is Bridget Marx based on a Nd:YVO 4 (vanadate) laser

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Trapped sodium atoms lose remaining degrees of freedom A technique demonstrated by researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST; Gaithersburg, MD) appears to complete a decades-long quest for total control of atomic motion. For many years scientists have controlled atomic internal states through nuclear-magnetic resonance and Raman scattering to change the spin. And in the last 20 to 25 years, laser cooling and trapping has been used to control the linear-momentum state. Now, the NIST researchers have demonstrated control of the orbital angular momentum (OAM) or the rotation state around a center of mass; finally it appears that all degrees of freedom have been accounted for. The researchers used a two-photon stimulated-Raman process to transfer OAM from photons in two counterpropagating laser beams to a cloud of sodium atoms trapped in a Bose-Einstein condensate (BEC). The NIST team is the first to actually demonstrate a process that has been described theoretically during the past decade numerous times, according to team member Kristian Helmerson. But unlike theoretical proposals for making up and down Raman transitions between different spin states, the NIST group went from at-rest to in-motion between two different OAM states. This was essentially a matter of practicality, Helmerson said. Because the atoms were confined in a magnetic trap, changing spin states would have released them from the trap. The team is currently looking into demonstrating the theoretically proposed method also, he said. Raman stimulation was applied to the cloud of trapped sodium atoms by counterpropagating Laguerre-Gaussian (LG) and Gaussian (G) laser beams with the same linear polarization and a variable frequency difference. The wavelengths of the two counterpropagating beams were detuned slightly from the 589 nm excited-state resonance for sodium.1 The variable frequency difference imparted a linear momentum to the atoms in the Bose-Einstein condensate, and orbital angular momentum was imparted by the OAM difference between the longitudinal Gaussian beam and the radial intensity profile and helical phase of the LG beam. The vehicle for linearmomentum transfer was diffraction of atoms through a moving optical dipole potential generated by the frequency-differenceinduced interference of the counterpropagating beams. The optical-dipole potential was not sinusoidal, however, because of the orbital angular momentum of the LG beam. Interference between the two counterpropagating beams created an interference pattern in the shape of a corkscrew instead of the standing wave that would have been created between two plain Gaussian beams. The pitch of the corkscrew was determined by the wavelength of the beams. Any desired 2-D atomic state

Diffraction from this optical-corkscrew pattern produced a rotating state in the condensate, a matter wave diffracted by the corkscrew into a donut-shaped cloud of atoms, in essentially the reverse of the diffraction process that generated the rotating LG

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Counterpropagating Laguerre-Gaussian (left) and Gaussian (right) laser beams with the same linear polarization and a variable frequency difference converge upon a sodium-atom cloud trapped in a Bose-Einstein condensate (BEC; top). The atoms that undergo Raman transitions (bottom, right cloud) separate from those that do not (bottom, left cloud); a spatially localized pump beam enables independent imaging with a CCD camera of each cloud by absorption of a probe beam propagating along the direction of linear-momentum transfer.

beam from a plane Gaussian. Helmerson described this as the atom-optics analogue of a phase hologram, enabling one

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to generate any desired 2-D atomic state using a suitable hologram. “In this case we’ve actually made a grating out of light and diffracted the matter wave to create a donut shape,” he said. “We have a program in atom optics to create atomic analogues of optical phenomena.” They also demonstrated the coherence necessary for quantum processing, by creating superpositions of different rotation states within the BEC, where the relative phase between the states was determined by the relative phases of the optical fields. “People have already used the orbital angular moment of photons for quantum information processing,” Helmerson said. “Now we can do it with atoms.” The process offers a new and well-controlled way of creating a vortex state in a BEC and generating arbitrary superpositions of atomic rotational states; thereby complementing existing tools for controlling linear momentum and spin angular moment, and thus enabling total control of an atom, Helmerson said. “But

January 2007 www.laserfocusworld.com

this is just the first experiment and more refinements are yet to come,” he added. In addition to superposition of macroscopic states in atomic vapors for quantum information processing, potential applications include generating superflows in which, for instance, the orbital angular momentum of condensate atoms confined to a ring-shaped trap lossless flow, similar to the toroidal superflow of liquid helium or to the lossless flow of electrons in a superconductive material. The research team included staff from NIST and the Joint Quantum Institute operated by NIST and the University of Maryland (College Park, MD), and guest researchers from the Indian Institute of Science (Bangalore, India) and the Institut für Experimentalphysik, Universität Wien (Vienna, Austria). Hassaun A. Jones-Bey REFERENCE 1. M.F. Andersen et al., Phys. Rev. Lett. 97, 107406 (DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.97. 170406) week ending Oct. 27, 2006.

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laser industry report Mobius comes out of stealth mode Founded in 2005 by former engineers and executives from Lightwave Electronics, Mobius Photonics (San Jose, CA) plans to informally launch its fiber-laser technology at Photonics West. The company will hold private demonstrations of its green (532 nm) and blue (355 nm) fiber lasers, which are initially being targeted at the industrial market—specifically, precision applications in microelectronics. According to Laura Smoliar, Mobius founder and CEO, the company’s initial technology platform can deliver very high repetition rates in the nanosecond regime with very fast pulses, which translates into high throughput for industrial materials-processing applications at the micro and nano scales. In addition, the user can change the pulsewidth without changing the beam shape, which isn’t always the case with diodepumped solid-state lasers, she says. The company plans to introduce this technology in the medical and display markets, as well as to the industrial market.

Laser specialist Exitech acquired by Oerlikon Oerlikon (Pfäffikon, Switzerland) acquired the laser technology, staff, and equipment of Exitech (Oxford, England), a worldwide provider of nano and micro laser systems. Oerlikon’s optics, solar, and wafer-processing business units will benefit from the acquisition. Because Oerlikon has had to purchase external technology for the process of laser scribing or cutting its solar cells into functioning modules, the acquisition is important. “With Exitech’s expertise, which we will now integrate in Oerlikon, we will be able to control the full value-adding process in the solar segment,” says Oerlikon CEO Thomas Limberger. The acquisition of Exitech’s laser technology opens up valuable knowhow for other Oerlikon business units in manufacturing and structuring of color

filters and optic sensors, or the production of semiconductors.

Iridex to buy Laserscope aesthetic business A definitive agreement has been signed with American Medical Systems Holdings for Iridex (Mountain View, CA) to acquire the laser aesthetics business of medical-laser systems manufacturer Laserscope (San Jose, CA). American Medical purchased Laserscope in June of this year. Under terms of the agreement, Iridex will acquire certain assets and liabilities of Laserscope including numerous patents, and expects to integrate Laserscope’s manufacturing requirements into its Mountain View facility to increase production yields and enhance gross margins for both its ophthalmology and dermatology businesses.

QPC & Finisar terminate license agreement An agreement initiated in September 2003 that gave Finisar (Sunnyvale, CA) a nonexclusive license to the technology and intellectual property (IP) of QPC Lasers (parent of Quintessence Photonics; Sylmar, CA) was terminated. “Since we became a public company in May of this year, QPC felt it was important to give our investors the

BinOptics receives additional funding To support the scaling of its line of telecom and datacom lasers designed for high-speed applications (up to 10 Gbit/s), BinOptics (Ithaca, NY) closed its Series C round of funding totaling $6 million. The funding will also be used to accelerate product development of etched-facet blue lasers for optical storage applications. For more business news visit www.optoelectronicsreport.com.

Also in the news . . . Oxford Lasers (Dicot, England) announced that its management team now owns 100% of the equity in the company through a management buyout. . . . NL Nanosemiconductor (Dortmund, Germany) acquired Zia Laser (Albuquerque, NM); both companies are developers of quantum-dot lasers. . . . Fiber laser manufacturer SPI Lasers (Southampton, England) is opening a business support office in Shenzhen, China. . . . Rofin-Sinar Technologies (Plymouth, MI and Hamburg, Germany), developer and manufacturer of high-performance laser beam sources and laser-based solutions, experienced net sales of $420.9 million for the 12 months ended Sept. 30, 2006— an increase of $45.7 million or 12% over the comparable period in 2005. . . . Diode-laser manufacturer Alfalight (Madison, WI) has named Pacer International (England) and Appletec (Israel) as new distributors. . . . Lytron (Woburn, MA), manufacturer of cooling systems for optoelectronic equipment and lasers, launched a new German Web site at www.Lytron.de.

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exclusive right to our rich IP portfolio going forward,” said QPC cofounder and CFO George Lintz. “The original license agreement gave QPC the option of termination within five years and we always expected to exercise our termination right.” In 2001, Finisar invested $5 million in equity in QPC, and in 2003 the company secured the license agreement in exchange for adding another $5 million to its significant equity position. The termination of the license agreement secures the IP portfolio for QPC and benefits QPC and Finisar alike—especially considering that Finisar remains the single largest shareholder with 6.75 million shares of QPC Lasers common stock.

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optics industry report Axsun Series D funds MEMS spectrometers A $15 million Series D financing round led by Electro Scientific Industries (ESI; Portland, OR)—a supplier of production laser systems for microengineering applications—was closed by Axsun Technologies (Billerica, MA) to enhance its microelectromechanical systems (MEMS)-based core “spectral engine” offerings in industrial process spectroscopy, including the pharmaceutical, homeland-security, and optical-communications markets. In 2006 Axsun extended its micro-optical platform, introducing a unique Raman spectrometer engine to identify unknown substances.

the same advanced design as the Hubble Space Telescope, and seeks an injunction preventing Meade and the distributors from advertising the telescopes as having an advanced Ritchey-Chrétien design. Star Instruments specializes in Ritchey-Chrétien optical systems—a specialized Cassegrain telescope design with a hyperbolic primary and a hyperbolic secondary mirror that delivers a large, coma-free field of view from edgeto-edge, allowing astrophotographers to capture tack-sharp images over a wider field. Ritchey-Chrétien configurations are most commonly found on high-performance professional telescopes such as NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope.

Star Instruments sues Meade over optics

InPhase technology wins CPIA award

Optical systems manufacturer Star Instruments (Newnan, GA) filed a federal lawsuit against Meade Instruments (www.meade.com) citing deceptive claims that Meade’s RCX400 and LX200R line of telescopes use the Ritchey-Chrétien technology. The lawsuit alleges that Meade and the distributors falsely described inexpensive telescopes produced by Meade as having

The Colorado Photonics Industry Association (CPIA; Longmont, CO) awarded InPhase Technologies (also in Longmont, CO) The Photonics Innovator of the Year award. Formed as a spinoff from Lucent Technologies in 2000, InPhase has successfully developed the technologies for holographic optical storage, and is now commercializing holographic optical-storage drives

Also in the news . . . According to a new technical market research report entitled “Spectroscopy (IAS004C)” from BCC Research (Wellesley, MA), the total U.S. market for spectroscopic instruments will cross $5.2 billion by 2010. . . . Crystal and optical component suppliers Crystech (Qingdao, China) and VLOC (New Port Ritchey, FL; a subsidiary of II-VI) signed an agreement under which VLOC will market, sell, and distribute Crystech products in the U.S. and Canada exclusively. . . . Sterling Precision Optics (Evanston, IL), manufacturer of optical filters, tempered optics, lenses, and optical windows, is approaching its 50th year in the optics industry. . . . Oakley (Foothill Ranch, CA) is expanding its military optics business by acquiring all the assets of Eye Safety Systems (ESS; Sun Valley, ID), supplier of military, law enforcement, and firefighting protective eyewear. . . . Researchers at the 8.2 m Subaru Telescope (Mauna Kea, HI) achieved “first light” with the instrument’s new adaptive-optics system that includes a laser guide star for a 10× resolution improvement. . . . Corning (Corning, NY) announced that its wholly owned subsidiary in the People’s Republic of China hosted a groundbreaking ceremony for a new liquid-crystaldisplay (LCD) glass substrate finishing facility in Beijing, China.

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and media. In September 2006 InPhase demonstrated the world’s first commercialized holographic storage product. In addition, CPIA gave The Photonics Company of the Year award to Particle Measuring Systems (Boulder, CO).

Europe intensifies support for photonics Photonics has been given a firm place in the European Union’s 7th Framework Programme (FP7). The European Commission plans to create a new unit dedicated to photonics and to increase funding for the enabling technology by more than 40% ($120 million) for photonics in 2007 and 2008. Rosalie Zobel, director of DG Information Society and Media of the European Commission, underlined the importance of photonics as a business area and invited Photonics21 (see www.laserfocusworld.com/articles/245125) to support the E.U. and the community to maintain competitiveness. Through the efforts of Photonics21, the topic has been taken up by eight other units within the Directorate-General for Research and incorporated in market areas such as the life sciences and manufacturing.

Barr Associates to provide filters for JWST Lockheed Martin has selected Barr Associates (Westford, MA) to provide filters for the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) near-infrared camera (NIRCam), a filter-based instrument covering the spectral range of 0.6 to 5.0 microns. Barr is responsible for the design, manufacture, and testing of the full compliment of 30 filters. The NIRCam is the primary imager used in the JWST and will also be used for a critical wavefront sensing function to ensure the various main mirror segments are precisely aligned. For more business news visit www.optoelectronicsreport.com. www.laserfocusworld.com

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imaging detector industry report

Emcore invests in photovoltaics Semiconductor-based components and subsystems provider Emcore (Somerset, NJ) has agreed to invest $18 million in WorldWater & Power (Pennington, NJ), a developer and marketer of photovoltaic systems for terrestrial power generation, including proprietary electrical motor drive technology for water pumping. In return, Emcore will retain 31% equity ownership in WorldWater. The two companies have also formed a strategic alliance and supply agree-

generation IR detectors. The new factory introduces a molecular-beam-epitaxy (MBE) manufacturing process, which upgrades Sofradir from 2-inch to 4-inch mercury cadmium telluride wafers. Sofradir products are used in thermal imagers, missile seekers, and other surveillance, targeting, and homing IR equipment.

Alps Electric secures pocket-projector license

Northrop Grumman acquires Essex

Electronic components manufacturer Alps Electric Co. (Tokyo, Japan) was

In a transaction valued at approximately $580 million, Northrop Grumman has signed a definitive agreement to acquire for cash all of the outstanding shares of Essex (Columbia, MD), a company that provides signal-processing services and products and advanced optoelectronic imaging for U.S. government intelligence and defense customers. Northrop Grumman expects the transaction to close in the first quarter of 2007 and expects the transaction to be neutral to 2007 earnings and accretive beginning in 2008.

Also in the news . . . The U.S. Army has awarded Northrop Grumman (Apopka, FL) a $15 million dollar contract for the company’s battle-proven Lightweight Laser Designator Rangefinder (LLDR) with reduced weight and improved night-vision capability. . . . The District Court of Düsseldorf, Germany ruled in favor of OC Oerlikon Balzers (Oerlikon, Germany) that its German patent DE 197 089 49 C2 was infringed by Prodisc’s (Taiwan) projection-display color wheels. . . . NanoOpto (Somerset, NJ) and Moxtek (Orem, UT) are jointly developing a suite of nanotechnology-based products that will initially support applications addressing the projection display and consumer imaging markets. . . . Goodrich (Princeton, NJ) was awarded a contract from the U.S. Air Force Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Battlelab (Nellis Air Force Base, NV) to develop and fabricate a shortwave-infrared (SWIR) sensor for the Spectre-Finder initiative to demonstrate the potential of a recoverable unmanned aircraft system. . . . Digital-imaging company Andor Technology (Belfast, Northern Ireland) was listed (for the seventh consecutive time) on the Deloitte 2006 Fast 50 Ranking for Irish companies.

ment under which Emcore becomes the exclusive supplier of high-efficiency multijunction solar cells, assemblies, and concentrator subsystems to WorldWater—a contract valued at up to $100 million over the next three years.

Imaging-sensor contracts go to Dalsa

granted an exclusive license to the University of Cambridge’s (Cambridge, England) core patent for a holographic video projector technology, developed in the the school’s department of engineering. Alps Electric says it intends to manufacture miniature projectors based on the technology that will be New IR-detector highly energy efficient, always in focus, factory approved Sofradir (Veurey-Voroize, France), a de- and extremely robust—making them veloper and manufacturer of advanced ideal for building into laptops, mobile infrared (IR) detectors, received buildphones, and other portable devices. ing permission to construct a new facCambridge Enterprise—which helps tory near Grenoble, France, allowing the University of Cambridge inventors, incompany to practically double its pronovators, and entrepreneurs make duction surface and mass-produce third- their ideas and concepts more comLaser Focus World

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mercially successful—agreed on the license arrangement with Alps Electric. The collaborative team built a prototype that was demonstrated in Tokyo earlier this year. “The miniature projectors we will manufacture will make conventional light valve data projectors obsolete,” said Motohiro Shimaoka, board director and head of Business Development Headquarters for Alps Electric.

Dalsa (Waterloo, ON, Canada) received contracts totaling $5 million to deliver image sensor chips to two customers in the x-ray imaging and photogrammetry fields over the next two years. For the first contract, the imagesensor chips will be “the eyes” of the customer’s digital x-ray system, which is currently gaining market acceptance as an increasing number of hospitals and clinics worldwide make the investment in digital tools. The second customer will use Dalsa’s high-resolution chips in a large-format photogrammetry camera system, which is designed to capture highly detailed imagery. For more business news visit www.optoelectronicsreport.com.

www.laserfocusworld.com

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fiber optics

industry report

IPG share price soars after IPO debut After IPG Photonics (Oxford, MA) announced the pricing of its initial public offering (IPO) of 9 million shares of common stock at $16.50 per share (see www.laserfocusworld.com/articles/279683), Reuters reported later in the day that IPG shares rose as much as 56 percent to $25.70 as investors were attracted by its revenue growth and increased applications for its products. The IPG shares are quoted on the Nasdaq Market under the symbol IPGP. IPG sold 6.2 million shares, while selling stockholders, including Valentin Gapontsev, chairman and CEO, and other board members, sold about 2.8 million shares.

Alcatel-Lucent finalizes merger Lucent Technologies (Murray Hill, NJ) and Alcatel (Paris, France) announced the completion of their merger transaction. The new company AlcatelLucent is incorporated in France, with executive offices located in Paris; its stock will be traded on Euronext Paris and the New York Stock Exchange under a new common ticker (ALU). “Through this merger, we are bringing together two top-ranking compa-

nies to form an undisputed leader in the industry,” said Patricia Russo, appointed as CEO of Alcatel-Lucent. “Alcatel-Lucent is a strong and enduring ally that service providers, governments and enterprises can count on to help them unlock new market and revenue opportunities. Both Alcatel and Lucent embraced a common culture of innovation and excellence that will help ensure the success of our merger.”

JDSU reports positive first-quarter earnings Optical products and communications test-and-measurement provider JDSU (Milpitas, CA) announced positive results for its fiscal 2007 first quarter. On a non-GAAP EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization) basis, the company earned $9.6 million for the quarter ended Sept. 30, 2006. “The achievement of positive earnings per share on a non-GAAP basis for the first time in more than five years marks another significant milestone on the company’s journey to sustained profitability,” said Kevin Kennedy, CEO .

LSI to buy Agere for $4 billion In a new combined company to be called LSI Logic, LSI Logic (www.lsi-

Also in the news . . . The IEEE 802.3 Higher Speed Study Group is evaluating 20 Gbit/s 1310 nm lasers used in a five-channel coarse wavelength-division multiplexing (CWDM) configuration and 25 Gbit/s lasers in a four-channel configuration from Apogee Photonics (Allentown, PA) for future 100-gigabit Ethernet applications. . . . Opnext (Eatontown, NJ), an optical-networking subsidiary of Hitachi, hopes to raise $150 million in an initial public offering (IPO) of stock, according to a prospectus filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. . . . Redfern Integrated Optics (Santa Clara, CA), developer and manufacturer of optical transmitters for the data and telecommunications markets, has secured an additional $7 million for continued development of silicon integrated-photonics products. . . . Phoenix Contact and Siemens have selected Avago Technologies (San Jose, CA, and Singapore) Fast Ethernet optical transceivers with digital diagnostic monitoring interface for future industrial networking applications.

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logic.com) and Agere Systems (www. agere.com) have entered into a definitive merger agreement under which the companies will be combined in an all-stock transaction with an equity value of approximately $4.0 billion. According to the companies, LSI’s wellestablished presence in the storage and consumer electronics markets and Agere’s broad footprint in storage, mobility, and networking should enable them to drive sustainable long-term growth and shareholder value through the strengthening of its combined platforms and the expansion of its existing customer relationships.

Luxtera awarded DARPA transceiver grant CMOS photonics maker Luxtera (Carlsbad, CA) has been awarded the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Electronic and Photonic Integrated Circuits (EPIC) Phase II contract based on successful completion of Phase 1 of the project, which resulted in the world’s first 40 Gbit/s dense-wavelength-divisionmultiplexing (DWDM) single CMOSchip transceiver. Phase II of the project will result in a 40 Gbit/s transceiver offering improved performance, smaller size, and lower power than demonstrated in Phase I. The transceiver will also be designed so that it can scale to a 100 Gbit/s transceiver.

NeoPhotonics expands DWDM product line NeoPhotonics (San Jose, CA) acquired Paxera (Santa Clara, CA) as part a significant expansion of its product line for reconfigurable dense-wavelengthdivision-multiplexing (DWDM) highcapacity optical networks. Paxera’s ultrawidely tunable lasers are expected to enhance NeoPhotonics’ existing broad line of network products. For more business news visit www.optoelectronicsreport.com. www.laserfocusworld.com

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Image simulation is a diffractionbased computation that includes the effects of geometrical aberrations, diffraction, relative illumination variations, and distortion. Blurring due to a finite-sized detector can also be included. The algorithm uses the power of the Fast Fourier Transform (FFT) calculation, and is much more efficient and accurate than geometrical ray-blasting techniques. If optical performance is critical to the success of your product, there is only one choice for your optical design software—CODE V.

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Accurate part location is key to successful use of machine vision

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or simple vision-guided robotic (VGR) applications, a VGR package from a robot supplier can in some cases reduce integration time. Typically, however, companies experienced in industrial machine-vision provide the broadest range of machine-vision technology, with the most reliable vision tools for part location, inspection, measurement, and code reading. The first step in any machine-vision applicationâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;and the one that usually determines whether the application succeeds or failsâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;involves locating the part within the cameraâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s field of view. Vision-guided robotic or inspection performance is significantly limited when a vision sensor canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t provide repeatable part location because of process variability. It is therefore important to become familiar with factors that can cause parts to vary in appearance because part variability can make pattern matching for accurate part location extremely challenging.

varying appearance that are common to production lines as mentioned above. Geometric pattern-matching technology, in contrast, learns a partâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s geometry using a set of boundary curves that are not tied to a pixel grid. The soft ware

Bryan Boatner then looks for similar shapes in the image without relying on specific gray levels, yielding a major improvement in the ability to accurately find parts despite changes in angle, size, and shading.

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Part location Traditional pattern-matching technology relies upon a pixel-grid analysis commonly known as normalized correlation. This method looks for statistical similarity between a gray-level model (or reference image) of a part and portions of the image, to determine the partâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s x-y position. Though effective in certain situations, this approach limits the ability to find parts and the accuracy with which they can be found, under conditions of

Vision guidance provides precise part location to robots in many palletizing applications in which processing multiple parts and eliminating costly precision fixtures are required.

BRYAN BOATNER is product marketing manager for In-Sight vision sensors at Cognex, 1 Vision Dr., Natick, MA 01760; e-mail: bryan. boatner@cognex.com; www.cognex.com.

So geometric pattern matching becomes almost essential to ensure accurate and consistent part location when

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many variables alter the way a part appears to a vision system. While several machine-vision companies offer geometric pattern matching, each vendor interprets the concept in a proprietary way. So performance characteristics vary widely, potentially making it difficult to determine the best suited machine-vision software for a particular application. Yield, its importance and quantification Yield is defined as the fraction of images for which the vision system either finds the correct part if one is present, or reports that no part has been found if one is not present. Yield depends on the quality of the images presented to the vision system and on the capabilities of the pattern-recognition methods in use. High yield is the single most important property of a pattern-recognition method for use in robotic guidance. Failures may result in lost productivity as production stops for human assistance, damage to or destruction of valuable parts, and even damage to production equipment. The cost of failures over the life of a vision system is generally far greater than the original purchase price. No vendor can specify patternmatching yield in advance. Yield can only be measured under a given set of conditions. A vision system operating at typical production speeds can be expected to see anywhere between one and ten billion images in its lifetime, representing conditions that are not easy to predict at the outset. Since yield cannot be predicted, and a billion images cannot be evaluated, some other strategy must be used to obtain reasonable confidence in the capabilities of the vision system. One useful strategy is to choose a variety of samples and test for a wider range of conditions than you expect to find in your application. Vary the part presentation angle and distance from camera. Vary the focus and illumination. Add shadows, occlusions, and confusing background. Another possible strategy is to record the images used for your evaluation, including the training images. This process provides a consistent foundation from which to compare competing systems, and to compare different parameter settings. A third approach is to ask your vendor for advice

January 2007 www.laserfocusworld.com

in using his or her product. An experienced vendor will have seen similar applications and will be able to offer advice in achieving the highest yield. Geometric pattern-matching accuracy Pattern-matching accuracy can be defined as the statistical difference between the pose (position, angle, and size) of a part reported by the vision system and its true pose. Generally, accuracy is reported using “3-sigma” (3σ) values, which means that three standard deviations (99.7%) of reported values can be expected to be within the stated accuracy of the true value. Pattern-matching accuracy is surprisingly difficult to specify and measure. The accuracy obtained in practice depends on several factors. One of these factors is that the capacity of a part to convey information about position, angle, and size, which depends on the size and shape of the part, is a fact of geometry. Nearly circular parts provide little information about angle. Another is the quality of the images, and particularly the extent to which the part shape matches the trained pattern, which determines the extent to which the pose information is corrupted. A third factor is the ability of the patternmatching method to extract pose information from images with varying degrees of corruption. Clearly vendors have no control over the first two factors, and thus cannot specify in advance the accuracy that will be obtained. Therefore, all vendorsupplied accuracy claims represent somewhat ideal conditions of part shape and image quality. Such claims are useful and meaningful if the test conditions are not so artificial as to be unrealistic, and if the tests are conducted with sufficient care and sophistication. Ask vendors how accuracy numbers were obtained, and remember that for a given application, accuracy cannot be predicted but must be measured. Testing accuracy during evaluation The hardest part of testing accuracy lies in knowing what the result should be, particularly as the part is moved. One simple test involves capturing many images without moving the part or chang-

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ing any other conditions, and measuring the standard deviation of the reported pose. This is probably the least useful of available tests, however, because only the effect of image noise is measured and most pattern-matching methods are fairly immune to uncorrelated noise. Another possible test involves holding the part stationary but varying illumination (or lens aperture) and focus, while moving something over the part. The true pose does not change, and a good geometric pattern-matching system should report consistent poses even under these conditions. Other testing alternatives include moving the part using an x-y stage and measuring the variation in reported angle and size; rotating the part and measuring the variation in reported size; and training two targets on a part, rotating the part, and measuring the variation in reported distance between the targets. Determining accuracy requires considerable measurement sophistication because of several factors. Results are meaningless unless the part is moved relative to the pixel grid, since grid quantization effects have a far greater effect on accuracy than image noise. Also, geometric pattern-matching accuracy is (or should be) so high that it is extremely difficult to move parts by amounts that are known more accurately than the errors that you are trying to measure. In addition, geometric pattern-matching accuracy is so high that the effects of lens distortion and sensor pixel aspect ratio are significant and must be accounted for. Vision-to-robot calibration Once vision-sensor yield and accuracy are determined, calibration between the vision system’s pixel-based coordinate system and the robot’s coordinate system is vital for success. Whether the application involves conveyor tracking for pick-and-place, palletizing, or component assembly, vision-to-robot calibration is required to maintain system accuracy and repeatability. Calibration is one of the biggest challenges because it involves more than coming up with a scaling factor that relates pixels to a measured dimension. If there’s optical distortion from the lens, or perspective changes due to camera mounting angle, the vision software must include special algorithms to correct for

these distortions in the image. In the past, calibration has been somewhat cumbersome, but standard practices have evolved to facilitate the task. The most advanced vision software now incorporates step-by-step wizard functionality to guide users through the process of correlating image pixels to robot coordinates using a variety of techniques

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including grid of dots, checkerboard, or custom calibration plates. The latest software also supports multipose two-dimensional calibration to optimize system accuracy and enable the use of a smaller, more manageable calibration plate in large field-of-view applications. (For more on machine vision, see Inside Imaging, p. 81.) ❏

www.laserfocusworld.com

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co m m ent

University-industry relations play a key role in technology development

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he paradigm of the 20th century was a technology-driven economy, from railroads, air transportation, radio and television, to cell phones and the Web. In the 21st century we foresee a knowledge society sustaining the economy in balance with the environment on a global scale. Guidelines that recognize the special mission of universities, yet promote interactions with industry and government, will help to facilitate the evolving global economy. The co-evolution of Stanford University and Silicon Valley provides useful insights for developing successful collaborations. Founded in 1891, Stanford University is a private research and teaching university modeled after Cambridge and Oxford but with a strong element of basic and applied research. From its earliest days, Stanford University faculty members were expected to provide a practical education for young men and women for the benefit of the economy of California. However, Senator Stanford modified his stance and observed that “a man will never construct anything that he cannot conceive” and extended the curriculum to the liberal arts. In the 1930s Fred Terman considered the university an organization of “technical scholars” and promoted interaction with industry. From this came the return of David Packard and Bill Hewlett to the West Coast to start a new company: Hewlett Packard (HP; Palo Alto, CA). Hewlett Packard set a new standard with an emphasis on service to the surrounding communities and Stanford University. Today, we consider HP the DNA of Silicon Valley. The story of Silicon Valley—a term coined by Don Hoefler in 1971—began with an immigrant from Australia, Cyrus Elwell, who founded the first company in the area, Federal Telegraph, in 1911. It was rumored that investors

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included Stanford University faculty members and even the president. Today we can only marvel at the local economic miracle that led from HP to Google and to an annual revenue stream of $1.2 trillion for the region. Along the way Stanford invented the first Industrial Research Park and graduated students who started more than 3500 companies. The myth is that Stanford University contributed technology to Silicon Valley and thereby to its success. The fact is that Stanford University attracted and educated students—many decided to remain in the area. Of the companies spun out from Stanford, less than 1 in 20 used Stanford technology either directly or indirectly. What factors led to the success of Silicon Valley? Among them were an entrepreneurial attitude, land availability, lawyers, venture capital, a diverse and mobile work force, R&D labs in the region, risk-taking by individuals, allowances for failure, and, of course, educated people. Today the Silicon Valley model has gone “global” and dozens of “valleys” have been created around the world. In each region the economic model has been adapted to reflect the regional strengths, history, local customs, and practices. The bottom line is that new valleys were built on risk-taking, a toleration of failure, and the celebration of success. Managing conflicts Stanford University is a partner in research with companies on a global scale. What guidelines govern these interactions that range from participation in industrial affi liates programs, to licensed intellectual property, to sponsored research? The early guidelines emphasized the need to keep the university free from all conflicts of interest and biases and influence from government and industry. These very restrictive pol-

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By By Robert L. Byer

GUIDELINES THAT RECOGNIZE THE SPECIAL MISSION OF UNIVERSITIES, YET PROMOTE INTERACTIONS WITH INDUSTRY AND GOVERNMENT, WILL HELP TO FACILITATE THE EVOLVING GLOBAL ECONOMY. icies were reevaluated in the 1980s with the goal of managing conflicts of interest in such a way as to allow interactions with industry and even investments in private companies. The overriding principle was to recognize that the university is an institution of public trust and that it must maintain integrity in all aspects of its mission to educate students and to gain and apply knowledge through research and education. Managing confl icts of interest led to a series of policy changes that allowed licensing technology to “startup” companies for shares in lieu of cash, allowed investments in “start-up” companies under carefully prescribed conditions, and challenged faculty, staff, and students to manage confl icts through self-action rather than by policing. Confl icts of interest were recognized as being present in almost every interaction. The goal was to adopt guidelines that stated a clear purpose and a means of evaluation and consideration. Flexibility of interpretation was built into the guidelines such that decisions could take into account special circumstances in a timely and appropriate way. The set of guidelines for technology licensing to “start-up” companies recognizes and manages confl ict-of-interest questions and moves beyond the focus on exclusive or nonexclusive licensing. The Office of Technology Licensing (OTL) determines the technology to be licensed and informs the faculty member, chair, and dean of the potential deal. The faculty member prepares a written statement that addresses confl icts of interest. The department chair in collaboration with OTL makes a recommendation to the dean that leads to a decision.

The university may accept equity as one form of compensation for license rights, subject to a review if appropriate. One-third of the net equity will be issued to the inventors as shares. The remaining two-thirds of net equity will be issued to the university for use in support of graduate education and research. The Stanford Management Company receives and manages all equity on behalf of the university. Stanford University may invest in “start-up” companies following an appropriate review and under carefully prescribed circumstances. Stanford may not invest if a faculty member has a line management role; if no management role exists, it can invest only if Stanford is a passive investor, has a limited investment, no officer or member of the board of trustees of Stanford has equity in the company, and the investment is reviewed and approved by the provost. The Stanford faculty members subscribe to a “Conflict of Commitment and Interest” guideline that states that Stanford faculty members owe their primary professional allegiance to the university and that faculty members should conduct their affairs so as to avoid or minimize conflicts of interest. Faculty members must recognize that the university is an institution of public trust and conduct their affairs in ways that will not compromise the integrity of the university. These guidelines are also available for public inspection on the Stanford Web site. ❏ ROBERT L. BYER is the William R. Kenan Jr. Professor in the School of Humanities and Sciences, Department of Applied Physics; director of the Edward L. Ginzton Laboratory; and codirector of the Stanford Photonics Research Center at Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305-4088; e-mail: rlbyer@Stanford.edu

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business How can I get a patent license from my university? Milton Chang What can I expect when negotiating a patent license with my university? I am particularly interested in getting an exclusive license. Generally, universities want to see their technology commercialized and tend to take a paternal posture in negotiating if the inventor is actively involved or has significant ownership in the company (see Comment, p. 76). The first thing universities usually focus on is the royalty rate, which depends on the strength of the patent and the perceived market size. Most royalty rates are 1% to 5% of the selling price. If several patents are involved, then the rate is reduced or is based on a portion of the product that pertains to the invention to avoid stacking of royalties. Then there is the up-front royalty. Most universities require the licensee to cover patent expenses. The royalty rate is reduced if one is willing to pay a higher up-front licensing fee, or to give the university equity in the company. More universities are willing to get “a piece of the action,” reflecting the broad interest in entrepreneurship and everyone’s desire to hit upon another Google. Since start-up companies are risky in the early phase, universities usually ask for protection against dilution. They usually want their percentage ownership maintained until the company meets certain performance goals. For one university, the milestone is when the company has raised a total of $10 million investment capital. It is prudent to set a limit on the costs of a patent. Some universities are willing to grant exclusive licenses even though they may be concerned that exclusivity can prevent commercialization. On the other hand, the license is of considerably less value if a company cannot practice “legalized monopoly” by being exclusive. An exclusive license usually has a larger up-front payment plus minimum annual royalty to make sure the licensee is serious. The university would usually want to have recourse if the company cannot succeed. One university limits exclusivity to five years at the beginning, but exclusivity can be renewed if the company can meet a set of goals. Some licensees want a paid-up license, which is really buying the patent outright. Logically the valuation is determined by the current value of the potential royalty stream, which is determined by the market size and the number of years the technology would provide a competitive advantage, both of which are highly speculative. It usually ends up

being a number both parties can justify and live with, rather than one determined analytically. In the final analysis, universities are concerned with image and public relations. Most are quite reasonable in their licensing policy and how they negotiate with companies. They realize company owners can potentially make donations in amounts far greater than any royalty income. Some universities are easy-going in granting licenses, taking an altruistic viewpoint that technology is to benefit mankind and are willing to forego some income for a cause. The surprising thing is very few universities actually make a profit relative to the costs of maintaining a licensing office and its activities. Companies and universities are increasingly paying attention to protecting intellectual property; at the same time, more companies view patents not as a competitive advantage, but more as a way to gain the rights to enter a market. How does an entrepreneur lead a balanced life between family and business? I am not sure I know what balance means. I worked incredibly hard early in my career—16-7 or more, and never took a vacation for 11 years. Becoming an entrepreneur is our choice, and my family accepted that lifestyle as a tradeoff. What is important is feelings and attitudes, which translates into the quality of time together. Time spent together is never enough, really—and there is no question that there is going to be stress and hard work in running a business. It is a lot easier to cope with any hardship when there are no unrealistic expectations, and when it is a joint decision. MILTON CHANG is managing director of Incubic Venture Fund, which invests in photonics and in businesses related to core technologies. He was CEO/president of Newport and New Focus and currently serves on the boards of several companies, including Arcturus Bioscience, OpVista, Rockwell Scientific, and YesVideo. He holds a Ph.D. from the California Institute of Technology. He is a Fellow of the Optical Society of America and the Laser Institute of America (LIA), is a past president of the IEEE Laser Electro-Optical Society and LIA, and is a member of the Board of Trustees of Caltech. Visit www.incubic.com for other articles.

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inside Sensors get smarter

Innovative sensors provide the functionalities needed for low-cost machine-vision applications.

Conard Holton Error proofing is a systematic process for improving the reliability, quality, and stability of manufacturing methods. In factory-automation applications, this process often relies on the use of noncontact sensors to ensure that specific quality processes have been followed to minimize the possibility of human error. For years, system integrators have deployed limit switches and IR and LED sensors in error proofing to detect the presence or absence of a part on a production line or they have used light grids to perform tasks such as profi le detection, object recognition, overhang control, and height measurement. While these products can be used to determine the presence of a part, laser-based triangulation products are now available that can improve performance by precisely judging the position of the part. For example, when performing simple distance-measurements functions, low-cost laser-based displacement sensors can be most effective. In a stationary mode, the sensors can accurately measure the distance of an object from a target. When used with conveyor-based systems, these sensors can generate surface-height profi les of products as they move past. Thickness measurement can also be performed using two opposing laser displacement sensors. By aiming sensors at the opposite sides of an object, computing the distance measurements of both laser readings and the separation between the laser sensors yields the thickness of an object. Such a system was recently developed by Laser-view Technologies (Lionville, PA) for a manufacturer producing plates of various contours. To address less-complex applications such as Data Matrix reading and part profi ling, industrial-sensor vendors are offering smart sensors with simple programmability, PLC interface capability, and Ethernet compatibility. For example, Cognex (Natick, MA) offers several product lines that address these different markets, including the company’s Checker and In-Sight series of vision sensors. In the near future, ifm efector (Exton, PA) will also embed an advanced algorithm into its Efector Dualis smart sensor. In operation, the sensor uses incident light or backlight to detect the contours of an object and compares them with the contours of one or several models in a reference image. Depending on the degree of conformity, a result is output if a specific model is found.

Structured light

Although applications such as parts-presence detection, barcode inspection, and color product identification can be performed with smart sensors that incorporate 2-D visible light imagers, more-sophisticated sensors are incorporating one or more sensing techniques to provide 3-D data. Structured-light techniques have long been used to extract depth information from scenes, but only recently have companies such as SICK IVP (Linköping, Sweden) combined structured laser lighting, cameras, and computer into single image sensors to perform these tasks. Using devices such as SICK’s IVC-3D, automated systems can detect and compute 3-D geometrical features of objects, as well as control an external machine, robot, or conveyor without an external PC (see Software and Computing, p. 73). Servo-Robot (Milwaukee, WI ) and Meta-Scout (Munich, Germany) have also developed structured-light-based image sensors, and what makes both sensors unique is that they combine data from a number of sources to provide feedback to a robot. Servo Robot’s Robo-Pal sensors combine ultrasonic detectors for long-range detection and a structured light sources for short-range detection, and Meta-Scout’s M300 Sensor comprises multiple structured laser light sources and a miniature video camera. Both detectors are targeted at applications such as weld seam analysis where three-dimensional profiles of weld joints must be accurately determined. In an application for a hot-tub manufacturer, Robo-Pal measures the surface plane of the tub, allowing a robot to drill dimple holes perpendicular to the surface. Large companies with experience in automated manufacturing such as Omron (Tokyo, Japan) and Siemens (Munich, Germany) are now entering the machine-vision market with smart sensors. This will surely impact the markets once dominated by smart-camera vendors. To compete, smaller companies may need to pursue more niche markets that are not so closely aligned with industrial automation. CONARD HOLTON is editor in chief of Vision Systems Design; e-mail: cholton@pennwell.com.

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Laser industry its way back KATHY KINCADE AND STEPHEN G. ANDERSON

T

here’s nothing quite like taking a calculated risk— marrying instinct with intellect—and watching it pay off. Whether in business, investment, R&D, sports, or life, we surround ourselves with the right tools, data, and people to ensure an optimal return. Even so, at the end of the day, it’s all still a bit of a gamble. For the last five years this industry has worked hard to strike the right balance between the “sure thing” and the “next big thing”— and this focused effort appears to be yielding some positive returns. After a lackluster 2005, the worldwide laser business experienced a surprisingly strong 2006—thanks in large part to better-than-expected performance by the semiconductor industry and to the continuing rebound of optical communications, among other factors. Looking forward, the industry’s mood seems to be one of optimism tempered by concern centered

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around the level of investment in the semiconductor arena for 2007 and general wariness related to economic conditions. At first glance the results of our survey might appear to contradict this scenario. Global revenue growth for all lasers for 2006 over 2005 was just 2%. However, a look at the underlying detail reveals that nondiode laser sales actually gained 11% for this period and that positive unit growth for diode lasers into 2006 was in fact offset by average price declines— producing a revenue change of –4%. For 2007, we expect a global revenue increase of 8% for all lasers with total sales exceeding $6 billion for the first time (see Fig. 1). We should note too that (because we report revenue in current U.S. dollars) price changes can result from exchangerate fluctuations that occur during the year . . . and in fact some of the diodelaser revenue decline results from the decline in the value of the yen against the dollar. At the same time, though, the U.S. dollar is currently at a 20-month low against the euro, creating the opposite effect for lasers manufactured in Eurozone countries. Laser Focus World is not alone in its outlook. A report from the Optoelectronics Industry Development Association (OIDA; Washington, D.C.), released at the end of 2006, found that total sales of optoelectronics components and enabled products grew 20% in 2005 to $364 billion, up from $304 billion in 2004. The driving force behind this increase continues to be the successful penetration of display-based products and technologies into the consumer and computer markets,

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LASER MARKETPLACE 2007

navigates to profi tability It’s been a few years in the making, but 2006 yielded some very positive returns.

OIDA noted, with much of the growth in the components segment being driven by solar cells (24%), display modules (20%), and sources and detectors (10%). “Telecom and datacom markets have strengthened in 2006, but the real excitement is that optoelectronics components are beginning to be utilized in highvolume consumer, entertainment, and computing-based products,” said Michael Lebby, president and CEO of OIDA. The big picture

Continuing what is now becoming a long-term trend, a growing proportion of laser and optoelectronics revenue growth is tied, directly or indirectly, to consumer spending. As a result, the industry is affected more than ever by macro-economic factors such as interest rates, foreign-exchange rates, trade imbalances, oil prices, the confl ict in Iraq, and consumer confidence. In the fi rst three quarters of 2006 the U.S. gross domestic product was best described as weak, due in large part to one of the largest declines in residential investments (both construction and real-estate transactions) in the United States since 2001. At the same time, however, real disposable income rose 3.7% in the third quarter, following an increase of 1.7% in the second quarter. The other good news is that the budget deficit, which at the beginning of 2006 was expected to top

$400 billion, looks to have decreased instead, settling in at about $250 billion for the year. The end result is that while inflation is still a concern in the United States (the core inflation rate rose 2.4% between November 2005 and November 2006, up from 2% for the same period the year before), it is not to the extent that analysts see a long-term negative impact on consumer spending. “It is encouraging that the recent weakness in residential construction does not appear to have spilled over to other sectors,” said Susan Bies of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System in a lecture on Nov. 2, 2006. “Employment has been growing smartly in nonresidential construction, even as it has shrunk in the residential sector. In addition, consumer confidence currently stands a bit above its long-run average and consumption is still being fueled by past house-price gains, which raised household wealth. Th is contrasts with previous slowdowns in the housing market, which have typically coincided with widespread economic weakness.” Bies noted, however, that although the slowdown in the housing market has so far done little to reduce consumer outlays, other factors do appear to have had a damping effect. In particular, consumption was restrained in 2006 by the rise in energy prices, which took a

The Laser Focus World 2007 annual review and forecast of the laser markets is conducted in conjunction with Strategies Unlimited (Mountain View, CA; a PennWell company). Part I of the review reports on the overall market and focuses on nondiode laser applications. Part II, written by Robert Steele of Strategies Unlimited, covers the diode-laser marketplace and will be published next month. –Ed. Laser Focus World

0701lfw_83 83

Figure 1. Worldwide commercial laser revenues 2003 to 2007 $5.6B $5.4B $5.5B

$6.0B

Totals

$4.9B 37%

41%

41%

44%

44%

Nondiode

Diode

63%

59%

59%

56%

56%

2003 2004 2005 2006 2007

large bite out of household budgets, she added. Even so, Bies concluded, “The picture painted here is one of an economy (U.S.) that has been growing solidly, albeit at a rate below its potential.” Another factor behind consumer confidence is corporate confidence— whether in terms of jobs, stocks, housing prices, or willingness to invest. In 2006, lasers and photonics benefited from the emergence of new types of financing, plus a return to what was just a few years ago a staple of this industry: the initial public offering (IPO). “The choices of how you fi nance a company are broadening in a variety of ways that didn’t exist even three years ago,” said John Dexheimer, partner at First Analysis Private Equity and president of LightWave Advisors. “The industry has cleaned itself up posttelecom, and as the demand side, diversity, and maturity of technologies have improved, so have the fi nancing alternatives.”

www.laserfocusworld.com

January 2007

83

1/4/07 2:33:11 PM


LASER MARKETPLACE 2007, continued

Figure 2. Worldwide nondiode-laser sales by application Materials processing Medical therapeutics Basic research Instrumentation

2006 2007

Image recording Sensing Entertainment Inspection, measurement, and control Barcode scanning Other 0

200

400

600

800

1000

1200

1400

1600

1800

Sales ($ millions)

Several optics, laser, and related companies—including IPG, QPC Laser, Optium, Arasor, Opnext, Enablence Technologies, and Cynosure—went public in 2006 (QPC and Enablence through reverse mergers, the others via IPOs), and there is a growing trend to fi nd new sources of capital from international investors, including looking outside the United States to avoid the additional costs associated with the Sarbanes-Oxley Act. According to some analysts, Sarbanes-Oxley has single-handedly ground down the pace of development for young technology companies by saddling them with an endless stream of bureaucratic costs— on the order of $5 million initially and $3 million annually. “This pushes the whole cost of listing into the $100 million range, so unless you are in the $150 million range as a

company, it’s not worth it,” noted Larry Marshall, cochairman of Arasor (Mountain View, CA), which fi led its IPO in Australia last October. Venture capitalists are also exhibiting renewed enthusiasm for optics- and photonics-related ventures, according to Steve Eglash, principal at Worldview Technology Partners (Palo Alto, CA). Areas of particular interest for venture capitalists include sources for illumination, biotech, and semiconductor applications; fiber lasers for industrial applications; displays; photovoltaics; video eyewear; sensors; and detectors. “In 2005, venture-capital investment in photonics was up about 17% compared to 2004,” Eglash said. “That trend continued in the fi rst half of 2006 and may have even accelerated.” Generally speaking, while smaller and mid-size companies are gaining

Presenting the data Nondiode-lasers sales data for 2006 and 2007 are charted in detail by application and by type in Fig. 2 and 3, respectively. Nondiode-laser sales data by unit shipment and dollar revenues are shown in Tables 1 and 2, respectively—corresponding charts and tables for diode lasers will appear next month. For an explanation of our methods, see “Where the numbers come from” on p. 95. The data presented in the tables here are available with additional commentary in the January 1 issue of Optoelectronics Report (see www.optoelectronicsreport.com) The survey data will also be analyzed at the 20th annual Laser and Photonics Marketplace Seminar on Jan. 22. Held during Photonics West (San Jose, CA) the seminar is hosted by Laser Focus World in conjunction with Strategies Unlimited. (For more information, see www.marketplaceseminar.com).

See Us at Photonics West, Booth #5090 84

0701lfw_84 84

January 2007 www.laserfocusworld.com

Laser Focus World

1/4/07 2:33:22 PM


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Intensity (arb.)

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700

750

800

850

900

950

Wavelength (nm)

Autocorrelation of 11 fs Compressed Pulse

Ultrashort pulse applications, such as carrier envelope phase (CEP) stabilization, are now easier to perform. The new Micra™ , an integrated, one-box femtosecond source, includes a Ti:S oscillator and a singlemode, low-noise Verdi™ pump laser locked together by patented PowerTrack™ stabilization technology. This turnkey design provides greater flexibility and stability, and is easier to operate than any other ultrashort pulse system. So, whether you’re managing a multi-user ultrafast laser facility or working on multiple ultrashort pulse applications, Micra is so flexible that you can tune the wavelength and bandwidth by making a few simple adjustments. It's the new one-box Ti:Sapphire laser that makes it easy to obtain ultrashort pulses compressible to <15 fs. See Micra in operation. Visit our website at www.Coherent.com/ads (keyword: micra movies).

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0701lfw_85 85

1/4/07 2:33:30 PM


LASER MARKETPLACE 2007, continued

Figure 3. Worldwide nondiode-laser sales by type Solid-state lamp-pumped CO2 flowing Excimer Solid-state diode-pumped Fiber CO2 sealed 2006 Solid-state laser-pumped

2007

Ion < 1W HeNe Dye Ion > 1W HeCd 0

100

200

300

400

500

Sales ($ millions)

600

700

traction in the fi nancial community, a handful of larger public companies still dominate the laser and optoelectronics landscape, and in fact serve as fi nancial bellwethers for the industry overall. Coherent (Santa Clara, CA), for example, reported revenues of $585 million for FY2006 (ended Sept. 30), up from $516 million in FY2005. Much of this growth was attributed to the microelectronics market, where the company recorded sales of $219.2 million for FY2006, up from $177.4 million in FY2005. John Ambroseo, president and CEO of Coherent, told analysts on Nov. 1, 2006, that the key to the companyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s fi nancial story throughout FY2006 was continued strength in semiconductor capital expenditures, flat-panel display, and packaging applications. â&#x20AC;&#x153;In the semiconductor arena, demand for lasers used in 300 mm photomask processes, wafer inspection, and metrology remained ro-

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86

0701lfw_86 86

January 2007 www.laserfocusworld.com

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See us at Photonics West, Booth #1211

1/4/07 2:33:37 PM


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0701lfw_87 87

1/4/07 2:33:44 PM


CO2 flowing

3,800

0

0

0

0

0

50

1,700

0

55

0

0

0

0

0

0

10

0

0

0

0

TOTALS

0

0

Other

Basic research

Instrumentation

Barcode scanning

19,200

Inspection, measurement, and control

2007 2006

Image recording

1,665

Entertainment

18,000

Optical storage

2006

Telecommunications

CO2 sealed

Medical Therapeutics

NONDIODE UNITS

Materials processing

Table 1. Worldwide commercial nondiode-laser sales 2006–2007 (units)

Sensing

LASER MARKETPLACE 2007, continued

0

19,915

200

0

21,155

0

0

3,810

200

0

0

0

0

2007

4,120

0

0

12

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

4,132

Solid-state lamp-pumped

2006

5,595

9,900

20

800

0

0

0

0

0

0

185

40

16,540

2007

5,335

10,645

20

813

0

0

0

0

0

0

185

50

17,048

Solid-state laser-pumped

2006

125

0

0

435

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

560

2007

120

0

0

440

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

560

2006

4,625

1,450

7,850

935

0

0

550

400

145

0

370

1,750

18,075

2007

4,485

1,475

10,700

975

0

0

600

300

145

0

370

2,100

21,150

2006

1,430

0

7,560

30

0

0

30

600

0

0

0

0

9,650

2007

1,190

0

6,530

20

0

0

20

500

0

0

0

0

8,260

2006

35

60

0

115

0

0

75

0

0

0

0

0

285

2007

20

50

0

100

0

0

60

0

0

0

0

0

230

2006

675

0

125

40

0

0

0

0

300

0

0

0

1,140

2007

625

0

125

40

0

0

0

0

300

0

0

0

1,090

2006

2,500

0

26,000

500

0

0

0

3,000

3,500

3,500

0

0

39,000

2007

2,300

0

24,500

500

0

0

0

2,000

2,000

2,000

0

0

33,300

2006

0

195

0

95

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

290

2007

0

200

0

98

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

298

2006

492

845

0

120

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

1,457

Solid-state diode-pumped Ion < 1 W Ion > 1 W HeCd HeNe Dye Excimer Fiber TOTAL UNITS

2007

502

905

0

130

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

1,537

2006

5,275

600

0

390

0

0

0

502

330

0

25

176

7,298

2007

6,468

675

0

450

0

0

0

539

380

0

300

185

8,997

2006

42,552

14,715

41,555

3,520

0

0

655

4,502

4,275

3,500

780

1,966

118,020

2007

44,365

15,650

41,875

3,632

0

0

680

3,339

2,825

2,000

1,055

2,335

117,756

bust,” he said. “Of particular note was customer investment in 45-nm-node process-control development, where our lasers play a key role.” Earlier in 2006, Ambroseo pointed to increased activity in the microelectronics sector back end, particularly applications surrounding printedcircuit boards and chip packaging. “The types of consumer electronic devices going out these days, such as the 3.5 G cell phone, are much more densely packed with functionality, which leads to more complex architectures, and this is where laser processes really shine,” he said. Similarly, Newport (Irvine, CA) saw

88

0701lfw_88 88

its revenues increase 10% throughout much of 2006—thanks in large part to the semiconductor and microelectronics markets. The company’s revenues for the fi rst three quarters of FY2006 (ended Sept. 30) were $330 million, compared to $300 million for the same nine-month period in FY2005. Looking ahead, Newport anticipates additional growth in photovoltaics, basic research, and health and life sciences, according to Arnd Krueger, director of marketing for the Spectra-Physics division of Newport. “On the laser side we are faring quite well in terms of growth—in fact, it is significant compared to last year,” he

January 2007 www.laserfocusworld.com

said. “Much of that is due to the semiconductor market. While there is some concern [about this market] for 2007, we are working with our customers on some new products; when a down cycle comes, it usually affects existing tools, and our customers use these down cycles to position themselves with new tools.” World markets stronger

Outside North America the picture is mixed, but several geographic markets are showing signs of renewed strength. According to Manfred Augustin, who took over as head of Laser 2000 (Munich, Germany) in late 2006, the tele-

Laser Focus World

1/4/07 2:33:54 PM


com market has rebounded in much of Europe, particularly in Germany, Benelux, the U.K., and Italy. Laser 2000—the largest European distributor of lasers and optoelectronic components—is also seeing increased growth in Spain and several Eastern European countries, including Hungary, Poland, Slovakian Republic, and Czech Republic—again, particularly in the optical-telecom sector. From a product sales perspective, other strong markets in Europe include biomedical instrumentation, materials processing, graphic arts, consumer electronics, displays, and medical diagnostics and therapeutics. “We have seen substantial growth in

growth industries, such as medical devices and electronics industries. It is interesting to note that the political and economic landscape in Europe has changed radically over the past few years and will continue to do so as Eastern European countries gain membership of the European Union (EU) creating much enlarged “home” markets for EU producers, while opportunities for expansion arise from cheaper labor pools and lower-cost manufacturing sites. As a result, in 2006 several laser and optoelectronics ventures crossed into new territory. Trumpf opened a new manufacturing facility in Liberec in the Czech Republic, along with a new

THE TELECOM MARKET HAS REBOUNDED IN MUCH OF EUROPE. OTHER STRONG MARKETS ARE BIOMEDICAL INSTRUMENTATION, MATERIALS PROCESSING, GRAPHIC ARTS, CONSUMER ELECTRONICS, DISPLAYS, AND MEDICAL DIAGNOSTICS. the European market overall, particularly in optoelectronics—on the order of 12% to 15%, and for some companies even more,” Augustin said. Trumpf (Ditzingen, Germany), for instance, reported record sales of €1.65 billion (US$2.1 billion) for FY2005/2006 (ended June 30, 2006), up 18% over the previous year. The company attributed the bulk of its growth to a 23% increase in its machine-tool business for sheet-metal processing, with the strongest gains coming in Eastern Europe, America, and the Pacific Rim. Sales of the Laser Technology/Electronics Division gained 8.5% to €438 million (US$561 million). Rofi n-Sinar (Hamburg, Germany) reported a 12% increase in revenues for 2006 (ended September 30) over 2005, with net sales totaling $420.9 million, although the strengthening of the U.S. dollar against the euro had an $8.8 million negative impact. Net sales in North America totaled $126.5 million, up 16% over 2005, while net sales in Europe/Asia increased 10% to $294.4 million. According to Peter Wirth, executive chairman of the board, Rofi nSinar continues to concentrate on developing special laser models for dedicated applications to serve high

0701lfw_89 89

Russian subsidiary. Siemens VDO Automotive took over Infi neon’s manufacturing facility in Trutnov in the Czech Republic, when Infi neon exited the fiber- optics business. 3M continued to invest in Poland, announcing plans to build an LCD optical-fi lm manufacturing facility in Wroclaw near its existing manufacturing operation. Sharp is also negotiating with the Polish government to build an LCD manufacturing facility in Torun. The factory will supply LCD modules for large screen TVs. Schott has begun operating the fi rst of nine new melting tanks for use in manufacturing glass tubes for the backlighting of monitors in Valasské Mezirící, Czech Republic. The Jenoptik Group’s new production site for lasers and laser components is now operational in St Petersburg, Russia. Lasers produced at the plant will be sent to Jena for integration into components and systems for civil and military applications. Meanwhile, alliances and manufacturing opportunities in Asia are still attractive to European companies. In 2006 Dutch consumer electronics giant Philips merged its mobile display system business unit with Taiwanese fi rm Toppoly to create a joint venture,

1/4/07 2:34:01 PM


LASER MARKETPLACE 2007, continued

Entertainment

Image recording

Inspection, measurement, and control

Barcode scanning

Sensing

Other

46,000

0

625

0

0

0

0

0

0

2,400

0

136,605

46,700

0

700

0

0

0

0

0

0

2,400

0

145,460

2006

608,000

0

0

400

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

608,400

2007

656,000

0

0

475

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

656,475

2006

345,540 275,900

400

45,488

0

0

0

0

0

0

8,000

4,000

679,328

2007

333,920 298,000

Solid-state lamp-pumped Solid-state laser-pumped Solid-state diode-pumped Ion < 1 W Ion > 1 W HeCd HeNe Dye Excimer Fiber

400

46,888

0

0

0

0

0

0

8,000

5,000

692,208

2006

10,750

0

0

20,695

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

31,445

2007

10,250

0

0

21,000

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

31,250

2006

108,630

22,000 46,500

55,600

0

0

7,500

9,400

600

0

4,200 43,600

298,030

2007

102,120

22,000 59,000

57,800

0

0

8,250

8,600

600

0

4,200 53,000

315,570

2006

6,800

0 21,500

240

0

0

400

1,800

0

0

0701lfw_90 90

0

30,740

160

0

0

250

1,500

0

0

0

0

25,700

4,100

0

0

2,150

0

0

0

0

0

8,720

655

0

3,550

0

0

1,700

0

0

0

0

0

6,905

0

875

450

0

0

0

0

1,500

0

0

0

6,400

0

875

450

0

0

0

0

1,500

0

0

0

6,200

5,550 1,680

790

2007

1,000

2006

3,575

2007

3,375

0 18,240

2006

7,500

0 10,000

350

0

0

0

1,500

1,400

500

0

0

21,250

2007

6,900

0

350

0

0

0

1,000

800

280

0

0

18,730

2006

0

6,825

0

3,825

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

10,650

2007

0

7,000

0

3,950

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

10,950

2006

349,340

84,500

0

13,200

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

447,040

2007

380,268

90,500

0

15,600

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

486,368

2006

143,900

9,000

0

7,800

0

0

0

12,100

6,300

0

300

19,800

199,200

187,075

10,100

0

9,400

0

0

0

12,900

7,000

1,673,295 445,015 79,275 152,773

0

0 10,050

24,800

9,800

500 14,900

67,400

2,477,808

2007

1,782,118

0

0 10,200

24,000

9,900

280 17,600

78,800

2,645,691

474,955

87,915 159,923

named buyer. Overall, the Asian market continues to represent great potential for lasers and photonics. While China is still considered more of a producer than consumer—with the exception of a growing optical-network infrastructure based on wireless technologies— Japan has re-emerged as a noteworthy market for lasers, particularly in fiberto-the-home applications and medical and industrial systems. “For Newport/Spectra-Physics, Asia is faring quite well,” Krueger said. “China is doing well in the research market, where we are seeing some suc-

January 2007 www.laserfocusworld.com

0

3,000 20,800

249,875

9,000

2006

TPO, giving Philips access to highvolume production facilities in Taiwan and China for advanced mobile-display technologies such as low-temperature polysilicon and active-matrix OLEDs. French liquid-lens pioneer Varioptic announced that it would build the world’s first mass production line for liquid lenses with Creative Sensor of Taiwan. The production line will be installed at Creative Sensor’s manufacturing site in Wuxi, China. Meanwhile the move of Bookham’s test and assembly operations to its site in Shenzhen, China, has led to the sale of the company’s facility in Paignton, England, to an un-

90

0

0

2007 2006

2007

TOTAL DOLLARS

Instrumentation

Materials processing

CO2 flowing

TOTALS

Optical storage

87,580 95,660

NONDIODE DOLLARS CO2 sealed

Basic research

2006 2007

Medical Therapeutics

Telecommunications

Table 2. Worldwide commercial nondiode-laser sales 2006–2007 ($ thousands)

cess with diodes and Q-switched lasers, although it usually is very price-competitive. But overall we have done very well in the Pacific Rim, not just Japan but Taiwan, Singapore, and Korea especially—and that is for all lasers, not just research.” At the same time, however, some analysts are concerned that China’s big banks have overextended themselves with too many loans for political or social reasons rather than commercially sound ones.1 While the government has sought to ease the problem by spending $400 billion since 1998 to cover bad loans for real estate projects or to state-

Laser Focus World

1/4/07 2:34:10 PM


owned enterprises, fears remain that Chinese banks are still burdened with many more troubled loans than they will admit. Even so, some of the world’s largest financial institutions are investing in these banks; Bank of America, Goldman Sachs, Royal Bank of Scotland, UBS, Merrill Lynch, HSBC, and American Express have all bought minority stakes in Chinese banks ahead of planned IPOs, and so far these investments appear to be smart ones. The Bank of China, for example, raised $11.2 billion in an IPO in mid-2006, and in October the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, the country’s largest bank, sold a 16% stake, raising $22 billion. The markets and the numbers

Aside from the various forces at play in the markets, there are also important shift s occurring in the technologies—most notably the ongoing displacement of nondiode lasers by diode lasers for many applications, from medical therapy to the graphic arts. Growth of solid-state lasers continues, driven in part by continuing improvements to the semiconductor pump lasers. And although views are mixed as to the broad-scale market potential at this point, fiber lasers (which grew 55% in revenue from 2005 to 2006) continue to challenge established markets, especially for industrial applications in which most sales are not into new applications but into applications previously served by other lasers. Fiber-laser maker SPI (Southampton, England) says it has seen 100% product growth and 175% contract revenue growth in the past 12 months and expects this trend to continue into 2007 and beyond, according to Stuart Woods of SPI. The company is primarily focused on microelectronics and marking but is also expanding into the medical arena and expects this market to yield additional strong revenues. “We are spending a lot of time looking at new applications that are not being touched yet by fiber lasers, and this is where a lot of our new accounts are coming from,” Woods said. “So these numbers can reflect the actual growth of this market.” As we noted last year, the application groupings or market segments we use are intended to make manageable

a complex and interlocking picture of laser technologies and applications. Because of the complexity, the following discussion presents a necessarily brief look at some of the key segments from this year’s market review and forecast. Materials processing

Growth in semiconductor manufacturing generally bodes well for the optoelectronics business. Industry association SEMI (San Jose, CA) predicted mid-year that, following an 11% decline in 2005, semiconductor capital equipment spending would increase 18% to $39 billion in 2006. While the market is expected to be fl at in 2007, double-digit growth should resume in 2008, topping $44 billion, according to SEMI.

2003 Sales Units (K) 30.3

2004

2005

2006

38.7

41.8

42.6

44.4

$ (M)

1467

1504

1673

1782

Revenues

Avg pricing

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2007

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Sales of semiconductor equipment were stronger-than-anticipated in 2006. In addition, vigorous growth in low-power CO2 lasers combined with strong fiber laser sales to help boost other industrial markets higher than expected. Overall materials processing revenues were up 11% in 2006 (vs. 2005). For 2007, average price increases due to increasing use of deep-UV lithography systems will help produce another 7% revenue gain bringing this segment to $1.8 billion.

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Similarly, the Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA; San Jose, CA) reported that sales of semiconductors reached an all-time monthly record of $20.5 billion in August 2006, a 10.5% increase over August 2005. According to SIA President George Scalise, sales growth was led by DRAMs (memory), which increased by 7.5% from July and by 31.4% from August 2005, an indication that PC Laser Focus World

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Tunable Lasers

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LASER MARKETPLACE 2007, continued

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sales remained healthy. In addition, capacity utilization remains high, dipping slightly to 92% in mid-2006 but returning to 95% through the last quarter of 2006, according to VLSI Research (Santa Clara, CA). “Semiconductor devices for consumer applications—NAND flash and consumer application-specific semiconductors—showed strong sequential growth, as manufacturers began gearing up for the holiday season,” Scalise said. “A sharp decline in gasoline prices appears to have boosted consumer confidence, which bodes well for an industry that is now strongly driven by sales of consumer electronic products.” Perhaps even more important is the general consensus that the cyclicality of the semiconductor business has evened out somewhat, with more stable and consistent growth over longer periods of time. In 2006, semiconductor manufacturing was once again a primary driver behind growth in the laser and optoelectronics industry with sales

of lasers for these applications jumping 34%. Looking ahead to 2007, however, the view is still cautious. “In the immediate future, we believe chipmakers will continue to order equipment in line with expected demand,” said Bob Akins, president and CEO of Cymer (San Diego, CA), when the company released record earnings results of $144 million for the third quarter of FY2006 (ended Sept. 30), a 44% increase over the third quarter of FY2005. “Lightsource demand will be modulated by a variety of factors, including under- or overcapacity in individual chip sectors, rate of shrinking chip designs at individual chipmakers, and our direct customers’ manufacturing capacity for new model lithography tools.” Akins noted that the company had shipped a relatively large number of its newer argon fluoride (ArF) sources but had only installed about half of them. As a result, Cymer expected demand for these lasers to drop off through the end of 2006 but bounce back in the

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Laser Focus World

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Instrumentation fi rst half of 2007. MEDICAL “Looking beyond the fourth quarter, Includes all lasers used for ophthalmology as these light sources are absorbed and (including refractive surgery and our customers’ new manufacturing photocoagulation) and general surgical, therapeutic, imaging, or cosmetic applications. capacity is realized, we anticipate a reDoes not include lasers used for medical sumption of the shipment rate . . . up alignment. to the third-quarter level in the fi rst quarter of 2007,” he said. 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 Sales Meanwhile, sales of lasers for Units (K) 10.0 12.1 13.4 14.7 15.7 materials-processing applications are $ (M) 326 397 395 445 475 doing better than expected, accordAesthetic applications still drive ing to David Belforte, editor in chief revenue growth in this market segment, which was up 13% of Industrial Laser Solutions. A year Revenues overall in 2006 (vs. 2005), even ago the industry projected an overall though the migration to diode 4% growth in units and revenues for lasers is still a dominant trend in the medical markets. Sales of lasers and an 8% growth in systems excimer lasers for photorefractive revenues, he says. It turns out that inAvg pricing therapy were lower than expected dustrial laser unit sales increased by so ophthalmology laser sales were up only about 3%. For 2007, 7% over 2005, led by vigorous growth the fundamentals are not in low-power CO2 lasers and strong expected to change significantly and the overall segment is sales of fiber lasers, which continue to projected to grow 7% to reach erode the markets for lamp- and diode$475 billion. pumped solid-state lasers. A small, but welcome, addition to 2006 solid-state laser sales was contributed by the supinate, a trend not expected to change pliers of ultrafast lasers for microproany time soon. While diode-laser hair cessing applications. These sales are removal still represents the largest apseen as a precursor to the long-awaitplication in this market, skin rejuvenaed penetration of these lasers into the tion saw a resurgence of sorts, although semiconductor processing market. that is not all good news for the laser A significant addition to unit sales companies, given that a number of comgrowth was the continued health of the peting technologies (nonlaser) have fabricated sheet-metal-products marmade their way into the marketplace. ket, which globally purchased about 9% At the 2006 meeting of the American more high-power (and consequently Society for Laser Medicine and Surgery, higher selling price) CO2 lasers, espefor example, hair removal was not the cially those at the 6 kW power level. A hottest topic; rather, the various apsecond year of strength in the domestic proaches to wrinkle removal and skin market for these lasers in Japan (up 14% rejuvenation—which include lasers over 2005 domestic sales) also helped to (fractional and otherwise), intense push unit sales growth. pulsed light (IPL), radio frequency, Laser marking remains a major mar- plasma, and various combinations ket in terms of units sold and showed thereof—were what the crowd of physistrong double-digit growth in 2006— cians and nurses seemed most intera situation expected to continue for ested in. The general consensus is that some years, driven by security and while the ability to use lasers (primartraceability requirements, says Belforte. ily erbium and CO2), ILP, and other Overall sales of lasers for all materials- sources to treat facial wrinkles and processing applications reached $1.7 bil- wrinkles of the neck and hands is exciting and continues to be a growing busilion in 2006—an 11% gain over 2005— ness for these surgeons, there is also with unit sales remaining essentially much confusion over which approach flat. Next year is expected to see growth is “best.” Some physicians noted that of around 7% for this sector. there is too much competition and too Medical therapy much hype, which makes it difficult for Nondiode-laser sales in this segment them to know what equipment to invest were up 13% in 2006 to reach $445 milin. Other concerns include treatment lion with another 7% growth forecast in times and a need for a better way to 2007. Cosmetic applications again dom- treat deep wrinkles. Laser Focus World

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LASER MARKETPLACE 2007, continued

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Another surprise in the medical-laser field in 2006 was the downturn in laser vision correction, which impacted excimer-laser sales for ophthalmology. Two of the major players in this market—Bausch & Lomb and Alcon—reported lower-than-expected revenues from their refractive-surgery businesses, and VISX revenues declined steadily quarter over quarter during 2006, although the company overall beat revenue estimates for the year by $25 million. One exception was IntraLase (Irvine, CA), which reported $130 million in revenues for FY2006—$40 million more than most analysts expected. The company’s diode-pumped Nd:YAG femtosecond laser systems (Intralase manufactures the 1053 nm sources itself) continue to fi nd favor in Europe and other world markets for LASIK and are catching on in North America as well. Following the annual American Academy of Ophthalmology meeting in Las Vegas last November, one analyst noted that the IntraLase-enabled keratoplasty approach is “trending toward becoming the standard of care for cutting the flap in LASIK.” Another medical-laser success story is Reliant Technologies (Palo Alto, CA), whose fiber-laser systems have taken the skin-rejuvenation market by storm. Reliant’s Fraxel SR aesthetic-laser system—which has FDA clearance for many protocols and clearance pending for treatment of acne scars and surgical scars—utilizes a 30 W erbium-fiber laser (from IPG) operating at 1550 nm that works in conjunction with Reliant’s proprietary scanning system to achieve precise resurfacing and remodeling of the skin while minimizing the collateral thermal damage. The system has generated much enthusiasm in the medical community, which has translated into significant sales for Reliant and accounts for much of the upswing in erbium-laser sales in this market in 2006. Basic research

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The scientific market for lasers has historically been something of a proving ground for high-end laser systems operating at performance extremes where high powers and fast pulses were often more important BASIC RESEARCH than cost and reliIncludes lasers used for fundamental research ability. As photonand development that do not fit within one of ics enabled research the other categories. has evolved into 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 Sales new areas like biolUnits (K) 6.0 4.6 3.8 3.5 3.6 ogy, reliability and $ (M) 136 148 148 153 160 ease of use have become increasingly Sales of nondiode laser for research applications were more important to reor less consistent with previous Revenues searchers who know years, showing a small 3% gain in little about the inner revenues, even with average price increases driven by higher sales of workings of the laser custom systems—a trend that source. At the same Avg pricing several manufacturers noted. For 2007, this segment is forecast to time the complexity continue its low-single-digit growth. of the systems has generally increased pushing average pricing up as unit sales have fallen. At $153 million in revenues for 2006, this segment continues to represent the number three market for nondiode lasers in terms of revenues—a position it has held consistently for many

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Laser Diodes Where the numbers come from

The Laser Focus World Annual Review and Forecast of the Laser Marketplace is based on a worldwide survey of laser producers and covers 27 types of lasers and 20 applications. Diode-laser market information is provided by Strategies Unlimited (Mountain View, CA). Industrial-laser market information is provided by Industrial Laser Solutions, and the Medical Laser Report newsletter provides the medical market analysis. This review is the only major survey of its kind in this industry whose results are made public. For many, both inside and outside the industry, from private-sector investors to foreign and U.S. government bodies, this report is the only objective summary of major trends in our industry that is readily available. Part I examines the overall market trends with more detail on nondiode lasers. Part II will be published in February and will cover the diode-laser marketplace. Readers interested in the detailed results of both surveys will find them in the January 1 and February 1 editions of the Optoelectronics Report newsletter, published by Laser Focus World. A more extensive review of the data, with supporting commentary from market analysts, will be available to attendees at the Lasers and Photonics Marketplace Seminar, held in conjunction with Photonics West (San Jose, CA) on January 22. For more information see www.marketplaceseminar.com.

Collecting the data

Fiber Coupled Laser Sources

We conducted our research and analysis for the Review and Forecast during October and November 2006. We asked manufacturers to provide a confidential estimate of total worldwide market size (dollars and units) for 2006, based on year-to-date actual data, and a forecast for 2007. In addition to the information provided by the manufacturers, we also used data from other more narrowly focused market surveys, and we incorporated commentary provided by industry analysts who added market insight for specific segments.

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Changes from last year A comparison of last year’s 2006 estimates with this year’s restated 2006 numbers will show differences and occasional discontinuities in the numbers reported as compared to last year. In general, no attempt has been made to explain these differences in detail. We request “bottom-up” market estimates, and the respondents to our survey do vary from year to year—both in terms of the companies involved and the individuals—so variations in the results are inevitable. In addition, changes in market visibility occur as market shares change. Differences in the overall numbers for 2006 last year and for 2006 this year may also reflect whatever degree of optimism or pessimism was inherent in last year’s forecast (see Laser Focus World, January 2006, p. 78; www. laserfocusworld.com/articles/245112). –SGA

years despite a longstanding fairly lackluster year-on-year growth (typically around 7%). For 2006, revenue growth was 3%, while units fell 7%, and for 2007 sales are projected to move up 5%. Instrumentation

Traditional chemical analysis remains a solid industry, but life-science research continues to be the source of most of the sales activity in laser-based instrumentation, according to Michael Tice, vice president of Strategic Directions International (Los Angeles, CA) and

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contributing editor of Instrument Business Outlook, published by SDi. While 488 nm solid-state lasers have gained some traction in this sector over the last three years (particularly for flow cytometry and confocal microscopy), there are still hurdles to overcome, according to several laser suppliers—notably, getting the larger instrumentation OEMs to make a full transition from argon-ion lasers to the more-expensive (at this point) solid-state lasers (see “Next-generation cytometers think outside the box,” page 121). Laser Focus World

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LASER MARKETPLACE 2007, continued

Even so, the market for biomedical instrumentation once again saw growth in 2006—due in part to the adoption of a range of solid-state lasers and the continued need for replacement gas lasers in installed legacy equipment. At $79 million, nondiode laser sales for 2006 were up 7% over 2005—all the more significant given

that sales into the nonbiomedical sector actually fell. Raman spectroscopy remains one of the most active areas of molecular spectroscopy. For spectroscopic applications, the Raman signal, which is typically weak, can be augmented through the use of special materials that are brought into contact with

INSTRUMENTATION Includes lasers used within biomedical instruments (those involved with cells or proteins, such as cytometry and DNA sequencing); analytical instruments (non biomedical, such as laser Raman spectroscopy, spectrofluorimetry, and ablation); and laser-based microscopes. 2003 Sales Units (K) 39.8

2004

2005

2006

2007

48.5

39.8

41.6

41.9

$ (M)

73.5

73.8

79.3

87.9

76.5

Revenues

Avg pricing

Biology continues to dominate the market for laser-based analytical instrumentation with the life sciences sector showing doubledigit revenue gains for both 2006 and 2007. Overall, this segment grew a higher-than-forecast 7% in 2006 and is expected to gain another 11% in 2007, reaching $88 million.

the sample. Although this process is generally carried out through the use of metallic substrates in surfaceenhanced Raman scattering (SERS; see www.laserfocusworld.com/articles/274732), makers of atomic-force microscopes have applied these materials to the AFM tip, resulting in tipenhanced Raman (TERS). Both SERS and TERS—which typically utilize diode and other lasers in the 532 to 1064 nm range—have the potential for single-molecule detection, something of a “holy grail” in life-science research that could lead to effective security devices for detecting and identifying pathogens and other dangers. Traditional fluorescence instrumentation is a more mature market than Raman, but even here certain developments are leading to growth. Foremost among these is Fluorescence (or Förster) Resonance Energy Transfer (FRET), which involves the energy transfer between two molecules (typically both fluorescent) that is mediated by a dipole-dipole interaction. After laser excitation of the donor molecule, the accepter molecule will fluoresce if the two molecules are closely bound. Measuring the fluoresced signal allows researchers to determine the binding and kinetics of molecular interactions. Although FRET imaging depends on lasers, other future applications of fluorescence may not rely as crucially on lasers. Quantum dots act as fluorescent tags and can be excited by broadband

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LASER MARKETPLACE 2007, continued

sources, rather than lasers. Quantum dots have not been used extensively in life-science research because of toxicity—most are based on toxic metals. However, in May of 2006, researchers at Clemson University demonstrated a carbon-based quantum dot. 2 While it will take some time for the use of biologically safe carbon dots to become widespread for biomedical and medical research, this trend may exert a braking effect on the use of lasers for fluorescence applications. A more positive development can be found in in vivo laboratory animal imaging. Although many imaging systems used for life-science research with animals are scaled-down versions of medical scanning technologies (PET, CT, and so on), one of the fastestgrowing segments is optical imaging. VisEn Medical (Woburn, MA) has introduced an optical-imaging system based on fluorescence molecular tomography, which uses near-IR diode lasers to excite fluorescent markers in

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the animal. Similar systems are sold by CRi (Woburn, MA), ART (Saint-Laurent, Canada), and Xenogen, which was acquired early last year by Caliper Life Sciences (Hopkinton, MA). In these systems, lasers can be used for either stimulating fluorescence or scanning the external topography of the animal. Image recording

For nondiode lasers, the bulk of lasers sold for image recording has historically been in “prepress” applications— an area that has matured to the point where the traditional gas lasers that once defi ned this market have been almost completely displaced by solidstate or diode lasers. According to Dan Gelbart, former chief technology officer at CREO and now senior research fellow at Kodak (Rochester, NY), which acquired CREO in 2005, in terms of significant dollar volume the graphic arts industry today buys only two types of

January 2007 www.laserfocusworld.com

IMAGE RECORDING Lasers for desktop printers, fax machines, and image recorders are included in this category, together with those used in commercial systems such as color separators, computer-to-plate prepress systems, computer-to-press systems, high-volume printers, photofinishing, and output devices for MRI or CT scanners, radar and satellite imagers. 2003 Sales Units (K) 9.8

2004

2005

2006

7.1

5.0

4.5

3.3

$ (M)

34.2

27.5

24.8

24.0

39.4

Revenues

Avg pricing

2007

Diode lasers have captured much of this market segment which itself has changed almost beyond recognition over the past decade as new technologies have emerged at all stages of the printing process. We expected sales of nondiode lasers in this segment to fall and they did – by 10% to about $25 million, with another 3% drop forecast for 2007.

lasers—multimode laser-diode bars and blue laser diodes. Kodak, for example—which holds a 40% share of the prepress market, according to

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Gelbart—purchases around 10,000 diode bars each year and 5000 blue diodes each year. “It used to be blue argon lasers, but that market was gone a long time ago,” he said. “There is some limited use of diode-pumped Nd:YAG and CO2 lasers (primarily for flexo engraving), but the total market for these lasers is less than 100 units per year and probably more like 25 to 50 per year.” Other segments of the image-recording segment, such as photofinishing and printed-circuit-board imaging, remain as nondiode-laser users, however. So the overall “image recording” picture is somewhat mixed. For instance, Coherent reported a 79% decline in revenues from its graphicarts business in FY2006 (attributed partly to market conditions and partly to price erosion in a competitive market); and at the same time, the company noted growth in the market for direct imaging of PCBs. The net result of all this, for nondiode lasers in 2006, was a 10% decline in revenues from 2005, with a further 3% decline expected in 2007.

pacted the entertainment business in a number of ways. “Th is industry is defi nitely growing, and part of what is fueling this growth is DPSS lasers. Not only are they replacing the gas lasers but also the power levels continue to go up and the price continues to go down, which increases the accessibility of lasers for

light shows,” he said. “So we are seeing them being used again in churches and trade shows and smaller venues of that nature because the cost of the laser, scanner, and even the controller has all come down. Almost no one uses ion lasers anymore.” In addition, because the wavelengths are visible to the eye, lower-power

Entertainment & display

The entertainment market is another area in which DPSS lasers have all but displaced gas lasers. According to Bill Benner, president and CTO of Pangolin Laser Systems (Orlando, FL)— which supplies 90% of the soft ware ENTERTAINMENT & DISPLAY Includes lasers used for lightshows, information displays, laser pointers, display holograms, and laser video projection, for example. 2003 Sales Units (K) 1.3

2004

2005

2006

2.1

1.7

0.7

0.7

$ (M)

11.8

10.4

10.1

10.2

8.4

Revenues

Avg pricing

2007

The display and entertainment market is growing and healthy according to the end-users we talked to, although our laser manufacturers’ survey results are not consistent with that—laser sales in units and dollars actually fell, even as some major price shifts occurred. The net result was a drop of 3% in 2006 revenues followed by an essentially flat outlook for 2007.

used in laser displays and saw 40% revenue growth in 2005—advances in DPSS lasers have significantly imLaser Focus World

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LASER MARKETPLACE 2007, continued

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DPSS lasers can be used, which further even laser suppliers are often not fully decreases the complexity and utility re- aware of the ultimate use to which some quirements of laser-light-show systems, of their products may be put (though they making the technology more accessible may have a pretty good idea). for a wider variety of users. And while Nonetheless there’s little doubt that certain regulatory requirements have lasers and photonics are finding an inhibited this market in the United increasing number of applications States (see www.laserfocusworld.com/ in this arena. High-profile research articles/250398), this trend is also continues—such as the airborne-laser changing, according to Benner. project (see www.laserfocusworld.com/ “Historically in the United States you articles/248121)—as does development needed a variance from the Center for of solid-state laser and other “directed Devices and Radiological Health (CDRH) energy” weapons (see www.laserfocusif you wanted to install a laser greater world.com/articles/212412). And DARPA than 5 mW,” he said. “But there have been continues funding developments in areas some changes—the CDRH has impleit thinks may ultimately have an impact mented an electronic method for submitin the defense arena (such as high-power ting the variance application, which has fiber lasers). Though in one development simplified and streamlined the applicaearlier this year hopes for laser-based IR tion process. In addition, one of the faccounter measures for use on commertors that has really driven the laser-lightcial airliners seemed to fade somewhat show market outside of the United States as a result of concerns related to cost and is audience scanning, and there has long operational viability of the systems on a been a myth that audience scanning is “real world” commercial basis (see www. illegal in the United States. But in July laserfocusworld.com/articles/272154). 2006, Pangolin and LFCI collaborated in That said, a lot of funds are being directgetting a U.S. CDRH variance for audied into military applications of photonence scanning, so this technique can now ics and there’s little doubt our industry be done in the United States also.” will be the beneficiary—though we may Despite such positive comments, not always know it. however, sales of nondiode lasers for Other segments this market actually fell about 3% Market segments not specifically disoverall in 2006. But buried in the cussed above but that are listed in our overall number was a 10% increase in tables include: inspection and measureDPSS lasers sold for entertainment. ment, optical communications, barcode Military/aerospace scanning, and data storage. Most of these As one might expect, given the ongoing are either segments that have moved solconflict in Iraq combined with the highly idly into the diode-laser camp (like barvisible efforts to beef up homeland secucode scanning) or they involve a mixture rity at all levels, sales of nondiode lasers of many smaller applications that do not into military and aerospace applications lend themselves to a detailed discussion apparently jumped by 44% in 2006 to in the space available. The major diodemore than $67 million. Nonetheless—as laser markets will be addressed in detail we note every year—this market more next month. ❏ than any other is characterized by a lack of transparency. Few suppliers of military REFERENCES 1. D. Barboza, New York Times (Nov. 15, 2006). hardware are interested in discussing the 2. Y.P. Sun, et al., J. Am. Chem. Soc. 128(24) details except in the vaguest terms. So 7756 (June 2006).

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Laser Focus World

1/4/07 2:36:20 PM


Diode Laser Group of Jenoptik – The Quality Group

The new Diode Laser Group of Jenoptik. Now highest quality in high-power diode lasers have a new name – the Diode Laser Group of Jenoptik. The new group brings together the time proven expertise, excellent technological know-how and huge power of innovation of JENOPTIK Laserdiode GmbH, JENOPTIK unique-mode GmbH and JENOPTIK Diode Lab GmbH. The benefit to the customers: from unmounted semiconductors to fiber-coupled diode laser modules, you now receive it all from one source. JENOPTIK Laserdiode GmbH is one diode laser manufacturer in the Jenoptik group. For years the company’s main focus is centered on quality with its slogan “Quality First” which has governed its thinking and acting for many years. Therefore, today the company is the recognized quality leader in development, manufacturing and global distribution of bar based high-power diode lasers as OEM components. Its products are renowned in the market for their long lifetime, high reliability and high quality. JENOPTIK Diode Lab GmbH is a 100% subsidiary of JENOPTIK Laserdiode GmbH. The

company’s main focus is also centered on quality with the same maxim “Quality First” and it is specialized in manufacturing of high efficiency high-power semiconductor material. The company’s semiconductor material provides a high output power, excellent beam characteristics and a long lifetime. Since the beginning of 2006 the former unique-m.o.d.e. AG, now named JENOPTIK unique-mode GmbH, belongs to the Jenoptik group and strengthens competences of Jenoptik in the area of laser technology. The Jena enterprise develops, produces and commercializes worldwide micro-optical systems, primarily diode laser systems with micro-optical beam shaping. Extensive product spectrum From standard products to customer-specific design, the Diode Laser Group offers their customers high-quality and innovative products ranging from unmounted semiconductor material to diode laser arrays and vertical or horizontal diode laser stacks as well as high-brightness diode laser modules as fiber-coupled, pigtailed and free space versions based on single emitters or multiple

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PHOTONIC FRONTIERS: ORGANIC OPTOELECTRONICS

Organic LEDs try to live up to a bright promise So far, OLEDs are capturing niche applications in small displays; improvements in lifetime, efficiency, and cost should help them spread widely in handheld devices. JEFF HECHT, CONTRIBUTING EDITOR Small-molecule OLED

Polymer OLED

Doped injection layer

A

Cathode Exciton block/e-transporter Doped emission layer Hole transporter Hole injection layer Anode

Cathode Doped emission layer Hole transporter Anode

Glass substrate Glass substrate couple of years ago, organic LEDs seemed desLight Light tined to be the Next Great FIGURE 1. Small-molecule OLED (left) sandwiches layers for electron Thing in optoelectronics. transportation, emission, hole transportation, and hole injection between Organic LED displays anode and cathode. Polymer OLED (right) sandwiches only two layers, an were all over the Society for Information emission layer and a hole transporter. Both emit through a transparent anode Display conference in May 2005 (Boston, deposited on a glass substrate. MA). The biggest screens reached 40 in., but the real action was in smaller displays for handheld devices. mance active-matrix displays. And while OLEDs offer far Philips (Eindhoven, The Netherlands) had one in an elecbetter performance than LCDs for such applications, their tric shaver and Kodak (Rochester, NY) had one on an eleccost is inhibiting their adoption, Tang says. “Right now tronic camera. Organic-LED displays promised to be thinthe cost [of full-color OLEDs] is too high because it’s a ner, lighter, and more efficient than liquid-crystal displays new technology,” he says. “If the cost was not high, I think (LCDs) because they don’t require separate backlights. Orall handhelds would be using OLEDs.” ganic LEDs (OLEDs) also can be viewed over a much wider But cost is not the only issue. Although OLEDs have comrange of angles. Could mass production be far behind? pelling attractions for small displays once costs come down, We aren’t there yet. Kodak’s OLED camera quietly vanLCDs have a huge lead in the race for large-screen television ished from the market. Many MP3 music players have and computer monitors because manufacturers have already OLED displays today, but few of the current crop of other invested enormous sums in LCD technology. Organic LEDs handheld electronic gadgets use OLEDs, says Ching Tang, also face important technical issues, particularly attaining a pioneer in OLED development at Kodak who recently long-term stability and large-scale production. Similar isjoined the faculty at the University of Rochester. sues face OLED development for solid-state white-light illuWhat happened? While MP3 players use simple passive- mination, where efficient inorganic LEDs are offering tough matrix OLED displays that can be made less expensively competition. But organic optoelectronics may have an easier than LCDs, other handheld devices require higher-perfor- time winning in another potentially high-volume market—

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PHOTONIC FRONTIERS, continued Innovative Laser Solutions thin-film solar cells—where the low manufacturing costs of organics may beat more-efficient silicon (see “Organic solar cells,” p. 105).

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Organic LEDs are based on organic compounds that conduct electricity like inorganic semiconductors but have other properties of plastics, leading to important differences in fabrication techniques, light emission, and durability from conventional inorganic semiconductors.

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Two different classes of materials are used in OLEDs. One is a family of small organic molecules, which are evaporated from a warm area and deposited on a cooler material in a process that resembles photolithography in some ways but occurs at lower temperatures. Evaporative fabrication produces the best and most efficient devices, but is relatively complex and expensive. The alternative is liquid-state deposition of long-chain polymer materials, which can be printed onto a surface with an ink-jet process. Liquid deposition is attractively simple, but the device quality

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does not yet match those of small-molecule OLEDs. Both organic semiconductor processes can form LEDs on a greater variety of substrates than inorganic semiconductors. The multilayer structures of OLEDs superficially resemble those of inorganic LEDs. When a positive bias is applied across the device, holes and electrons meet and recombine in an emission layer, generating light. Small-molecule and polymer OLEDs differ significantly in detail (see Fig. 1). In the small-molecule version (left), electrons and holes are injected from cathode and anode through injection layers and pass through transporter layers to reach the emission layer. In polymer OLEDs (right), the cathode injects electrons directly into the emission layer, but the anode injects holes through a hole transport layer. In practice, the emitted light emerges through the transparent anode, which is deposited on a glass substrate. Recombined electron-hole pairs (excitons) transfer their energy to lightemitting dopants in the emission layer. The details depend on the exciton spin; nominally one-quarter of excitons are formed in a singlet (spin-zero) state and three-quarters are in a triplet (spin-one) state. Fluorescent dyes can only convert the energy of singlet states into photons; a triplet state cannot emit a photon to drop into a singlet state, so the energy must be dissipated as heat. An alternative is electrophosphorescence, in which molecules containing a heavy metal such as platinum capture the energy from both singlet and triplet states, and hold it long enough for the states to mix and convert the energy from triplet states into photons. Some losses remain, but efficiency can be increased by combining both types of emitters, operating at different wavelengths. OLED displays

The most promising application so far for OLEDs is in small color displays. Although many OLED displays are monochromic (see Fig. 2), the display industry is more excited about fullcolor displays for applications such as cell phones. Because OLEDs directly emit light, they promise higher efficiency than transmissive LCDs, which require a separate backlight and inevitably fi lter out much of the emit-

Laser Focus World

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Introducing NEW 12-bit digital Organic solar cells poised for growth Organic LEDs aren’t the only promising application of organic optoelectronics. “Organic photovoltaics have a very bright future,” says Lewis Rothberg of the University of Rochester. Organic solar cells can’t match the energy-conversion efficiency of silicon, but even amorphous silicon is expensive to produce. Organic optoelectronics should be much cheaper to produce in large volume, and area is the key to success in solar energy. If solar cells are cheap enough to cover your roof, you can afford to settle for lower efficiency per square foot. “If you can get any reasonable efficiency and photostability, you’re going to be in really good shape” with organic photovoltaics, Rothberg says.

ted light. Unlike backlights, OLEDs do not have to be generating light all the time, further increasing efficiency. That higher efficiency translates into longer battery lifetime, a vital concern for small portable devices. Avoiding a backlight also makes OLEDs thinner and lighter than LCD displays. Organic LED displays also are viewable across a broader range of angles than LCDs; Samsung claims a viewing angle greater than 170° for a 2.65 in.

expensive, but are faster and more efficient, making them more attractive for more demanding applications. Sizes of OLED displays are steadily increasing, with some demonstration displays targeted for wide-screen television reaching 40 in. However, OLEDs got a late start in the wide-screen race, and manufacturers have already made huge investments in factories to produce LCD screens. Organic LEDs also have a lifetime problem; the blue emit-

SIZES OF OLED DISPLAYS ARE STEADILY INCREASING, WITH SOME DEMONSTRATION DIPLAYS TARGETED FOR WIDE-SCREEN TELEVISION REACHING 40 IN. pixels.1

Organdisplay with 480 × 640 ic LEDs also can be made flexible, or deposited on curved surfaces, unlike LCDs, which require extremely flat glass substrates. The leading approach is to fabricate an array of individually controlled red, green, and blue diodes, which add to produce white. Developers are also considering either fi ltering the output of white LEDs to produce the primary colors, or converting part of the light from blue emitters to green and red, but such conversions reduce overall emission efficiency. Like LCDs, OLEDs are made with either passive- or active-matrix addressing. The electrodes in passive-matrix displays are strips running vertically or horizontally across the array; applying a voltage to one vertical and one horizontal grid element at a time, to switch on the LED where they intersect. Active-matrix OLEDs include dedicated electronic circuits that control switching of individual pixels; they are more

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ters fade after a few thousand hours of viewing. That’s not a problem with small, portable devices like MP3 players and cell phones, which have limited lifetimes and do not require continual operation of the display. But televisions typically are operated for thousands of hours each year, and viewers will get the blues if the colors on their expensive wide screen start fading after a year or two. Illumination

White-light OLEDs are also in the race for solid-state illumination sources, where the key goals are good color rendition and high efficiency measured as lumens per watt. Both have been improving steadily. Universal Display (Ewing, NJ) has reported efficiencies above 30 lm/W from electrosphosphorescent OLEDs, double that of incandescent bulbs but still well below fluorescent lamps. Th is spring, a team led by Stephen Forrest, now at the University of Michigan, reached 37.6 lm/W. 2 A

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PHOTONIC FRONTIERS, continued

2001 roadmap developed by the Optoelectronic Industry Development Association (Washington, D.C.) and the U. S. Department of Energy envisioned ultimately reaching 120 lm/W. 3 However, inorganic white-light LEDs are now ahead of OLEDs in meeting key requirements for solid-state lighting, says Jeff Tsao, who works on solid-state lighting at Sandia National Laboratories (Albuquerque, NM).4 Inorganic LEDs have already found niches in such markets as automobile headlights. Tsao says key problems with OLEDs include their lifetime and sensitivity to water and oxygen, which requires hermetic seals. Inorganics also promise inherently higher efficiency, says Lewis Rothberg of the University of Rochester. But developers of OLEDs are not ready to give up, and the potentially low cost of OLEDs may earn them a niche as low-intensity, large-area illuminators. State of the art and outlook

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Organic LEDs have a bright promise in principle, but realizing that bright future depends on meeting a number of practical challenges. Manufacturing costs must be driven down to carve out a larger niche for small OLED displays in handheld electronics. Efficiencies and operating lives must be increased. Patterning for high-resolution displays must be perfected. If all goes well, OLEDs are likely to find a growing niche in small portable devices where their light weight and potential efficiency offer big advantages. Large-screen television looks to be a tougher challenge unless breakthroughs bring big improvements. ❏ REFERENCES 1. H.K. Chung and S.T. Lee, Information Display 21, 22 (Dec 2005) 2. Y. Sun et al, Nature 440, 908 (April 13, 2006). 3. Optoelectronics Industry Development Association, Organic Light Emitting Diodes (OLEDS) For General Illumination, An OIDA Technology Roadmap (March 2001) www. OIDA.org. 4. U.S. Department of Energy, Basic Research Needs For Solid-State Lighting, Report of the Basic Energy Sciences Workshop on SolidState Lighting, available at www.er.doe.gov/ bes/reports/files/SSL_rpt.pdf.

Bulk reprints of all Laser Focus World articles can be ordered from Mary Donnelly at (603) 891-9398, FAX (603) 891-0574, or marym@pennwell.com.

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MICROSTRUCTURED OPTICS

Moving toward the nanoscale

D

iffractive optical elements are components that rely on the physical phenomFIGURE 1. A miniaturized Fourier-transform spectrometer is ena of diffraction and interference to based on a tunable grating. control the propagation of light.1, 2, 3 Such elements are usually macroscopiOne of the major strengths of micro-optics compared cally planar microstructures, consisting of features with dito conventional optics lies in the fact that micro-optics mensions from a couple of wavelengths to a few tens of miallows integration of large, complex optical systems into crons and are designed by advanced numerical algorithms much more compact form. In addition, emergence of repbased on diffraction theory. They are fabrilication techniques such From diffractive optics cated by modern micromachining, includas injection molding aling optical lithography, direct-laser and eleclow the low-cost masstron-beam writing, and reactive-ion etching. at the microscale to production of microIn the past decade, diff ractive optics elements. One plasmonics at the nanoscale, optical has emerged as a powerful tool to realexample is a compact ize various optical functions that have not Fourier-transform specoptical devices relying on previously been possible or feasible using trometer (see Fig. 1); the conventional optical elements. In parallel, microstructures have unique heart of this spectrommicrolens technology has been developed eter is a tunable grating based on the same fabrication technologies and valuable properties. with variable depth (sevthat enable efficient batch fabrication. Such eral hundred micromeelements, using either refractive or diff ractive surfaces, ters) realized by silicon micromachining.4 The progress in diff ractive optics, or micro-optics are now found in applications ranging from laser-beam in general, is closely related to the progress in microshaping in laser-based materials processing to optical infabrication technology. In addition, powerful computers terconnects in telecom applications. are now available to efficiently calculate complex optical structures based on Maxwell’s equations. As a result, HANS PETER HERZIG is a full professor, IWAN MÄRKI is a postdoctoral researcher, TORALF SCHARF is a group leader and lecturer, and researchers working in diff raction optics are now increasWATARU NAKAGAWA is a group leader at the Institute of Microtechingly working with structures containing subwavelengthnology, University of Neuchâtel, A.-L. Breguet 2, 2000 Neuchâtel, Switzerland; e-mail: HansPeter.Herzig@unine.ch. size features. Laser Focus World

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UNIVERSITY OF NEUCHÂTEL

HANS PETER HERZIG, IWAN MÄRKI, TORALF SCHARF, AND WATARU NAKAGAWA

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MICROSTRUCTURED OPTICS, continued

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By combining microstructures with thin fi lms, it is possible to create elements that exhibit very strong changes in reflection and transmission as a function of wavelength, angle of incidence, and polarization. One such element is the resonant-grating fi lter (RGF). 5 A grating is used to couple incident light into the leaky mode of a waveguide layer. The grating pitch, depth, and layer thicknesses are chosen to provide high reflectivity at the resonance wavelength and low reflectivity for a reasonable band on either side. The advantage of such a design is that only three layers are used to provide a narrowband reflectivity of nearly 100%, making this lightweight, low-profi le structure interesting for mounting on an optical MEMS (microelectromechanical systems) platform (see Fig. 2).6 The device can be used as a switch or wavelength fi lter in telecom applications. Similar structures have interesting applications as security features on bank notes and credit cards. Particular color effects can be achieved depending on orientation of the sample and diff ractive structures similar to those of butterfl ies, beetles, or spiders have been realized.

IF THE AFM TIP IS INSERTED INTO ONE OF THE HOLES THAT FORM THE CAVITY MIRROR, THE RESONANCE FREQUENCY SHIFTS BY MORE THAN 10 NM. theoretically and experimentally.9, 10 Mechanically, a perturbation can be achieved using the tip of an atomicforce microscope (AFM; see Fig. 3). In this case, the PC structure is in a freestanding silicon membrane, which allows access to the microcavity region. Based on a simplified resonant-cavity

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Polarizers

FIGURE 2. A resonant-grating filter is mounted on a tiltable MEMS platform.

light by means of a photonic bandgap in-plane and by index-guiding in the vertical direction. These structures provide the possibility of creating miniaturized photonic components such as straight or bent waveguides, wavelength fi lters, or microcavities.8 The ability to control or to tune the behavior of such structures opens up greater flexibility and new possibilities for integrated optical circuits. In particular, PC resonant cavities are of great interest in the process of realizing active tunable photonic components because they exhibit high spectral resolution and confine light in a very small volume. Different tuning mechanisms (mechanical and optical) have been studied

Photonic crystals

Photonic crystals are natural descendants of diff ractive optics. Photonic crystals (PCs) are periodic structures that provide exciting ways to control light, as well as permit further miniaturization of optical devices (see, for example, www.laserfocusworld.com/ articles/274717).7 One of the most promising realizations of PCs is the 2-D planar PC membrane, which confines

January 2007 www.laserfocusworld.com

FIGURE 3. A photonic-crystal cavity is wavelength-tuned by positioning an AFM tip near the cavity.

structure, 3-D simulations have been performed on a silicon tip situated above the cavity perturbing the optical field by modulating the distance between the tip and the surface of the

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MICROSTRUCTURED OPTICS, continued

UNIVERSITY OF NEUCHÂTEL

ploiting the self-organization of mamembrane. If the tip is inserted into terials with different optical propone of the holes that form the cavity erties on a nanoscopic length scale. mirror, the resonance frequency shifts Using those materials, different conby greater than 10 nm. Thus, tuning cepts can be envisioned to realize opof the cavity becomes possible and tical elements that are based on the could be the basis of a stand-alone engineered control of the dispersion MEMS technique for creating a chiprelation in such media. based on/off switch or tunable fi lter. The inclusion of plasmonic mateThe confined field within the microrial seems to be a preferable approach cavity can also be perturbed optically for obtaining strong resonances in by focusing a laser with a shorter wavethe material dispersion over a narrow length onto the center of the microcavspectral domain. The most elegant ity. A laser-induced wavelength shift of way would be to incorporate metallic 5 nm has been achieved. By modulatnanoparticles into macromolecules ing the probing laser, the output signal FIGURE 4. Layers of gold nanoparticles form a plasmonic material. and search for self-organization of can be varied. The modulation depth such molecules in liquid-crystalline depends on the quality factor Q of the phases (see Fig. 4). Plasmons play a key role in linking elecmicrocavity and the induced resonance wavelength shift. A tronics, optics, nanoscience, and information technology modulation frequency of 100 kHz has been observed—this beby providing new classes of photonic and electronic devices ing the maximum modulation rate of the probing laser, not the that control and manipulate light at the nanometer scale, as cavity. In recent experiments, we achieved higher frequency in well as generating, transporting, and detecting digital inthe megahertz range, still limited by the maximum modulation formation for applications in medical diagnostics, chemical rate of the probing light. This form of perturbation could form sensing, homeland security, environmental science, highthe basis of a high-speed all-optical modulator. speed data communication, and computing components.11 Nanoparticles

Complex artificial photonic materials can be realized by ex-

Seeing at the nanoscale

Fabrication at the nanoscale also requires seeing at the nanoscale. Scanning-probe optical microscopy is a powerful technique that allows the 3-D detection of optical fields displaying subwavelength-scale features down to the nanoscale. Th is class of instrument is the natural evolution of scanning near-field optical microscopy; in this case, one can obtain nanoscale resolution by detecting the optical near-field of a sample. Measuring the electromagnetic-field distribution inside the structure of a photonic device such as a photonic-crystal waveguide to a nanoscale resolution is important for understanding the fundamental behavior of the device, as well as for optimizing its structure. This information is invisible with the use of a conventional lens system. Subwavelength-scale variations in structure and evanescent waves can be observed by scanning near-field microscopy.12 Of particular interest is amplitude and phase measurement using heterodyne techniques to get full information about the light distribution. ❏

REFERENCES 1. H.P. Herzig, ed., Micro-Optics: Elements, Systems, and Applications (Taylor & Francis, London, 1997). 2. J. Turunen, F. Wyrowski, eds., Diffractive Optics for Industrial and Commercial Applications (Akademie Verlag, Berlin, 1997). 3. S. Sinzinger and J. Jahns, Microoptics (Wiley-VCH, Weinheim, 1999). 4. O. Manzardo et al., Optics Lett. 29(13) 1437 (2004). 5. S. Tibuleac and R. Magnusson, J. Opt. Soc. Am. A 14, 1617 (1997). 6. T. Overstolz et al., Proc. SPIE 5455, 240 (2004). 7. E. Yablonovitch, J. Opt. Soc. Am. B. 10, 283, (1993). 8. B. S. Song et al., Nature Materials 4(3), 207 (2005). 9. I. Märki et al., Optics Express 14(7) 2969 (2006). 10. Iwan Märki et al., Optics Lett. 31(4), 513 (2006). 11. EOS Topical Meeting on Molecular Plasmonic Devices, April 27–29, 2006, Engelberg, Switzerland (European Optical Society, 2006). 12. P. Tortora et al., Optics Lett. 30(21), 2885 (2005).

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Laser Focus World

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CHARGE-COUPLED DEVICES

CCD advances improve TDI imaging techniques JOHN GILMORE AND YAKOV BULAYEV

Quantum efficiency (%)

100

W

80 60 40 20 0 200

400

600

800

1000

1200

Wavelength (nm)

FIGURE 1. Spectral response characteristics differ hile charge-coupled-device (CCD) significantly for back-thinned TDI-CCD devices from sensors remain the imagers of Hamamatsu (red) and front-illuminated TDI-CCD devices choice for traditional imaging apmade by other manufacturers (blue). plications such as high-fidelity image capture and spectroscopy, time- CCD image sensors A CCD image sensor consists of an array of photosensitive delay-and-integration (TDI) technology has changed charge-coupled elements (pixthe way we image moving objects. The els). The output signal of the TDI method is based on the concept of Although performance sensor is proportional to the accumulation of multiple exposures of electrical charge accumulated the same object. The primary advantage of early time-delay-andby each pixel in response to its of this method is greatly increased inteintegration (TDI) chargeirradiance. gration time, which allows the collecCharge transport in a tion of more photons. coupled-device imagers charge-coupled imager is conSince the mid-1970s, many papers have documented development of TDIwas limited by insufďŹ cient trolled by multiphase (usually from two to four) signals, CCD imagers for applications in military which induce potential wells reconnaissance and satellite imaging. size and low resolution, under the electrodes and conPerformance of those early systems was modern TDI-CCD methods trol motion of the electron limited by the insufficient size and low packages residing in the poresolution of the imagers. Recently, there are beneďŹ ting from tential wells. Charge transport has been a wave of renewed interest in includes transferring charge the use of TDI technology for semiconimprovements in CCD packets in the columnar diductor inspection, document scanning, rection, as well as clocking off biomedical, astronomical, and other inimaging architectures. the charge through the horidustrial and scientific applications. zontal (readout) register to the JOHN GILMORE is image-sensor manager and YAKOV BULAYEV is charge-measurement circuit and output amplifier. This protechnical marketing specialist for image sensors at Hamamatsu, 360 cedure causes charge packets to exit the array of pixels one Foothill Rd., Bridgewater, NJ 08807-0910; e-mail: jgilmore@hamamatsu. com, bulayev@hamamatsu.com; usa.hamamatsu.com. row at a time.

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CHARGE-COUPLED DEVICES, continued

Camera

TDI scanning

Object movement

Charge

TDI (Time delay and integration)

Charge-transfer object movement

Optomechanics Time t1 L

Time t2

Time t3

L L

q1 + q2 + q3 q1

q1 + q2

FIGURE 2. Time delay and integration (TDI) is a method of scanning moving objects. As the image moves from one line of CCD pixels to the next, the integrated charge moves along with it, providing higher resolution at lower light levels than with a line-scan camera.

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flux does not have to penetrate the polyThe effective readout rate of a CCD silicon gates and is absorbed directly sensor can be improved by a multiport into the silicon pixels. As the semicon(or multitap) architecture. However, this ductor industry moves toward smaller architecture requires that the output circuits used for each tap have well-matched design rules, applications for these wavelengths are also gaining greater characteristics; otherwise, the part of the image serviced by one amplifier may have importance, and the spectral response characteristics of back-thinned versus a contrast different from the remaining front-illuminated CCD devices become image serviced by other amplifiers. critical (see Fig. 1). Among known architectural configurations of CCD imagers, three of the most popular are called full frame, frame TDI concepts and requirements Time-delay-and-integration CCD techtransfer, and interline. The full-frame nology is used for applications with architecture, which provides a 100% fill relatively fast movement between the factor, is the most universal CCD archicamera and the object being captured. tecture used for traditional scientific and Because integration time increases proindustrial applications, as well as for TDI portionally with the number of TDI applications. stages, TDI technology is also used for Quantum efficiency (QE) is a measure detection with low-light levels where inof how well a specific sensor responds to creased integration time is required. different wavelengths of light. The higher In traditional CCD applications, the the QE, the more sensitive a CCD will be charge is accumulated in the chargeat a particular wavelength. Spectral response is a CCD characteristic that repreIN THE TDI MODE, sents the relation between QE and wavelength. Depending on a required spectral THE IMAGE ON THE response, CCD sensors can be designed CCD DETECTOR IS for front or back illumination. In front-illuminated CCDs, light must COLLECTED AND READ pass through the polysilicon gate structure located above the photosensitive OUT CONTINUOUSLY, silicon layer called the “depletion layer.” ONE ROW OF PIXELS However, variations in the indices of refraction between the polysilicon and the AT A TIME. silicon cause shorter-wavelength light to coupled elements during the exposure reflect off the CCD surface. This effect (integration) period. Then, during the combined with intense ultraviolet (UV) readout period, the charge is clocked off light absorption in polysilicon leads to the pixels. A signal charge is transferred diminished QE for those wavelengths in from one potential well to another tothe front-illuminated detectors. ward the output amplifier as a packet, To improve the overall QE and enable without getting mixed with charges acincreased CCD sensitivity at UV and cumulated in other potential wells. In the deep-UV (DUV) wavelengths, backthinned technology can be used.1 In back- TDI mode, the image on the CCD detecthinned devices, also known as backtor is collected and read out continuousilluminated CCDs, the incident photon ly, one row of pixels at a time (see Fig. 2).

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As a row is read out, the a) charges in the remaining rows are shifted down by one row, causing the latent image to translate down b) the detector. Consider time point t1 at which the image of line L of the object to be c) imaged is focused on the first row of the CCD pixels. Charge q1 corresponding to the light intensity of line L is collected in d) the first row of pixels during the scanning of this line. At time point t 2, the image of line L will be FIGURE 3. An image collected with a 128-stage TDI-CCD captured by the second sensor is impacted by the effect of scan-velocity mismatch. row of pixels, thus gener- When TDI scan rate is precisely synchronized with the ating in this row charge velocity of the object, no image artifact is observed (a). q2 corresponding to the When the TDI scan rate is 10% higher, a slight image elongation is observed (b), and when 10% lower, a slight light intensity of L. This image compression is observed (c). If the TDI scan rate newly generated charge is integrated with charge is deliberately made about 30% lower than the velocity of q1 collected at time t1 and the object, image degradation becomes substantial (d). A shifted from the first row C10000 TDI-CCD camera was used for these experiments. of pixels. The integrated ment of the square root of M as well.2 The practical limit on the number charge is equal to q1 + q2. At the same time, the image of the next line of the of TDI stages is determined by the acobject (not shown) will be focused on curacy of synchronization between the first row of CCD pixels. the vertical-shift frequency and the The image intensity of line L increasvelocity of the moving object (see Fig. es as newly generated charges are added 3). It has been reported that a 2% to to existing charges. This operation will 4% scan-velocity mismatch is acceptcontinue until the TDI scanning seable for 96-stage TDI devices used for quence is complete, and the integrated semiconductor inspection. charge that represents line L is clocked As the speed increases and available off to the horizontal readout register. light decreases, the design requirements Then this integrated signal is quickly— such as imager size, pixel size, spectral within the scan time of one line—shiftresponse, number of TDI stages, pixel ed off to the output amplifier. rate, and readout noise become increasSuppose the speed of the moving ingly important. A new generation of object is V (m/s) and the pixel size is TDI-CCD sensors recently developed by d (μm). Then the vertical shift (scan) Hamamatsu addresses most of these defrequency is f = V/d (MHz). If the scan sign needs (see Fig. 4). These sensors as rate of the detector is matched with well as the Hamamatsu camera-level TDIthe velocity of the moving object being CCD products—which include an A/D imaged, the image will not blur. converter with selectable 12-bit/8-bit resFor the M-stage TDI-CCD imager, olution and provide TDI scan rate up to where M is the number of CCD rows, 50 KHz—are useful for high-speed bidithe TDI integration time will be M rectional scanning operations where high times longer than the exposure time of sensitivity and low noise are desired. one line. Therefore, the signal charge TDI-CCD applications collected for the duration of the vertiThe more-effective integration time procal shift will also increase by factor M. vided by TDI-CCD sensors makes them Accordingly, shot noise will increase by suitable for numerous applications in the square root of M, resulting in a thescience and technology. oretical signal-to-noise ratio improveLaser Focus World

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CHARGE-COUPLED DEVICES, continued

In the semiconductor industry, manufacturers require wafer-auditing systems that can measure results of the layering, patterning, and doping processes for each layer. Time-delayand-integration devices with gigapixelper-second data rates have been used for wafer and reticle inspections in the semiconductor industry in which UV

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FIGURE 4. A 2 × 4-tap TDI-CCD sensor has 2048 × 128 active pixels and bidirectional chargetransfer capability.

512

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4

and DUV instruments are mandated by the defect detection requirements in deep-submicron microelectronics technologies. 3 TDI-based instruments also enable the implementation of advanced mask inspection and metrology where the 2001 defect detection requirement of 104 nm has been projected to reach 56 nm in 2006 and 52 nm in 2007.4 In biomedical research, TDI-CCD devices have fared well when used for fluorescence detection in capillary-zone electrophoresis and other types of biomedical experimentation.5 Thanks to a unique TDI scanning technology, the NanoZoomer Pathology System from Hamamatsu can accept up to 210 standard microscope slides at once.6 A spatial resolution better than 0.5 µm per pixel for this high-resolution virtual microscopy system has made it a powerful instrument for clinical telepathology and drug discovery. In particular, TDI imaging-in-flow cell analysis allows electronic panning of the camera to track the cells in the flow stream.7 As the cells move down the field of view, the photoelectrons are shifted down the CCD imager. Th is process is synchronized by measuring the velocity of the cells and constantly adjusting the shift rate of electrons to match. Since light from each cell is collected for about 10 ms rather than just a few microseconds, TDI helps create adequate cell images without substantial blurring. ❏ 4

REFERENCES 1. M. Muramatsu et al., Proc. SPIE 3019, 2 (April 1997). 2. G. C. Holst, CCD Arrays, Cameras, and Displays, SPIE Optical Engineering Press (1998). 3. C. Holton, Vision Systems Design (March 2004). 4. N. Yoshioka and T. Terasawa, 2003 Int’l. Conf. on Characterization and Metrology for ULSI Tech. (March 2003). 5. J. V. Sweedler et al., Analytical Chemistry 63, 5 (March 1991). 6. NanoZoomer Digital Pathology System C9600, sales.hamamatsu.com/assets/pdf/hpspdf/NDP.pdf (2006). 7. Time Delay Integration: Enabling High Sensitivity Detection for Imaging-in-Flow on the ImageStreem 100 Cell Analysis System, Amnis Corp. (2004).

Laser Focus World

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TUNABLE SOURCES

Dispersion compensation sharpens multiphoton microscopy

F

U. OF CALIF.–BERKELY/HOLLY AARON

VICTOR DAVID, ARND KRUEGER, AND PHILIPPE FERU

Two multiphoton-microscope images were taken of bovine endothelial cells, both at an 800 nm wavelength, 1.5 mW average power at the sample, and the emtosecond lasers are the most popular form of tunable same PMT gain settings. The image with dispersion compensation (left) has a higher resolution than the image without (right).

laser in use today. Their inherent peak power allows for ear optical materials. efficient nonlinear frequency Improved dispersion Ultrafast pulses present a conversion that results in the broadest spec- compensation, provided set of unique challenges that tral coverage of any type of laser. Furtheroften limit their ultimate efmore, the high peak intensities of ultrafast fectiveness. For example, in by a compact pulse pulses aid in the study of various samples, multiphoton microscopy, in for example by stimulating nonlinear optiwhich fluorescence is genercompressor integrated cal phenomena in the samples. ated through simultaneous with an ultrafast laser, Since all-solid-state systems became absorption of two photons beavailable over a decade ago, the use of tuncause of the high peak intensiresults in high resolution able femtosecond lasers has grown to the ty of ultrafast pulses used, the point where they have become a fundameneffectiveness of the process is and flexibility for changing seldom tal tool in many areas of science, including optimized. Typically, physics, chemistry, and biology. Materials a phenomenon called groupexperimental conditions. scientists, for instance, probe the dynamvelocity dispersion (GVD), ics of electrons in carbon nanotubes by carefully tuning the which broadens the ultrafast pulses as they pass through oplaser pulse’s wavelength for time-resolved ultrafast spectrostical elements in the microscope, goes unchecked. This effect copy. Biologists using multiphoton microscopy can use the significantly reduces the imaging depth that can be achieved. same femtosecond IR light source to study dozens of differThe use of very widely tunable (greater than 300 nm) ultraent types of cancer, and physicists use tunable ultrafast laser fast sources has increased in popularity, largely through the sources to explore the specific responses of different nonlingrowth of multiphoton imaging, which requires wide tunability to reach the excitation maximum of a wide range of dyes. Because of the increasing use of such ultrafast sources, VICTOR DAVID is product manager, ARND KRUEGER is director of strategic marketing, and PHILIPPE FERU is senior marketing manthere is an acute need for a completely automated solution to ager at Spectra-Physics, A Division of Newport, 1335 Terra Bella Ave., compensate for pulse broadening at all wavelengths of very Mountain View, CA 94043; e-mail: Victor.David@Spectra-Physics.com; www.spectra-physics.com. widely tunable ultrafast lasers. Laser Focus World

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TUNABLE SOURCES, continued

Calculating GVD

118

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Approximate Sellmeier Dispersion – AOM + microscope + 63X 1.4 NA objective 26000 Dispersion (fs2)

Group-velocity dispersion can be described as a delay of shorter wavelengths with respect to longer wavelengths within the ultrafast pulse as it passes through an optical medium. This delay results in temporally broadened pulses delivered to the sample in most multiphoton imaging systems installed today. Until now, this broadening would go uncorrected because the techniques necessary to compensate for GVD have traditionally required a sophisticated optical layout that usually is incompatible with hands-free multiphoton-microscopy experiments. Using Sellmeier coefficients, we can graph the actual amount of dispersion versus wavelength for a given amount of glass. A typical commercial multiphoton imaging system has many optical components: a fused-silica acousto-optic modulator, tube lens elements, and an objective. The dispersion of such a commercial imaging system equipped with a 63 × 1.4 NA (numerical aperture) oil-immersion objective was measured experimentally

22000 18000 14000 10000 6000

700

800 900 1000 Wavelength (nm)

1100

by microscope optics and τ0 is the initial pulse width. For an initial pulse duration of 100 fs, the resulting pulse durations at the sample when using a 63× 1.4 NA oil objective are 702, 531, and 305 fs for wavelengths of 690, 800, and 1020 nm, respectively. Compensation methods

Well-known techniques have been developed for compensating ultraFIGURE 1. A typical ultrafast-imaging system fast-pulse broadening due to GVD. has a high dispersion that approaches that of hundreds of millimeters of fused silica. Until now, however, none has ever been automated successfully with the level of agility required for and found to be nearly equivalent to that multiphoton-microscopy applications for a 320 mm thickness of fused silica in terms of wavelength (a greater than (see Fig. 1). 300 nm tuning range) and dispersion We can calculate the resulting pulse compensation (multiple microscope obduration after GVD affects using the foljectives). All of the techniques perform lowing formula: the same essential function of generating negative GVD by retarding longer x = x 1 + (41n2G V D /x 2)2 wavelengths with respect to the shorter where GVD (expressed in units of fs2) ones. The most popular techniques for is group-velocity dispersion introduced dispersion compensation today are all

January 2007 www.laserfocusworld.com

sam ple

0

0

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based on the use of gratings, chirped mirrors, or prisms (see Fig. 2). A grating pair can be used for pulse compression. Grating-based setups provide extremely high levels of negative GVD and are popular for applications that introduce very high levels of pulse broadening, such as pulse recompression of ultrafast amplifiers based on the CPA (chirped-pulse-amplification) technique. The main drawback of gratings is their relatively low efficiency with respect to other available forms of dispersion compensation; for this reason, they are only used when the level of compensation required is beyond the range of other techniques. Chirped mirrors have special multilayer dielectric coatings that reflect shorter wavelengths at the layers closest to the front surface, while allowing longer wavelengths to penetrate deeper layers before being reflected. This introduces the delay of longer wavelengths needed to introduce negative dispersion. Chirped mirrors have very low losses, making them an excellent choice for dispersion compensation when efficiency is extremely important. They are, for example, often used inside Ti:sapphire oscillators that produce pulses shorter than 30 fs. The amount of negative GVD provided by chirped mirrors is relatively low, however, especially when the mirrors are designed for broad wavelength coverage, and many “bounces” from the surface of chirped mirrors are necessary to introduce relevant levels of dispersion. For example, to compensate for the typical amount of dispersion at 800 nm, up to 100 bounces would be necessary. This could be achieved in a setup with multiple reflections on several chirped mirrors, but the necessity for changing the number of bounces to compensate for different amounts of GVD introduced by changing experimental parameters (for example, switching microscope objectives) leads to a complexity of alignment incompatible with microscopy applications. A dispersion-compensation arrangement can be based on a prism pair. Although the additional glass of the prisms introduces additional positive dispersion, the spacing between them introduces negative dispersion, delaying longerwavelength components. Altering the distance between the prisms allows for the adjustment of the maximum pos-

sible negative dispersion provided by the prism pair; thus, sufficient compensation is always possible if enough space is available to separate the prisms. Simply translating one of the prisms into the beam decreases the amount of compensation, allowing for easy adjustment across a very wide wavelength range if large enough prisms are used.

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Although a prism pair is much easier to align than multiple bounces between pairs of mirrors, careful initial alignment is still necessary. The main drawback of using a prism pair is the distance required to separate the prisms. If laid out in a linear fashion, this can take up too much valuable table space to be practically implemented.

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TUNABLE SOURCES, continued

modulator that might be used for attenuation of the beam, with room to handle more material if necessary. Even though the positive dispersion to be compensated can vary significantly across the laser’s tuning range (690–1020 nm), the compressor will manage the required adjustments without compromising the stability of the output beam. In the IR, where Ti:sapphire lasers operate, the change in refractive index with wavelength is almost linear; this fact allows a quick calibration of tuning across a range of High Input beam wavelengths simply by optimizing reflector GVD compensation at either end Prism 2 of the range. Compensation that is Prism 1 very near optimum for every wavelength is then calculated in between Pick-off To mirror the endpoints. These automated calautocorrelator/ experiment culations make it easy to recalibrate when the amount of glass in the FIGURE 2. Conventional approaches to optical path changes. For more precompensating dispersion include grating pairs (top), chirped mirrors (center), and prism pairs cision in the calculation and opti(bottom). mization, a user can optimize more wavelengths in the range of interest, Automation over a wide range and save them together as a set in the Multiphoton microscopy is the most machine’s memory. Once calibrated, the popular application of widely tunable pulse compressor and laser operate in a lasers; therefore, there is a high demand fully automated manner across the wavefor a solution that can compensate for up length range, ensuring the shortest pulse to 20,000 fs2 at 800 nm, typical of many width at the sample. commercial microscopes, and adjust for Real-world results optimum compensation over a tuning With automated GVD compensation, range of 700 to beyond 1000 nm. shorter pulses can be delivered to the Responding to these demands, Newport’s Spectra-Physics Lasers Division has sample, providing higher peak power. In multiphoton imaging, this results introduced a compact pulse compressor, in brighter images and deeper penetrathe DeepSea, that attaches to the front of tion into tissue at lower average power. In the company’s automated tunable femtoone example of the effect of dispersion second Ti:sapphire laser, extending its compensation in imaging, two images length by a mere foot. are taken at the same photomultiplierA compact footprint is achieved by tightly folding the traditional linear layout tube (PMT) gain settings and the same of the dual-prism compensation method. average power on a sample (see photos, p. 117). The left image, with a greatly imThe device automates the movements proved signal-to-noise ratio, is taken with necessary to achieve optimal dispersion dispersion compensation provided by compensation across the laser’s tuning the automated laser/pulse-compressor range, based on the number and compocombination. sition of optical elements the beam will Tunable ultrafast-laser sources have pass through—ensuring the shortest possible pulse where it matters: on the sample. opened up a wide variety of applications in experimentation. They will, no doubt, This compressor provides up to continue to provide exciting new results. 35,000 fs2 of negative GVD at 690 nm, which is enough to compensate for any The ability to take full advantage of commercial multiphoton-imaging systheir output through such techniques as tem, including all microscope and beamGVD compensation will provide utility delivery optics and an acousto-optical for years to come. ❏

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Laser Focus World

1/4/07 2:53:14 PM


OPTOELECTRONIC APPLICATIONS: INSTRUMENTATION

KATHY KINCADE CONTRIBUTING EDITOR

Next-generation cytometers think outside the box Adoption has been slow, but solidstate lasers are enabling new kinds of analytical tools that are in some cases

I

BD BIOSCIENCES

more complex, and in others, less.

FIGURE 1. Becton Dickinson says that almost all of its cell-counting systems—such as the FACSCanto II (right)—now use solid-state lasers exclusively.

t has been six years since the first commercial blue solid-state laser (Coherent’s 488 nm diode-pumped Sapphire) entered the market, challenging air-cooled argon-ion lasers in digital imaging and bioinstrumentation. While the Sapphire now boasts more than 5000 installations worldwide, it has, like many of its solid-state competitors, faced some resistance from instrumentation OEMs. While these lasers enable the development of more-compact bioanalysis systems with multispectral capabilities, cost continues to be an issue; although legacy gas-laser systems are much larger and have greater maintenance and replacement costs, solid-state laser sources carry a higher initial price tag and require system manufacturers to reconfigure existing instrument designs and revisit the FDA approval process, which can add one to two years to the product-development cycle. As a result, high-end spectrometers, flow cytometers, and confocal microscopes are still used primarily by large research laboratories, pharmaceutical companies, and academic facilities. In recent years, however, solid-state lasers have begun to find their way into smaller, less-expensive systems that may not have all the bells and whistles of their predecessors but offer the potential to take flow cytometry and confocal microscopy out of the laboratory and into entirely new markets in the clinical realm—per-

haps even to the point of care. “The solid-state laser is piquing interest among end users partly because these lasers are smaller, more robust, rugged, and a little easier to use than the gas-laser technology,” said William Telford, head of the National Cancer Institute’s NCI ETI Branch Flow Cytometry Core Laboratory, part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH; Bethesda, MD). “But for me the most exciting thing is the variety of wavelengths that are available, from ultraviolet to infrared. There are a lot of fluorescent probes that are not used in flow cytometry because we haven’t had the lasers to excite them. But now there are, and this gives us many more tools to work with in cell biology.” For example, Telford and colleagues have been experimenting with violet laser diodes (395–415 nm) as an alternative to krypton-ion lasers for cell exploration.1 Violetexcited fluorochromes such as Cascade Blue, Alexa Fluor 405, Pacific Blue, Cascade Yellow, Alexa Fluor 430, and Pacific Orange are important fluorochromes for fluorescent immunophenotyping, while cyan fluorescent protein is one of several fluorescent proteins that require violet excitation. Violet-excited probes are also available for cell cycle analysis, viability assessment, and cell physiology Laser Focus World

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OPTOELECTRONIC APPLICATIONS, continued

analysis. While krypton-ion lasers can produce several violet laser lines, they are large, expensive, and primarily compatible only with large-scale cell sorters such as the Becton Dickinson FACSVantage, Beckman Coulter Altra, and DakoCytomation MoFlo. According to Telford, the much smaller violet laser diodes are now being integrated into cuvette-based flow cytometers, allowing these more-compact instruments to utilize many of the violet-based probes. Slowly but surely these lasers are beginning to make their way into the com-

COBOLT

to be added to flow cytometers. One of the advantages of the legacy gas-laser systems is their ability to address multiple wavelengths; adopting a solid-state laser platform inevitably means multiple lasers must be incorporated into the system to address a customer’s desire for multiple wavelengths. “At Cobolt we see growing demand from end users for instruments equipped with more excitation lines and at higher power levels, so we foresee a market development in which the more flexible and powerful systems will actually grow in importance,” said Hakan Karlsson, vice president of technology and business development at Cobolt (Stockholm, Sweden). “Therefore, we think that multiline solid-state lasers will be an attractive choice for cytometer manufacturers in the future.” Toward this end, Cobolt has introduced the Calypso line of FIGURE 2. The all-solid-state Dual Calypso solid-state lasers. The single-line emits simultaneously at 491 and 532 nm in a Calypso offers up to 100 mW at single beam with 20 mW of output power for 491 nm, while the Dual Calypso each beam. emits simultaneously at 491 and mercial marketplace as well. The FAC532 nm in a single beam with 20 + 20 SAria cell sorter from Becton Dickinson mW of output power (see Fig. 2). Bill (Franklin Lakes, NJ), for example, feaTelford at NIH has worked with the Catures a violet diode laser, blue Sapphire lypso for flow cytometry and confocal laser, and red HeNe laser. Other prodmicroscopy (in April 2006), incorporatucts in the company’s FACS product line ing the dual-wavelength laser into a BD that now utilize solid-state lasers include LSR II, substituting it for the conventhe FACSArray, a four-color cytometer tional 488 nm source; the results, acthat features a red diode laser and green cording to Telford and Karlsson, were solid-state laser; the FACSCanto, which very positive.2 “We think Telford’s experiments with uses a solid-state blue laser; and the our laser were particularly interesting LSR II, a multispectral instrument that because they showed that the potential can be customized to be all-solid-state, problem of the green line contaminatwith red diodes replacing the red HeNes ing the fluorescence from the blue line and the option of adding a 355 nm frecould be overcome by simply changing quency-tripled Nd:YAG laser to address the fi lter in front of the detector,” Karlsthe UV spectrum. son said. “He used a BD system, put “We almost exclusively use solid-state lasers now in our cell-counting systems,” our laser in it, and modified the fi lter in front of the fluorescein detector so the said Bob Hoff man, Fellow at BD Biothroughput stopped at 520 nm. This alsciences (San Jose, CA; see Fig. 1). “For lowed simultaneous excitation in the the flexibility we need (in creating more blue and green with substantially imcompact systems), we are actually more proved resolution for longer-wavelength constrained by the electronics, the softfluorophores, and that is exactly what ware, and the number of detectors or we wanted to prove.” photomultiplier tubes needed for each fluorochrome (than the lasers).” Other end of the spectrum These issues must be addressed by the laser manufacturers and the instrument While several manufacturers have introduced all-solid-state-based diagnosdesigners as customers push for increastic systems in the last few years, from ingly complex multispectral capabilities

0701lfw_123 123

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the laser suppliers’ perspective this is still a drop in the bucket in terms of the overall market potential for these lasers in bioinstrumentation. “Solid-state lasers are making their way into cytometer systems, although perhaps at a slower rate than expected,” Karlsson said. “More disappointing is the fact that this technology shift does not seem to have sped up the general movement of these systems from lab analysis to clinical diagnostics.” For example, while Becton Dickinson’s smallest and least-expensive flow cytometer, the FACSCount—which is used for CD4 counting in very resource-poor situations, with about 1000 units now placed in Third World countries, according to Hoff man—still uses a green HeNe, the company has been talking with laser manufacturers for 10 years about developing a reliable, lowcost solid-state replacement for the green HeNe, Hoff man says. In addition, the FACSCalibur still uses an argon laser, and although it would make sense to use a solid-state alternative, Hoff man notes that the argon is still less expensive and redesigning the system to accommodate a solid-state laser would require going back through the FDA approval process—which means the company might ultimately have to raise the price of the system. “Flow cytometry has huge potential to be a real clinical device, but we are still a long way from that,” said Paul Ginouves, director, ion laser systems business at Coherent (Santa Clara, CA). “The laser technology is there, but the equipment manufacturers are in many ways hamstrung because of an end-user requirement for continuity with past technology. It is interesting to consider if we threw out the legacy systems, what would the next generation of flow cytometers look like?” That is a question being pondered by many in the bioinstrumentation community, from end users to systems developers and even some government officials. On the commercial front, companies such as Luminex, Guava, and Partec have been working hard to develop and market compact, solid-state laser-based cytometers that enable health-care providers to take advantage of what these tools have to offer in terms of clinical diagnostics—not just lab-based analy-

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Fraen collection lens

Filter

Condenser lens

Heat sink LED Fluorescence collection lens front element

Holographic diffuser Transmitted light fluorescence illumination: maximum intensity, relatively even

Speciman

Illuminator

External oblique illumination: lower intensity, uneven

Dichroic

External epi-illumination with dichroic: near maximum intensity, relatively even

FIGURE 3. The rapidly improving performance and decreasing price of LEDs and CCD and CMOS imaging chips is making it possible to build new instruments that can do most of what a typical benchtop flow cytometer does for less than a tenth of the selling price. The components of an LED illuminator are shown in the top image (the spaces between the elements are not present in the actual illuminator). Below that are three alternative configurations for LED illumination: the illuminator can provide “transmitted light” fluorescence excitation (top), oblique illumination (center), or epi-illumination (bottom). (Courtesy Howard Shapiro)

sis (see www.laserfocusworld.com/ articles/209783). But these and other product developers are still often handicapped by the cost of the lasers, according to Howard Shapiro, director of the Cytometry Laboratory (West Newton, MA) and a well-known luminary in the field (his book, Practical Flow Cytometry, is considered the reference book for flow cytometry).2 “I’ve been trying to make flow cytometers cheaper for 30 years, and the way to do this is to get rid of the flow,” said Shapiro, who has long championed the notion of “personal cytometers.” “Flow cytometry is, to date, the best technol-

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OPTOELECTRONIC APPLICATIONS, continued

ogy we have for cell sorting, but around 90% of the flow cytometers now in use don’t sort and don’t need to. A laserscanning cytometer is slower than a flow cytometer, but you are talking about a very cheap instrument that can do the same things as a flow cytometer and costs significantly less.” In fact, Shapiro believes that, depending on the complexity of the desired application, it may be possible to use an even less-complex light source: the LED. In various experiments he and his colleagues have shown that it is possible to do single-molecule measurements with an LED-illuminated system and CCD detectors (see Fig. 3).3 “For applications such as AIDS testing in Th ird World countries where there is little to no infrastructure in terms of the availability of power and clean water, it is advisable that the box be as small, simple, robust, energy-efficient, and inexpensive as possible,” Shapiro said. “Even users in affluent countries would prefer to spend as

little as possible on the box. The rapidly improving performance and similarly rapidly decreasing price of highintensity LEDs and CCD and CMOS imaging chips have made it possible to build apparatus that can do most of the job of a typical benchtop flow cytometer for less than a tenth of the latter’s selling price.” Shapiro is not alone in his explorations of LED-based cytometry and microscopy. At several scientific meetings in recent years Hoffman has demonstrated the viability of an LED-based flow cytometry system, and he believes the technology has promise—with some tradeoffs, of course. “It would be impractical for us to take the current FACSCount system and replace it with the LED and go through a complete redesign,” he said. “My experience with LEDs is that, while the intensity of the excitation from a 10 mW LED is about 1% of what I can get with a 1 mW laser, you can illuminate a much larger part of the sample stream because the

LED is an extended source. The LEDs create a spot that is 100 to 200 µm high, which means the cells are illuminated for a longer period of time as they go through the excitation spot. So instead of getting only 1% of the total light, you can get 10% because you can illuminate 10 times longer. The tradeoff is that it takes longer to analyze the cell to get a useful amount of collected light for the applications that are of interest. So there are system-level tradeoffs that need to be made but in some applications, such as CD4 counting, this isn’t an issue.” ❏ REFERENCES 1. W. Telford, et al, Cytometry Part A 69A, 1153 (2006). 2. H. Shapiro, Practical Flow Cytometry, WileyLiss, 4th edition, ISBN 0471411256. 3. H. Shapiro and N. Perlmutter, Cytometry Part A 69A, 620 (2006).

Bulk reprints of all Laser Focus World articles can be ordered from Mary Donnelly at (603) 891-9398, FAX (603) 891-0574, or marym@pennwell.com.

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MID-IR FIBERS

Chalcogenide fiber slows light

NICT

KAZI S. ABEDIN

2.0

W

Loss (dB/m)

1.5

1.0

hen used as the basis for nonlinear 0.5 optical devices, single-mode optical fiber inherently provides the high light intensities needed for 0.0 1440 1480 1520 1560 1600 a good nonlinear response. Such Wavelength (nm) fiber-based devices can be used in many optical-signalprocessing applications. Optical properties that strongly FIGURE 1. An uncoated single-mode As2Se3 chalcogenide influence the suitability of a fiber for these uses include fiber has a cladding diameter of 167 µm (top) and transmits the fiber’s spectral-transparency range, chromatic disperwell in the 1.55 µm spectral region (bottom). sion, and nonlinear properties such as its Kerr, Raman, and Brillouin coefficients. While such fibers ing light in a small core, but also are commonly based on silica, certain non- Arsenic selenide by using a material with large silica-based glass materials have enhanced nonlinear coefficients. To this optical fiber has optical end, several nonsilica glasses— nonlinear properties that make them quite attractive for use in signal-processing apwhich include tellurite, bismuth, nonlinear coefficients and chalcogenide glass fibers plications such as wavelength conversion, ultrafast optical switching, optical regenmany times higher than with enhanced nonlinear optical eration, parametric and Raman amplificaproperties—have been drawn tions, and slow-light devices.1–3 silica fiber, allowing the into optical fibers and used in For nonlinear applications, it is desirable nonlinear devices. efficient slowing of light to have fibers with a large nonlinear response, which allows the optical-power Single-mode in a short fiber length. chalcogenide fiber requirement as well as the device length to Among the types of nonsilica be reduced. The nonlinear response of an glass fibers developed so far, chalcogenide glass is paroptical fiber can be enhanced not only by tightly confinticularly well-known because of its large nonlinear Kerr, KAZI S. ABEDIN is a senior researcher at the National Institute of Raman, and Brillouin coefficients, which are about two Information and Communications Technology (NICT), 4-2-1, Nukuiorders of magnitude larger than those of silica fibers; in Kitamachi, Koganei, Tokyo 184-8795, Japan; e-mail: abedin@nict. go.jp; www.nict.go.jp. addition, the material’s optical-transmission range exLaser Focus World

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tends to beyond 10 µm. Chalcogenide glasses are composed of one or more chalcogen elements such as sulfur, selenium (Se), and tellurium, along with other elements, such as arsenic (As), gallium, germanium, indium, and antimony, to form stable glasses. Other elements such as phosphorus, iodine, chlorine, bromine, and cadmium are sometimes added to these glasses to tailor the optical, mechanical, and thermal properties. Researchers at the Naval Research Laboratory (Washington, D.C.) pioneered the drawing of optical fibers from As2 Se3 glass using the so-called “double-crucible” process, which results in an extremely large nonlinear coefficient n2 of about 500 times larger than that for silica.4 But while the fibers—with core size of about 7 to 12 µm—were singlemode at longer IR wavelengths, they were multimode in the telecommunications wavelength region near 1.55 µm. For stable all- optical signal-processing applications, fibers that behave as single-mode are highly desired.

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-40 Pump off

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1560.2

FIGURE 2. Brillouin amplification is achieved in a 5-m-long As2Se3 fiber. The optical spectra of light output in the direction of the probe signal is observed with and without pump (probe only), and pump only.

More recently, single-mode chalcogenide fibers with low loss at a 1.55 µm wavelength were drawn by CorActive HighTech (Quebec City, Que., Canada) from high-purity material using the double-crucible process, where the core was made from As 39 Se 61 and the cladding from similar material, but with a slightly reduced As content (see Fig. 1). Black in color, the fiber has a typical core/cladding diameter of 6/167 µm, a refractive index of about 2.8, and a numerical aperture of 0.18, allowing single-mode propagation through the fiber in the 1.55 µm wavelength range. The measured transmission loss in the 1440 to 1600 nm wavelength range is about 1.2 to 0.8 dB/m over that range. 5 Stimulated Brillouin scattering in As2Se3 fiber

Chalcogenide optical fiber has a large third-order-nonlinearity Kerr effect, which makes it attractive for realizing compact fiber devices used in ultrafast signal processing. Indeed, several applications of this fiber based on Kerr effects have been demonstrated, including wavelength conversion and optical regeneration.6, 7 Another nonlinear phenomenon, known as stimulated Brillouin scattering (SBS), involves scattering of narrowband laser radiation in the backward direction inside the fiber. In this

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MID-IR FIBERS, continued

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case, the light that is scattered in the backward direction experiences a frequency downshift (the Stokes shift) by an amount determined by nB = 2nvA/λp, where vA is the acoustic velocity, n is the refractive index, and λp is the pump wavelength. The SBS effect can be used to amplify a narrowband (typically a few tens of megahertz) optical signal (corresponding to the Stokes wave) by propagating in a direction opposite to the pump. This effect has found application in many optical components such as Brillouin amplifiers, lasers, and distributed fiber sensors, as well as phase conjugators and slow-light devices.2, 3 Nonlinear effect slows light

The narrow bandwidth over which Brillouin amplification occurs causes a significant increase in the group index within the gain band, introducing additional group delay in the signal. The propagation time of an optical pulse within a fiber of length L is L/vg, where vg is the group velocity (this is equivalent to Lng /c, where ng is the group refractive index and c is the speed of light.). Because the amount of change in the refractive index is proportional to the intensity of the pump 1.0 43 dB

0 dB Intensity (dB)

0.8 Pulse delaying

0.6

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0.4 0.2 0.0 -100

-50

0

50 Time (ns)

100

150

FIGURE 3. Waveforms of probe pulses for different amounts of Brillouin-gain (Stokes) waves are observed in As2Se3 fiber, showing a varying pulse delay.

light (that is, the excited light), it is possible to continuously change the propagation (and hence the delay time) within the optical fiber by adjusting the incident light intensity. Brillouin amplification in the As2Se3 fiber, necessary for slow-light generation, can be readily observed by launching a strong continuous-wave pump and weak counterpropagating probe signal inside a fiber about 5 m in length (see Fig. 2). When a pump wave and a probe signal with an optical frequency set 7.958 GHz (νB) below the pump wave were simultaneously launched in the fiber, we observed a Brillouin gain of about 42 dB for a pump power of 68 mW.8 Th is corresponds to an SBS-induced gain of 0.62 dB/mW of pump power. Material with such a high Brillouin gain coefficient is attractive in reducing the fiber length required for optical delay, which can suppress the effects of environmental perturbation. Efficient slow-light generation in AsSe fiber

In our experiment, the light from the laser was split into two beams; one of the beams was amplified and used as the excited light for Brillouin amplification, and the other was used for generating the signal light pulses (50 ns width, 1 MHz repLaser Focus World

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MID-IR FIBERS, continued

1

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etition rate) using a phase modulator and an intensity modulator.9 The two beams were then coupled into the 5-mlong chalcogenide fiber from opposite directions, and the delay induced by the pump light was observed by monitoring the waveform of the amplified (Stokes) signal as the pump power was gradually increased. The results of the experiment showed that the propagation time of the signal light pulse passing though the fiber could be delayed by 37 ns inside the 5-m-long chalcogenide fiber for a mean power level of the excited light of only 60 mW (see Fig. 3). This indicates that light within the optical fiber was slowed to approximately half its normal speed; it was also confirmed that propagation time could be freely controlled by adjusting the intensity of the injected excited light. Furthermore, the efficiency of time-delay generation per unit length and unit excitation power (ns/m/mW) was approximately 200 times higher than in conventional silica optical fibers. The results of the experiment have contributed to significant progress in the practical application of the “light buffer”—an essential element in the realization of future communication systems based on all-optical signal processing. Based on the success of current R&D efforts, we hope there will be steady progress in resolving the remaining technical issues, such as the microfabrication of optical-fiber cores, improving the scattering efficiency of the materials, and expansion of bandwidth. ❏ REFERENCES 1. G. P. Agrawal, Nonlinear Fiber Optics, Academic Press, CA (1995). 2. K. Y. Song et al., Optics Express 13, 82 (2005). 3. Y. Okawachi et al., Phy. Rev. Lett. 94, 153902 (2005). 4. R. E. Slusher et al., J. Opt. Soc. Am. B 21, 1146 (2004). 5. K. S. Abedin, Optical Fiber Communication Conference 2006, paper OTuH6. 6. L. B. Fu et al., Optics Express 13, 7637 (2005). 7. V. G.Ta’eed et al., Optics Express 14, 10371 (2006). 8. K.S. Abedin, Optics Letters 31, 1615 (2006). 9. K. S. Abedin et al., Conference on Lasers and Elecro-Optics 2006, postdeadline paper CPDA9.

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ULTRA-HIGH-SPEED IMAGING

High-speed and ultra-high-speed imaging offers broad application coverage

M

MIT/J. BALES, A. BUCHOK, AND S. COLTON

JAMES W. BALES

FIGURE 1. High-speed video images of four stages in the popping of a water balloon

any high(from left to right): at time = 0, the tip of the knife blade has entered the balloon by a few millimeters, the surface of the balloon has been indented from the impact; at 3 ms, speed and ultra-high- the skin of the balloon is beginning to tear, exposing the water inside, which has not speed imag- had enough time to respond to the removal of the rubber that had encased it; at 7 ms, ing systems the balloon has ripped open, with the torn edge flinging water into the air as it retracts; at 42 ms, the rubber is fully retracted, the knife is almost immersed in the water, and are commercially available and the sphere of water is just beginning to fall now that it is no longer constrained. All provide multiple capabilities for images captured at 4000 frames per second, exposure time of nominally 250 µs. imaging events over a wide range of length and time scales. In alelectronically shuttered High-speed video systems most all cases, additional lighting beyond for an exposure time on the ambient will be required to acquire the order of 1 ms to 1 µs, record at maximum rates high-quality images. For some applicaand the image is read tions, more specialized techniques—such of 2000 to 200,000 images off of the chip during as Schlieren, synchroballistic, or streak one inter-image interval. per second. The use of an photography—can be used to enhance The total number of imthe phenomenon of interest or to reduce ages stored is usually set intensifier enables ultrathe sensitivity required in the camera. by the size of a memory Our focus is on electronic imagers as opbuffer integral to the high-speed video systems to camera, posed to fi lm-based systems or specialtypically storized lighting techniques (such as strobes ing thousands of fullperform at frame rates up to and pulsed lasers). frame images. Some By high-speed video systems, we mean 200 million images per second. systems stream images those based on CCD or CMOS imagers to a hard disk or videocapable of recording at maximum rates between 2000 tape for extended recording time. to 200,000 images per second (see Fig. 1). The imager is Ultra-high-speed video systems, in contrast, have maximum frame rates from 100,000 to 200 million images per JAMES W. BALES is the assistant director and leads a professionsecond. These systems use intensified CCDs to capture the al course on high-speed imaging at the MIT Edgerton Center, Room image, gating the intensifier to achieve exposure times as 4-406, 77 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA 02139; e-mail: bales@mit.edu; short as 1 to 10 ns (see Fig. 2). The total number of images Laser Focus World

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ULTRA-HIGH-SPEED IMAGING, continued

U.S. ARMY

Optics

FIGURE 2. Ultra-high-speed images of a 50 mm penetrator impacting concrete were taken with an exposure time of 50 ns. The first four frames (left) were taken at 50,000 frames per second (fps), and the last four frames (right) were taken at 20,000 fps. Time between frames four and five is 300 µs. Velocity of projectile was 2500 ft/s.

recorded is typically between 4 and 100 for the higher imaging rates. High-speed video systems

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Early high-speed video systems were based on standard CCD imagers that were greatly overclocked. These systems provided modest resolution, approximately 200 × 200 pixels at 1000 images per second. The introduction of CMOS imagers designed for high image rates transformed the field, eventually enabling standard systems to deliver megapixel-scale images at 500 or 1000 images per second. Current systems technology can produce HDTV-quality images at 1000 pictures per second. In general, high-speed video systems are electronically shuttered by the imager. The default exposure time is nominally one over the image rate (slightly shorter in actuality). Still shorter exposure times can be selected, with the lower limit on exposure time dependent on the specific system used. Typical values for new cameras are on the order of 1 to 10 µs. Such short exposures are excellent for reducing the blur that is induced by motion of the object being viewed, but extremely bright lighting is required. The maximum rate at which data can be transferred off the sensor limits the system performance. One might think of the sensor as having a maximum readout rate in pixels per second. For example, a 1-megapixel imager that can read out 1 billion pixels per second can provide 1000 1-megapixel images per second, or 2000 0.5-megapixel images per second. Most commercial cameras implement this approach, providing their maximum image rate (typically

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50,000 to 200,000 images per second) at their lowest resolution (sometimes as low as 32 × 32 pixels). As each image is read off of the sensor, it is stored in a memory buffer. Typically, this buffer can store from 1000 to 10,000 full-frame images. The finite size of the buffer limits the maximum record time for a given resolution and frame rate, usually 1 to 10 seconds of images are held in the buffer. The memory is configured as a ring buffer—once the buffer is full, the next image overwrites the oldest image in the memory. So, if the buffer could store two seconds of images, and the camera was recording for, say, five seconds, only the last two seconds of images would be stored, while the images from the first three seconds would be lost. Most systems offer great flexibility in triggering the camera to stop taking images. In the simplest case, you have the system stop collecting data when the trigger signal is received. The trigger signal might be a mouse click on a user interface, a switch closure, or a transistor-transistor-logic (TTL) signal. Alternatively, one might set the trigger at any point inside the buffer: for example, upon trigger, collect enough images to fi ll 40% of the buffer, with the other 60% being the images captured immediately before the trigger signal. For the 2-second-deep buffer considered above, this would be 1.2 seconds before the trigger and 0.8 seconds after the trigger. Once the images are collected, they are typically transferred to a computer via a high-speed data link. The links include Firewire, Ethernet (where the 1000BASE-T standard for gigabit Ethernet over copper wiring is becoming more common), and optical fiber, among

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ULTRA-HIGH-SPEED IMAGING, continued

others. This can be a slow process for some protocols, with the transfer time limiting how rapidly one can conduct experiments. To help in this case, many cameras allow you to partition the memory. The camera records to the first partition, stopping when triggered, at which point the camera starts recording to the second partition, awaiting a second trigger. Now multiple events can be recorded in rapid succession, with the images from each stored in separate memory partitions, before they are all transferred off the system. Most commercial high-speed video systems offer some tradeoff between spatial resolution (pixel count) and temporal resolution (imaging rate). Consider a 1-megapixel imager that can record a full-frame image at up to 1000 images per second. Assume that it has a 1-Gigabyte memory buffer and that it digitizes each pixel to 8-bit grayscale (although newer cameras can use 10, 12, or even 14 bits to digitize each pixel). Now, a 1-megapixel image digitized to 8 bits requires 1 megabyte of storage. So, our hypothetical camera could store 1024 images. If the recording rate were 100 images per second, it would take just over 10 seconds to fill the memory buffer. At the maximum rate for full-frame images—1000 images per second—the memory buffer will fill in 1.024 seconds. If one were to increase the recording rate by reducing the size of the image (for example, 4000 images per second at 256 × 256 pixels), the total recording time stays 1.024 seconds. This is because the imager is still being read out at its maximum rate, 1 billion pixels per second. Ultra-high-speed imaging

Ultra-high-speed systems typically couple an image intensifier with a CCD as their imager. Intensifiers are vacuum devices that use a photocathode to convert light into electrons (in a vacuum), use electric fields to accelerate the electrons (and in some systems multiply them in microchannel plates), and then smash the electrons into a phosphor to recreate the image as a distribution of light, rather than charge. The intensifier provides two critical capabilities for ultra-high-speed imaging. First, exposure time is set by the length of time the voltage is applied to the accelerating electrodes, which can

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as short as 1 to 10 ns. Second, the intensifier provides amplification of the image (by a factor of 100 to 10,000). This amplification is sorely needed, as very little light can be collected from even a bright source during an exposure time measured in nanoseconds. Two methods are commonly used to allow the collection of multiple images in rapid succession with an ultra-highspeed system. In one, the voltages on the plates in the intensifier are manipulated to display successive images over different portions of the phosphor. For example, the intensifier might paint the first image in the upper-left quadrant of the phosphor, the second in the upper right, the third in the lower right, and the fourth in the lower left. As with high-speed systems, this results in an increase in temporal resolution by sacrificing spatial resolution. The second approach uses a multipleway, image-preserving beamsplitter. The beamsplitter is placed after the camera lens and divides the light into multiple identical, albeit fainter, images. A dedicated intensified CCD captures each of these images (typically 4 to 16). This approach provides extraordinary resolution in time and space, although at significant expense. Some systems are capable of combining these two methods, providing 50 to 100 images separated by as little as 5 ns or so in time. ❏ RESOURCES FOR HIGH-SPEED IMAGING •professionalinstitute.mit.edu/imaging. A professional development course at MIT, offered over four days in June. •web.mit.edu/Edgerton/www/HSILinks.html. The Edgerton Center at MIT maintains a Web page of links to companies manufacturing highspeed and ultra-high-speed imagers and related equipment. •www.rit.edu/~andpph. Professor Andrew Davidhazy, of the Imaging and Photographic Technology Department at the Rochester Institute of Technology, has a comprehensive Web site devoted to high-speed imaging. •www.hiviz.com. Presented by Loren Winters, of the North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics, this site describes how to take high-speed photos with simple equipment. It also includes a good listing of manufacturers of high-speed equipment. •The 27th Int’l. Congress on High-Speed Photography and Photonics (www.27hspp.cn) took place in Xi’an, China, in September 2006. Recent proceedings of this biannual conference are available through SPIE (www.spie.org). •Two out-of-print books may be available via online services: High Speed Photography and Photonics, ed. Sidney F. Ray, Focal Press, Oxford, 1997, and Electronic Flash, Strobe, 3rd ed., Harold E. Edgerton, MIT Press, Cambridge, MA, 1987.

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SURFACE CHARACTERIZATION

Surface qualification demands a proper measurement technique DAVE CHANEY, JOHN FLEMING, FRANK GROCHOCKI, AND MICHAEL DITTMAN

0.078

µm

T

FIGURE 1. Low-spatial-frequency errors for an optical surface can be measured on an interferometer.

-0.136 TEST13_scaled.bos 0.20

600 400 200 0 -200 -400 -600

0.15 0.10

he characterization of optical surfaces is 0.05 critical to assessing the performance of an 0.00 optical system prior to system integration. -600 -200 200 -600 -600 -200 200 -600 Knowing what characterization needs to be performed is dependent on ranges are typically from a detailed understanding of requirements. From interferometric methods 0.2 to 20 cycles/mm. Once requirements are well understood High-spatial-frequency to phase-measuring microand flowed down to individual optical errors are typically the components, specifications for the individdomain for scatteredual optics can be determined. These speci- scopes and scatterometers, light calculations and fications can cover a wide range of spatial are usually measured understanding the proper frequencies and the measurements rethrough bidirectional quired to confirm compliance can involve scatter-distributionmeasurement method is very different techniques. function (BSDF) meaThere is no set definition of low-, mid-, surements and optical paramount to qualifying an and high-spatial-frequency errors; however, profilometry. Spatialoptical surface. measurement of low-spatial-frequency frequency ranges for errors or surface-figure errors is usually rethese measurements are quired to assess the image quality of the optic and the sysgenerally greater than 10 cycles/mm. An understanding tem. With spatial-frequency ranges generally less than 1 of each measurement and its shortcomings is critical to an cycle/mm, these errors are typically assessed with interaccurate assessment of the optical performance. ferometric systems. Mid-spatial-frequency errors cover Surface-figure characterization the range of angles just outside the first couple of rings of The surface figure of an optic is defined as the perturbathe point-spread function (PSF) to spatial frequencies that tion of the optical surface from the perfect optical preequate to scatter angles of a few degrees. Spatial-frequency scription. While surface figure has typically referred to DAVE CHANEY, JOHN FLEMING, FRANK GROCHOCKI, and MICHAEL low-frequency errors, the past several years have seen the DITTMAN are optical engineers at Ball Aerospace & Technologies, definition broaden to include mid-frequency errors. Th is 1600 Commerce St., Boulder, CO 80301; e-mail: jfleming@ball.com; www.ballaerospace.com. is because both frequency regions will affect system perLaser Focus World

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SURFACE CHARACTERIZATION, continued

formance, though differently, and therefore must be controlled. Low-frequency errors tend to transfer light from the center of the airy disk pattern into the fi rst few diff raction rings. Th is effect reduces the magnitude of the point-spread function without widening it, thus reducing

surface map. A major advantage of this method is its ability to measure aspheric optics without the use of complicated test setups or additional null optics. On the other hand, disadvantages include limited accuracy and spatial resolution (not a good choice for measuring mid-frequency errors). It is, however, an excellent method 1.0E+10 if the figure tolerances are rela1.0E+08 tively loose or if it is used to 1.0E+06 manufacture the optic to the Requirement point at which it can be tested 1.0E+04 optically. Th is is where inter1.0E+02 ferometric testing takes over. 1.0E+00 The interferometer generates 1.0E-02 and splits a test beam into two 1.0E-04 components—test and refer0.001 0.010 0.100 1.000 10.000 ence wavefronts—and then reSpatial frequency (cycles/mm) combines them, typically on a FIGURE 2. By converting interferometric CCD for fast data processing. measurements to power-spectral-density (PSD) Deviations in the optical surspace, low- and mid-spatial-frequency errors can face are seen as a phase change be compared to a derived qualification requirement in the wavefront at a given pixel. for an optical surface. When the phases of all pixels the Strehl ratio. Mid-frequency errors are calculated, a map of the surface figor small-angle scatter will widen or ure can be generated. Phase shifting, eismear the PSF and reduce contrast.1, 2 ther temporally or spatially, is used to Low-frequency and mid-frequency erincrease the optical path length of either rors can both degrade the optical systhe test or reference arms. This techtem performance and are frequently nique greatly reduces the data-processmeasured to ensure specifications are ing time and is used to determine signs met. However, some figure imperfecof perturbations. Low-spatial-frequency tions can be omitted from a surfaceerrors measured on an optic can be figure specification. Th is is often the plotted using an interferometer, concase for power and occasionally astigverted to power-spectral-density (PSD) matism. Many optical systems allow space, and compared to a derived rethe individual optics to be focused, de- quirement (see Fig. 1 and Fig. 2). While centered, or tilted to compensate for interferometry offers many advantages, specific aberrations. Relaxing requireincluding speed, accuracy, and spatial ments by incorporating these compen- resolution, it also has disadvantages: the sations in the system-level error budneed for null lenses or diff ractive nulls get will increase the manufacturability when testing aspheric optics and senand reduce the costs of the optical sitivity to vibration and other environcomponents. mental effects. The surface figure of an optic is meaSurface figure is specified on optical drawings or specifications. The termisured through a variety of means. Two nology used is often dependent upon the common methods of testing optics use frequency band of the error to be coneither a coarse-figure profi lometer or trolled. Low-frequency errors are typian interferometer. The former is a simcally specified as irregularity, fringes of ple approach of actually touching or departure, or flatness. Mid-frequency dragging a probe over an optic to measure the profi le or surface height at dis- errors are specified using slope or PSD crete points. Th is method is commonly requirements. Finally, surface accuracy and surface figure are terms often used done using a coordinate measuring to capture both regions. Waves are the machine (CMM) for larger optics and predominant unit value used in specificustom profi lometers for smaller ones. cations; however, care must be taken to The height information is processed include the wavelength of interest. To to generate a three-dimensional (3-D) PSD (nm2 × mm2)

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SURFACE CHARACTERIZATION, continued

eliminate ambiguity, it is better to use microns or nanometers as the unit value in specifications. Confusion in the specification can still exist if root-meansquare (rms) or peak-to-valley (PV) is not explicitly stated. The magnitude of the requirement is derived from experience or optical-system modeling. Common software tools used for optical modeling include CODE V from Optical Research Associates (ORA; Pasadena, CA), ZEMAX from Zemax (Bellevue, WA), and OSLO from Lambda Research (Littleton, MA). All of these programs have methods to tolerance surface figures of the individual elements, though tolerancing low-frequency errors is much easier than mid-frequency. Phase-measuring microscope proďŹ lometry

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As surface figure is vital to the optical designer working in the lower-spatial-frequency regime, knowledge of surface microroughness is critical to the straylight analyst working in the higher-spatial-frequency regime. Optical profilometry can be performed to characterize the root-mean-square roughness of an optical surface. However, the measurement of surface roughness is inherently bandwidth limited and is prone to instrumental effects.3 The spatial frequencies that can be measured vary with the magnification used and these multiple measurements must be corrected properly before converting to a BSDF and comparing to stray-light requirements.4, 5 To get good correlation it is necessary to correct the profi lometry for instrumental errors and to perform azimuthal averaging on the 2-D PSD. Without such corrections, measurements of surface roughness from the profi lometer can be highly inaccurate. Surface-roughness requirements need to be rigorously flowed down from straylight requirements and compared over agreed-upon spatial frequencies. A single value for root-mean-squared roughness with no corresponding spatial frequency range is insufficient for an optic. BSDF

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Measurements of bidirectional scatterdistribution function are used to assess the scatter of an optical surface from about 0.5° from specular out to grazing scatter angles. The BSDF is the ratio of

10-2 10-4

10-6

10-8 10-3

10-2

10-1

100

M6- 6RDF-5deg.tot PSD Predictable M6- 2pt5x-pt4z-25A-7-27-06 M6- 10x-1z-50A-7-27-06 M6- 50x-1z-200A-7-27-06 M6- 50x-2z-200A-7-27-06 K-ft

FIGURE 3. Bidirectional scatterdistribution function (BSDF) and profilometry measurements compare closely when mapped in power-spectraldensity (PSD) space.

the surface radiance to the input surface irradiance. The scatter measured at a specific angle can then be converted to PSD space. At visible wavelengths these spatial frequencies are on the order of 10 cycles/mm to the wavelength being used in the measurement. These measurements are vital for assessing the stray-light performance of an optical system. Vendors for scatterometer instruments are Schmitt Industries (Portland, OR) and Surface Optics (San Diego, CA). Smaller handheld instruments are available, but are typically not accurate enough for low-scatter optical components. To show that these measurements are consistent and demonstrate the process for using an optical profilometer to measure surface PSDs and predict their BSDF characteristics, a series of profilometry measurements at several magnifications were taken with a Zygo (Middlefield, CT) NewView profilometer and were corrected and converted to PSD space. These were compared to a BSDF measurement taken at 633 nm with a Schmitt scatterometer and also converted to PSD space (see Fig. 3). Although the BSDF instrument is unable to measure spatial frequencies lower than about 0.05 cycles/mm, profilometry can be used to predict the scatter at very small angles. A cautionary note

Optical profi lometry can generally be performed faster than BSDF measurements and vendors can verify a surface-

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SURFACE CHARACTERIZATION, continued

roughness requirement much more easily than a BSDF requirement. Once properly corrected for measurement errors, profi lometry can be used to accurately predict the scatter properties of an optic. In addition, optical profi lometry covers mid- and high-spatialfrequency errors and thus can be used to predict scatter at very small angles from specular. These small-angle scatter measurements (less than 0.1째 from specular) cannot be performed with available BSDF instruments. Extreme care must be taken to ensure that the profi lometry data is properly corrected before they are used to predict the scatter from the surface. Both optical profi lometry and BSDF measurements are generally performed on small areas of a surface and do not characterize the entire surface. Measurements of surface-fi gure errors can be performed over large areas of an optic and thus give a more complete assessment of the optic. In addition, the latest instruments provide accurate information well into the mid-spatial-frequency range and thus can also be compared to microscope profi lometry. Once the PSD of a surface is known, it can be used to predict the scatter at theoretically any wavelength. However, surface profi lometry is not the only cause of scatter from an optic. Particulate and molecular contamination can cause significant additional scatter and this is very difficult to predict precisely for the integrated optical assembly. Scaling the PSD into the infrared is also incorrect in predicting scatter performance for many materials because at longer wavelengths the scatter is no longer due solely to the surface topography. Taking BSDF measurements at wavelengths where the optic is used and performing system-level stray-light modeling and testing are often the only means to ensure these requirements are met. REFERENCES 1. Harvey et al., Proc. SPIE 2576-25 (1995). 2. M. Bigelow and N. Harned, OE Magazine (November/December 2004). 3. Dittman et al., Proc. SPIE 6291, 62910P, 1 (2006). 4. E.L. Church and P Z. Takacs, Proc. SPIE 1009, 46 (1988). 5. E.L. Church and P.Z. Takacs, Proc. SPIE 1164, 46 (1989).

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DISPERSION COMPENSATION

FBGs enhance dispersion compensation YVES PAINCHAUD, CARL PAQUET, AND MARTIN GUY

λ1 λ2

A

DCF

DCF

DCF

DCF

Rx1 Rx2

λN

RxN

λ1 λ2

Rx1 Rx2

λN

RxN

FIGURE 1. In-line dispersion compensation in 10 Gbit/s systems can be accomplished using dispersion-compensating fiber (DCF; top) or fiber Bragg gratings (FBGs; bottom). The low insertion loss of FBG compensators allows a significant reduction in the number of erbiumdoped fiber amplifiers (EDFAs; triangular symbols) required to maintain signal strength.

s data rates of telecom systems increase from 10 to 40 Gbit/s, new technical challenges apachieved using dispersion-compensating fibers (DCFs). pear, including the adverse effects of sigUnfortunately, these bulky DCFs suffer from high insernal broadening caused by tion loss and sensitivity chromatic dispersion. This physical pheto nonlinear effects, The multichannel character nomenon originates from the wavelength prompting system mandependence of the propagation velocity in ufacturers to look for alof fiber-Bragg-grating the transport optical fiber. In such a mateternatives. rial, the blue part of an optical pulse propa- compensators offers a Fiber-Bragg-grating gates faster than its red part, resulting in colorless, low-insertion-loss, compensators progressive pulse broadening. for dispersion Fortunately, it is easy to recompress the compact, and widely tunable Proposed compensation two deoptical pulses by providing a device that does just the opposite: providing a longer option for 10 Gbit/s and even cades ago, a fiber Bragg grating (FBG) consists propagation time for the blue part than of a longitudinal index for the red part of the optical pulses. Th is 40 Gbit/s communications modulation in the core scheme is referred to as dispersion comof an optical fiber.1 The pensation and actually works better than system designers. light is reflected by the trying to eliminate the chromatic disFBG when its wavelength satisfies the interference conpersion in the transport fiber. For example, dispersiondition dictated by the modulation period. For dispershifted fiber (DSF) was developed to provide negligible sion-compensation purposes, the modulation period chromatic dispersion, but brings new problems, includvaries along the fiber axis such that the blue part and ing larger nonlinear effects. Until recently, dispersion compensation was primarily red part of an optical pulse are reflected back at the far and front parts of the FBG, respectively. YVES PAINCHAUD and CARL PAQUET are product managers and Since the FBG-compensation idea was fi rst conMARTIN GUY is vice president of product management and technoloceived—and especially over the past five years—signifigy at TeraXion, 2716 Einstein St., Quebec City, QC, Canada, G1P 4S8; e-mail: ypainchaud@teraxion.com; www.teraxion.com. cant advances have been made. Th is technology is now Laser Focus World

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DISPERSION COMPENSATION, continued

INDUSTRIAL GREEN In Out

Thermal-gradient platform

Group Position delay

λ1 zmax GDmax

λ2

Single or multichannel grating can be incorporated in the thermalgradient platform

zmin GDmin Wavelength

OEM LASER SOLUTIONS

FBGs in 10 Gbit/s systems

Compared to DCF, FBGs are low-loss, compact, and provide no nonlinearity. The in-line use of FBG-based dispersion compensators has been demonstrated in metropolitan and regional links up to 1500 km.6, 7 The low-loss nature of FBG-based dispersion compensators compared to DCF-based compensators is best illustrated for 10 Gbit/s applications (see Fig. 1). Dispersion-compensating fiber is typically used in-line, at the middle of dual-stage erbium-doped fiber amplifiers (EDFAs). The EDFA amplification counteracts the transport-fiber attenuation and the DCF insertion loss (typically around 7 dB per module). The low insertion loss of FBG-based dispersion compensators (around 2 dB) allows a significant reduction in the amplification requirements such that single-stage or variable-gain EDFAs are typically sufficient. Th is decrease in the amplification requirements reduces the system cost and can provide an improvement of the optical signalto-noise ratio (OSNR).

FIGURE 2. The dispersion provided by a fiber Bragg grating (FBG) can be tuned by imposing a thermal gradient along the fiber axis. The thermal gradient changes the chromatic dispersion defined as the group-delay slope. A packaged FBG-based dispersion compensator incorporates thermoelectric coolers and control electronics (inset).

mature enough for dispersion compensation and represents the fi rst deployed compensation technology besides DCF. The major advantage of FBG technology is its ability to provide tunable dispersion compensation—a critical feature required for 40 Gbit/s communication systems that cannot be met by DCF. High complexity; simple manufacturing

7605 PRESIDENTS DRIVE ORLANDO, FLORIDA 32809 • USA TEL: 407-812-4611 FAX: 407-850-2422 salesdept@leelaser.com www.leelaser.com

some additional features can be added to the FBG. But when using a standard simple writing scheme, FBGs can be viewed as replicas of a master: the phase mask.

One of the biggest advances in FBG technology is the upgrade from singlechannel to broadband operation, thanks to the development of multichannel FBGs. 2 Many channels can be tailored to provide dispersion opposite to that of the transport fiber for which a wavelength dependence is observed. These FBGs conveniently provide dispersion and dispersion-slope compensation for standard single-mode fibers (SSMFs) and for nonzero dispersionshifted fibers (NZ-DSFs). 3, 4 Although a quite complex FBG is required to include all these advances, this complexity can be transferred into a phase mask for efficient manufacturing. 5 A phase mask to fabricate FBGs consists of a fused-silica plate containing a series of corrugations. In the writing process, an optical fiber is positioned in close proximity to the phase mask. When an ultraviolet beam passes through the phase mask, it produces an interference pattern—according to the phase-mask corrugations—that permanently creates a modulation index in the fiber core, thus forming the FBG. In a complex writing scheme,

FBGs in 40 Gbit/s systems

Chromatic-dispersion management is significantly more stringent at 40 Gbit/s than it is at 10 Gbit/s. In particular, the dispersion must be optimally tuned at the receiver on a per-channel basis. Th is is accomplished using a tunable dispersion compensator. Unfortunately, DCF does not offer any possibility for dispersion tuning. But FBG-based tunable dispersion compensators represent a logical alternative as an extension of already deployed and proven fi xed-FBG-based compensators. Furthermore, FBGs have the advantage of providing a wide tuning range over a broad channel bandwidth when compared to other dispersion-compen-

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Group delay (ps)

Reflectivity (ps)

sation technologies 0 such as etalon filters, -20 planar-lightwave-cir-40 cuit (PLC)-based com1546 1548 1550 1552 1554 pensators, and virtually 200 imaged phased arrays 0 -200 (VIPAs). Although 1546 1548 1550 1552 1554 used on a per-channel Wavelength (nm) basis, the multichannel feature is important FIGURE 3. The reflectivity (top) and 100 pm smoothed groupbecause colorless opdelay spectra (bottom) for a 33-channel tunable dispersion eration is required for compensator can be displayed when the dispersion is inventory purposes. adjusted to –400, 0, and +400 ps/nm. The ±400 ps/nm range The dispersion pro- of this FBG-based tunable dispersion compensator can vided by the FBG can accommodate each channel of a communications system with 200 GHz channel spacings. be tuned by imposing a thermal graincorporating FBGs. Packaged moddient along the fiber axis.8 Over one channel of a multichannel FBG, the ules can be easily integrated by system group-delay spectrum is larger for the designers and are conveniently conblue part of the channel, thus providtrolled through a communication port. ing the required function (see Fig. 2). Bright future for FBGs The dispersion value is given by the As the optical performance of FBGslope of the group delay versus wavebased dispersion compensators continlength. When an FBG is cooled, its peues to improve, these devices may move riod shrinks and the reflectivity it provides occurs at a lower wavelength. The beyond 10 Gbit/s and 40 Gbit/s deployments for consideration in long-haul opposite effect occurs when the FBG is links as well. The cost-effectiveness heated. As a result, a thermal gradient applied over the FBG allows dispersion associated with the reduction in amplification requirements for 10 Gbit/s tuning over a certain range around its systems, as well as the per-channel adnonthermally perturbed value. justment of the residual dispersion at For most applications, a dispersion the receiver for 40 Gbit/s systems, are tuning range that covers negative and critical functions of FBG-based disperpositive values is required. Th is is acsion compensators that will make them complished by providing two FBGs an attractive solution for system dethat have dispersions of opposite signs signers now and into the future. ❏ in the same thermal platform.9 For example, a 33-channel tunable dispersion compensator can tune over a REFERENCES 1. F. Ouellette, Optics Lett. 12(10) 847 (1987). ±400 ps/nm range to accommodate 2. J. Rothenberg et al., Proc. Optical Fiber Conf. each channel of a 200 GHz ITU grid (a 2002 (OFC 02) 575 (2002). 3. M. Morin et al., Proc. OFC 04, paper WK1 communications system with channel (2004). spacings of 200 GHz and wavelengths 4. Y. Painchaud et al., Proc. OFC 06, paper defi ned by the International TelecomOThE2 (2006). 5. M. Guy et al., Proc. Bragg Gratings Photosenmunications Union; see Fig. 3). From component to intelligent module

6.

The FBG tuning platform uses thermoelectric coolers that must be controlled properly to obtain the desired dispersion adjustment. The heat produced in the device must also be managed for proper operation. Fortunately, the control electronics and appropriate thermal management have been engineered to obtain intelligent, tunable dispersion-compensation modules

7. 8. 9.

sitivity and Poling in Glass Waveguides Conf. 2003, 269 (2003). Y. Painchaud et al., Proc. European Conf. on Optical Comm. 2006 (ECOC 06), postdeadline paper Th4.2.7 (2006). H.S. Fews et al., Proc. ECOC 06, paper Th3.2.5 (2006). R.L. Lachance, S. Lelièvre, and Y. Painchaud, Proc. OFC 03 1,164 (2003). A.W. Farr and É. Pelletier, Fiberoptic Product News (May 2004).

Bulk reprints of all Laser Focus World articles can be ordered from Mary Donnelly at (603) 891-9398, FAX (603) 891-0574, or marym@pennwell.com. Laser Focus World

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ULTRAFAST OPTICS

Dielectric multilayer mirrors enable shortest pulse lengths GABRIEL TEMPEA AND ANDREAS STINGL

λ3

+

λ2

+

λ1

I

Dispersive medium

λ1 <λ2 <λ3

FIGURE 1. A short laser pulse can be represented as a linear superposition of quasimonochromatic wave packets. These wave packets experience different delays upon nitially driven by cutting- linear propagation through a medium that exhibits group-delay dispersion, leading to pulse edge fundamental rebroadening (left). This effect can be compensated with a dispersive multilayer mirror (right). search, the development The group-delay dispersion introduced upon reflection by this device is controlled by means of the penetration depth of the different wave packets. of femtosecond lasers

must now respond to the specific needs of an increasing number of industrial and having spectra sufficiently broad to support pulse clinical applications. Pulse durations in the sub-7 fs range durations below 5 fs can now be routinely generated at are, for instance, essential for the generation of isolated attoenergies ranging from the nano- to the millijoule energy second pulses via high-order harmonic generlevels. The extent to ation, while compactness, stability, and user- Dispersive dielectric mirrors which the bandwidthfriendliness are of paramount importance for limited pulse femtosecond oscillators used in eye diagnosis can be used to enable the duration can be via optical-coherence tomography or in nonachieved critically generation of few-cycle linear microscopy. The increasing number of depends on the diverse applications set two major trends in bandwidth and pulses and to compensate the development of femtosecond sources: on accuracy of the one hand, decreasing the routinely achievable the dispersion that occurs in optical components pulse duration (eventually to less than 10 fs); used for dispersion complex optical systems. and on the other, improving compactness management. and user-friendliness of the sources. Thin-film technology The Ti:sapphire laser medium has a fluorescence bandwidth that supports the direct generation of sub-10 fs The group velocity of light is frequency-dependent in any propagation medium other than vacuum. As a result, varipulses centered at 800 nm and exhibits excellent thermal and mechanical properties. Owing to the availability of Ti: ous frequency components of a short laser pulse experience different delays upon propagation in optical media, sapphire and of spectral-broadening schemes, pulses resulting in pulse broadening. Compensation of disperGABRIEL TEMPEA is product manager of optics and ANDREAS sion effects is a prerequisite for the generation and delivSTINGL is president and CEO of Femtolasers Produktions, Fernkornery of short optical pulses. With decreasing pulse duration, gasse 10, A-1100 Vienna, Austria; e-mail: Gabriel.Tempea@femtolasers. com; www.femtolasers.com. higher-order dispersion terms need to be compensated Laser Focus World

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ULTRAFAST OPTICS, continued

tive of the spectral phase with respect to the angular frequency). 1 Components introducing angular dispersion, like gratings or 0,1 prisms, have traditionally been used to compensate for dispersion effects 0,5 and recompress the pulse temporal0,01 ly. In this approach, the first element is used to angularly disperse the 1E-3 0,0 beam; the different spectral compo600 700 800 900 1000 1100 nents, being now spatially resolved, Wavelength (nm) experience different geometrical FIGURE 2. The spectrum (blue line) and paths and thus different delays. A intensity envelope (red dots) of 5.9 fs pulses second identical element is used to generated from an all-DM Ti:sapphire oscillator compensate for the angular disperwere measured (courtesy of Takao Fuji, MPQ sion. An identical sequence (or reGarching, Germany/Chemical Dynamics flecting the beam back on the same Laboratory Riken, Japan). path) must be used to remove the with increasing accuracy. The generaspatial variation of laser frequency (spation and distortion-free manipulation of tial chirp). Lack of accuracy in the consub-20 fs pulses calls for accurate comtrol of higher-order dispersion terms limpensation of the group-delay disperits the use of these compressors mainly sion (GDD; the second-order derivative to pulses longer than 20 fs. Furthermore, of the spectral phase with respect to the grating- and prism-based compressors angular frequency) and third-order dis- are large and alignment-sensitive—a mapersion (TOD; the third-order derivajor drawback, particularly for commer-

150 January 2007

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Time (fs) 0 20

40 1,0

Intensity (a.u.)

Intensity (a.u.)

-20

www.laserfocusworld.com

cial laser systems (although see “Disperson compensation sharpens multiphoton microscopy,” p. 117). Owing to the large amounts of GDD they can compensate for, grating or prism pairs are, however, indispensable in chirped-pulse amplifiers. In contrast to grating- and prism-based compressors, dispersive mirrors (DMs, also called “chirped mirrors”) allow independent engineering of GDD, TOD, and even fourth-order dispersion over bandwidths approaching one optical octave. With a compressor merely consisting of a pair of mirrors (used anyway for feedback in any laser setup), compactness and userfriendliness are dramatically improved. Dispersive mirrors rely on the finding that the GDD introduced by dielectric multilayer reflectors can be controlled by means of the wavelength dependence of the penetration depth of the electric field.1 A mirror will introduce negative GDD (as required by most applications) if short-wavelength components are substantially reflected by the top layers while long-wavelength wave packets penetrate

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Highly integrated oscillators

The shortest laser pulses (with durations down to 5 fs) can be generated by means of Kerr-lens modelocking in a resonator equipped with an optically pumped Ti: sapphire crystal, provided that the dispersion of the resonator is well-behaved

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Intensity (arb.u.)

(and close to zero) over a large frac8 400 tion of the crystalâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s fluorescence 6 4 spectrum. Prism pairs do not fulfill 200 2 this requirement, their performance 0 0 -40 -20 0 20 40 being plagued by third-order disDelay (fs) persion. The accurate compensation -200 of higher-order dispersion terms -400 calls for the use of DMs in laser resonators, either in conjunction with 700 750 800 850 or as an alternative to prisms. Wavelength (nm) Because chirped mirrors proFIGURE 3. The GDD of a highly dispersive mirror vide not only dispersion control but also amplitude feedback (with pair (averaged GDD per bounce) was measured. reflectance values easily exceeding The interferometric autocorrelation (inset) corresponding to 11.7 fs pulses was measured 99.7%), they allow the simplest at the focus of a scanning-microscope setup and most compact realization of consisting of a beam expander, a scanning a modelocked laser, in which the objective, a tube lens, and a 40Ă&#x2014; NA 0.8 resonator consists merely of a laZeiss Apochromat objective. The dispersion ser crystal and several reflectors. of the setup amounted to 4470 fs2 and was Equipped with the latest generacompensated with DMs. tion of dispersive mirrors that proible and near-IR spectral regions.5 vide GDD and TOD control, along with The carrier-envelope offset phase of a high reflectance over about 170 THz, allshort laser pulse (directly related to the dispersive-mirror oscillators routinely resonator round-trip phase) became a generate sub-6 fs pulses with spectra parameter of paramount importance in spanning more than 500 nm in the visGDD (fs2)

deeper into the multilayer structure before being reflected, experiencing a longer delay (see Fig. 1). Despite the simplicity of the physical working principle, neither the design nor the manufacturing of DMs is trivial. Analytical predesign algorithms in conjunction with efficient numerical optimization methods have pushed DM design to their physical and technological limits, where the bandwidth and the amount of GDD are limited by the maximum number of layers and optical thickness of the coating.2, 3, 4 Recent advances in thin-film-deposition technology have resulted in dispersive mirrors with up to 90 layers that can be reproducibly manufactured with subnanometer layer-thickness accuracy.

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THE FUTURE OF OPTICAL COMMUNICATIONS IS HERE

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ULTRAFAST OPTICS, continued

few-cycle-pulse physics and in frequencydomain metrology. In prism-based resonators, small changes in beam pointing lead to large modifications of the resonator round-trip phase and dispersion. The phase shift and GDD introduced by DMs is insensitive to small modifications of the angle of incidence, making the roundtrip phase of all-DM oscillators insensitive to beam-pointing variations. As a result, the round-trip phase fluctuations have been shown to be one order of magnitude smaller in an all-DM oscillator as compared to its prism-based counterpart. Few-cycle pulses

Laser pulses with durations approaching the period of the optical field (2.7 fs at 800 nm) and focusable to intensities in excess of 1014 W/cm2 are valuable tools for the investigation of strong-field lasermatter interactions and have proven to be an enabling instrument in the emerging field of attosecond metrology. Gain-narrowing prevents the direct generation of sub-10 fs pulses by means of chirpedpulse amplification. However, millijoule pulses with durations between 20 and 100 fs can be efficiently spectrally broadened, for example by means of nonlinear propagation in noble-gas-filled hollow fibers.6 In this manner, submillijoule pulses having spectra that support pulse durations close to 5 fs can be generated. To achieve this pulse duration, the spectral chirp caused by linear and nonlinear propagation effects needs to be accurately compensated. By using dispersive-mirror compressors consisting of only 5 or 6 reflectors, GDD and TOD can be compensated over a bandwidth of about 170 THz, leading to the generation of undistorted sub-6 fs pulses (see Fig. 2).

depth as compared to standard systems that use 100 to 200 fs pulses.7 With sub20 fs pulses, high peak powers can be achieved at comparatively lower average power, reducing the thermal loading of the sample. The bandwidth of sub-20 fs pulses (greater than 100 nm full width at half maximum) could allow the simultaneous excitation of several absorption lines and/or combining nonlinear imaging with optical-coherence tomography. Until recently, prism or grating pairs were used for dispersion management in microscopy, adding complexity to the systems.8 Dispersive mirrors are now capable of compensating groupdelay-dispersion values as large as 200 to 300 fs2 per bounce, providing compact, accurate, and user-friendly chirpcompensation.9, 10 With 22 bounces off a pair of high-dispersion mirrors, precise compensation of the GDD of the optics used in a typical scanning microscope (comprising a telescope, an IR scan objective, a tube lens, and a 40× apochromat objective with a

0.8 numerical aperture) was achieved (see Fig. 3). The total GDD of the setup amounted to 4470 fs2. The throughput of the DM compressor was 89%. The setup was seeded with 9.4 fs bandwidth-limited pulses generated from an all-chirpedmirror oscillator (Integral Pro from Femtolasers Produktions). In the absence of dispersion compensation, the pulse duration would be about 1.3 ps at the focus; using the chirped-mirror-compressor, sub-12 fs pulses were measured directly at the focus of the objective. ❏ REFERENCES 1. R. Szipöcs, K. Ferencz, Ch. Spielmann, and F. Krausz, Opt. Lett. 19, 201 (1994). 2. R. Szipöcs, A. Köhàzi-Kis, Appl. Phys. B 65, 115 (1997). 3. F. X. Kärtner, et al., Opt. Lett. 22, 831 (1997). 4. G. Tempea et al., IEEE J. Quantum Electron. 4, 193 (1998). 5. T. Fuji et al., Opt. Lett. 30, 332 (2005). 6. M. Nisoli et al., Opt. Lett. 22, 522 (1997). 7. S. Tang et al. J. Biomed. Opt. 11, 020501 (2006). 8. M. Müller et al., J. Microscopy 191, 141 (1997). 9. G. Tempea et al., CLEO 2006, 21.05, Long beach, CA, USA (2006). 10. A. M. Larson and A. T. Yeh, Opt. Lett. 31, 1681 (2006).

DMs and nonlinear microscopy

The generation and undistorted delivery of short femtosecond pulses are equally demanding tasks. The lack of compact and user-friendly compressors that can compensate the dispersion of involved optical systems has prevented the use of sub-20 fs laser pulses in certain biomedical and industrial applications like nonlinear microscopy or terahertz spectroscopy. Seeding nonlinear microscopes with sub-20 fs laser pulses results in a dramatic enhancement of the excitation efficiency and improved penetration Laser Focus World

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Announcing 2007 PhAST / Laser Focus World

Innovation Awards Focus World partnership offers exposure to the winning entry,

CALL FOR ENTRIES Submission Deadline: Friday, March 2, 2007

recognizing CLEO exhibiting companies that made the greatest impact in the optics and photonics marketplace during the past year. The winning entry will be awarded the PhAST/Laser Focus World Innovation Award, presented during the Plenary Session on Monday, May 7. The chosen entry’s submitter will also participate in the pres-

The PhAST/Laser Focus World Innovation Awards program is

tigious Press Luncheon with other prominent conference speakers.

proud to announce the second annual Innovation Awards. This

Four honorable mentions will also be acknowledged during the

award was established to honor exhibitors who have demonstrated

Plenary Session. Winners will be highlighted in official conference

outstanding leadership and made significant contributions in

materials onsite (Conference Program, Exhibit Buyers’ Guide).

advancing the field of optics and photonics innovation. All submissions must be received by Friday, March 2, 2007 for The Innovation Awards Program allows CLEO exhibitors to

consideration. Submitters will be notified on Wednesday, March 21,

showcase their latest products and services. The recipient of this

if their submission has been selected for presentation.

award provides exhibitors the opportunity to reach top industry decision makers at the premier laser conference. This award

Submission information and entry form:

also offers a unique promotional opportunity. The PhAST and Laser

www.phastconference.org / innovation

Awards Sponsored by:

®

Discover the

next generation of photonics applications at

PhAST Collocated with

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The Conference on Photonic Applications, Systems and Technologies (PhAST) is sponsored by APS, IEEE-LEOS and OSA.

May 7–10, 2007 Baltimore Convention Center • Baltimore, Maryland, USA

1/4/07 3:00:35 PM


products new Blue-violet diode A 405 nm, blue-violet laserdiode module with TTL modulation has output power of 25 mW. Its signal-to-noise ratio makes it appropriate for biomedical and biochemical analysis applications such as flow cytometry and laserinduced fluorescence sensing. The OEM module can also be used in industrial inspection, medical imaging, spectroscopy, and microscopy. Photonic Products, Hertfordshire, England sales@photonic-products.com

Excimer-laser mirrors Tech Spec high-energy excimer-laser mirrors are designed to minimize scatter from highpower UV lasers, including KrF (248 nm), XeCl (308 nm), and XeF (351 nm) lasers. The mirrors are based on thin-film dielectric coatings on fused-silica substrates, offer 10-5 surface qualities, and are available in 12.5 and 25 mm diameters. Edmund Optics, Barrington, NJ sales@edmundoptics.com

Photodetector/ amplifier combination The ODA-5W-100M photodetector/amplifier combination, with 100 MΩ gain, is packaged in a standard TO-5 can with a visible wave length responsitivity of 40 V/µW at 660 nm. The frequency response is 1 KHz with low dark offset at ±1 MV with dark offset noise at 5 mV rms. Operating specifications are set at ±15 V and 25°C. The detector active area has a 0.100-inch diameter. Opto Diode, Newbury Park, CA sales@optodiode.com

Miniature videoobservation cameras The FOX-C408 and FOX-P708 miniature video-observation cameras have been designed with Omnivision single-chip CMOS camera chips in an LCC package. The FOX-C408 is a CCIR monochrome camera with 352 × 288 effective pixels measuring 8 × 8 × 12 mm. The FOX-P708 is a PAL color camera with 510 × 480 effective pixels measuring 8 × 8 × 20 mm. Reinaert Electronics, Amsterdam, Netherlands info@reinaertelectronics.nl

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newproducts Sapphire optics

1 in. thick, with various types of antireflective coatings. Meller Optics, Providence, RI orders@melleroptics.com

Laser windows

Custom sapphire laser optics can be fabricated for excimer, alexandrite, Nd:YAG, ER:YAG, Ho:YAG, and other types of lasers. They can be planoconvex, plano-concave, and meniscus lenses, windows, mirrors, and waveplates. They can be made from 1/4 to 10 in. diameter and 1/2 mm to

High-power laser windows are available in diameters up to 600 mm, made from glasses including BK7 and fused silica. They have typical wavefront error of Îť/10 and surface finish of 40/20 to 10/5. They have transmis-

sion from UV to the near-IR. A variety of dielectric coatings are available. Optical Surfaces, Kenley, Surrey, England sales@optisurf.com

Light cartridge

The AesthetiPak cartridge for intensepulsed-light systems includes a flashlamp, optical reflector, filter, and electrical assembly. The cartridge is watertight and disposable, and is designed for plug-and-play use in skincare facilities for a range of light-

&ULL3PECTRUMOF3OLID3TATE,ASERS %XCELSIORÂ&#x161;#7LASERSnTHERIGHTCHOICEFOR BIOINSTRUMENTATION s (IGHPERFORMANCE s 0ROVENRELIABILITY s #ONVENIENTSMALLSIZE /FFERING THE LARGEST SELECTION OF LOW POWER SOLID STATE #7 LASERS FOR BIOINSTRUMENTATION THE 3PECTRA 0HYSICS %XCELSIOR PORTFOLIO NOW INCLUDES  AND  NM WAVELENGTH MODELS 7HICHEVER ONE YOU CHOOSE ALLDELIVERBIGPERFORMANCEINASMALLANDCONSISTENTPACKAGE #OMPACTDIMENSIONSFACILITATEEASYINTEGRATION WHILEHIGHRELIABILITY ENSURESAMULTI YEAROPERATIONALLIFETIME .EWPORT WITH ITS 3PECTRA 0HYSICS DIVISION PROVIDES INNOVATIVE PHOTONIC SOLUTIONS INTEGRATING THE LIGHT SOURCE INTO VALUE ADDED APPLICATIONSPECIlCSUBASSEMBLIES

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ON THE MARK

W O R K M A N S H I P. O N T H E M A R K . Cylindrical lenses produce an optical power in one axis, by “stretching” a point of light into a line. One or both surfaces of the lens are formed to have a convex or concave cylinder shape. These cylindrical lenses are made from CaF2, MgF2, Fused Silica (for UV), BK7A, Pyrex, Zerodur (for Visible), ZnSe, ZnS, Ge, Si (for IR) depending on the wavelength of application. Anti-reÀection & high reÀector coatings are available. Typical lead time for custom prototyping is 4 weeks. In-house CNC machining supports a complete inventory of fabrication/ polishing tools & test plates to make the short lead time a reality. For demanding low quantity prototypes to high volume mass productions, Lambda is ready to produce and meet your tough demands. Isn’t it about time you call Lambda? Move out of your comfort zone. Demand More. Demand Lambda. 1695 W. MacArthur Blvd., Costa Mesa, CA 92626 • www.lambda.cc • tel: 714.327.0600 • fax: 714.327.0610 • email: lambda@lambda.cc

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-APPLY -DRY -PROTECT -PEEL

newproducts based procedures, including skin rejuvenation, dermatological treatments, and hair removal. PerkinElmer Optoelectronics, Fremont, CA optoelectronics@perkinelmer.com

First Contact™ Polymer Solution -EASY to use -CONVENIENT - Apply First Contact™ on your schedule, have clean surfaces ready and waiting for you -PROTECTS - Polymer prevents against physical damage & chemical attacks -EFFECTIVE - Peel film for clean room cleanliness - Any Time - Any Place

Capacitive gauge

-Laser Damage Threshold equivalent to major manufacturer -Penetrate and clean nano-scale surfaces -Clean all components of Digital Imaging systems.

Digital Imaging system BEFORE (left) and AFTER (right) cleaning with First Contact™

FOR MORE INFO: WWW.PHOTONICCLEANING.COM SALES@PHOTONICCLEANING.COM

The D-510 family of PISeca capacitive displacement gauges perform noncontact measurements of geometries of electrically conductive targets. They have subnanometer resolution, measuring ranges to 500 µm, measuring linearity to 0.1%, and bandwidth to 10 kHz. The plug-and-play devices have a guard-ring electrode to shield the sensor electrode from boundary effects. PI (Physik Instrumente), Auburn, MA info@pi-usa.us

Video system

The Pixel 275 II video system is optimized for airborne applications such as mapping, documentation, and electronic news gathering. The four-axis gyrostabilized system is equipped with a Sony DSR-PD170 camera with 12× optical zoom and can record to Mini-DV, DV-CAM, or computer. Date, time, and GPS data

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OptoSigma Manual Positioners Steel Extended Contact Bearing Stages Available in 120, 65, 40, 25mm footprints X, XY, Z, XYZ configurations, short and long travel Stainless Steel Extended Contact Bearing Stages Available in 65, 40, 25mm footprints X, XY, Z, XYZ configurations, short and long travel Aluminum Stages Crossed-roller and Ball bearing designs Available in 65, 40, 25mm footprints X, XY, Z, XYZ configurations, short and long travel Goniometers Available in 65, 40, 25mm footprints One and two axes Compatible with rotation and translation stages Rotation Stages Continuous 360 degree rotation Five sizes cover most applications Compatible with linear translation stages Preset Dovetail Stages Available in 65, 40, 25, 15mm footprints X, XY, Z, XZ, XYZ configurations Set and lock in position Other Services Engineering support for Design & Development 3D models available upon request Prototype to Productions Suitable for Laboratory and OEM applications Large selection of Off-the-Shelf products Vacuum Compatible solutions RoHS compliant products Adaptable to motorized actuators

Thin Film Coatings | Optical Components | Opto-Mechanics | Manual Positioners | Motorized Positioners 949-851-5881

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sales @ optosigma.com

www.optosigma.com

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newproducts format remote-head cameras, such as those used in nuclear vision and star tracking. The 20 mm fixed-focus lens can withstand radiation of up to 53 kGy and temperatures to 55°C without discoloration. It provides a 40° field of view vertically and horizontally and 25 cycles/mm. Resolve Optics, Chesham, Buckinghamshire, England sales@resolveoptics.com

can be overlayed. Polytech Airborne Imaging, Malmkoping, Sweden info@polytech.se

Large-format lens The Non-Browning specialist lens is designed for use with large-image-

DFB laser The AG-1 distributed-feedback laser uses a multivariable control system for dynamic signal feedback. It delivers an effective linewidth of 10 to 400 kHz and frequency stability of ±5 MHz. It is tunable across the C- and L-bands with a tuning range of 3 nm and a minimum step size of 0.5 pm. Sabeus, Calabasas, CA www.sabeus.com

Medical light The PF Series examination light is designed for medical examinations that require highintensity light. It contains a 50 W dichroic halogen light source, adjustable jointed arm for positioning, mobile caster base, 30 ft power cord, and a weighted base. It provides whitelight intensity up to 46,000 lux, with a color temperature of 4000K. Sunnex, Natick, MA sunnex@sunnex.com

DPSS laser

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Terahertz image courtesy of Thruvision.

8-13 April 2007 Orlando World Center Marriott Resort & Convention Center Orlando, Florida USA Attend the only open event on sensing, detecting, and imaging technologies for defense and security. The face-to-face collaboration between researchers from multiple disciplines at this event has accelerated technological advancement and discovery in defense and security, making this the largest event of its kind in the world.

spie.org/events/dss

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Building a Better Future with Light

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newproducts The ETNA diode-pumped, solid-state laser delivers more than 110 W average power at 1064 nm and more than 65 W of green at 10 kHz, with pulse duration of 45 ns and an M2 better than 20. The repetition rate can run from 5 to 30 kHz. It is controlled by Windows-based software. Thales Laser, Orsay, France Fabien.ghez@fr.thalesgroup.com

Machine-vision camera

ing, photonic-component testing, laser machining, and wafer inspection. Aerotech, Pittsburgh, PA sales@aerotech.com

Fluorophosphate glass

The CS5111L analog color-composite camera system has a 29 mm remote head that can be connected to a control unit by a cable up to 7 m long. The 1/2-in. CCD sensor with 380,000 pixels captures fast-moving objects at a horizontal resolution of 470 lines. The camera has electronic lighting control, automatic gain control, and an auto white balance function. Toshiba Teli America, Irvine, CA www.toshiba-teli.com

A new series of Er(III)-doped fluorophosphate glasses (MBBA System) are designed for use in broadband compact optical fibers, compact waveguide amplifiers and compact fiber lasers. This glass exhibits a spectroscopic quality factor (Q value) of 1.62. AFO Research, Glendale, CA afoinc@yahoo.com

UV laser mirrors

UV ink curing Semiconductor Light Matrix arrays include thousands of individual UV emitters for a mercury-free system to cure UV ink. The compact device includes power supply, electronic intensity control, and integrated micro-optics and cooling systems. Phoseon Technology, Hillsboro, OR info@phoseon.com

Rotary stages The ALAR series direct-drive rotary stages operate from 45 to 300 rpm continuous rotation. Five aperture sizes are offered: 100, 150, 200, 250, and 325 mm. The stages have an axial load capacity of 300 to 1000 lb and a cogfree motor. Applications include single and multiaxis electro-optic sensor test-

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Solid-state, flat mirrors are specifically intended for beam-delivery applications of Q-switched UV lasers. They cover both 355 nm (third harmonic) and 266 nm (fourth harmonic) outputs. The mirrors are fabricated on fusedsilica substrates, offered with 1 or 2 in. diameters. Alpine Research Optics, Boulder, CO sales@AROcorp.com

Light-to-frequency converter The TSL238 high-sensitivity light-tofrequency converter series includes

Laser Focus World

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NEW WEB EXCLUSIVE!

MICROSITE

EXPERIENCE BEYOND NEWPORT

LOG ON TODAY! http://lfw.pennnet.com/newport/ OR simply go to www.laserfocusworld.com and either click on the Experience Beyond Newport Feature or look under “Web Exclusives”

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newproducts the eight-pin SOIC surface-mount package (D) and the compact, fourpin surface-mount package (T). The T package is lead-free, RoHS compliant, and has been temperature-compensated for the UV-VIS light range of 320 to 700 nm and responds over the 320 to 1050 range. Digital output allows direct interface to a microcontroller or logic circuitry. Taos, Plano, TX sales@taosinc.com

Imaging-signal processor The ADCDS-1603 imagingsignal processor provides 16-bit resolution and a 3-megapixel/s throughput rate. It has an signalto-noise ratio of 85 dB at 3 MHz with no latency delay. The integrated, 40-pin TDIP package incorporates a user-configurable input am-

Benchtop Performance in the Palm of Your Hand Measure a lot, with just a little! Newport’s new 1918-C Series Handheld Power Meters bring the leading edge performance and advanced features you’d expect to find in a benchtop instrument – right into the palm of your hand. • Compact and ergonomic design ideal for use in the lab and in the field • Power measurements from 1 nW – 6 kW • Energy measurements from 250 µJ – 75 J • Measurement rep rates up to 2 kHz • Compatible with all Newport “Smart” power and energy detectors Ask us about the capabilities of the 1918-C Series Power Meter family. Call 1-800-222-6440 or visit www.newport.com/palmpower for more information.

Introductory Offer! Visit www.newport.com/palmpower for details.

MAKE LIGHT | MANAGE LIGHT | MEASURE LIGHT

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newproducts plifier, a correlated double sampler and a 16-bit sampling analog-to-digital converter. C&D Technologies, Mansfield, MA usmedia@cdtechno.com

Optical-design software A new version of Advanced Systems Analysis Program (ASAP) has been released for the virtual prototyping of optical systems and devices. New features include CAD export, CIE analysis, IES import/export, a quick-start toolbar, a ray-path explorer, and tolerancing. Breault Research, Tucson, AZ www.breault.com

Broadband emitters New broadband emitters produce blackbody radiation. The radiating element in the steady-state emitters is a coiled filament of a proprietary material with a specialized coating for an emissivity of 0.70. Designed to operate at a rated filament temperature of 1170°K, the emitters range in input powers from 1.15 W to 2.1 W.

Laser Beam Profiling? Demand more, much more: WinCamD-CCD-USB You could pay over $1,000 more for an inferior profiling camera … but why would you?

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4.65 µm pixels, 1360 x 1024 - Small pixels for high resolution 14-bit ADC compliments low-noise, low dark current CCDs High uniformity 1⁄2” and 2⁄3” CCD options USB 2.0 Port-powered, compact, slim camera M2 ISO 11146 compliant scanning USB stage accessory

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20,000:1 additional CW dynamic range from continuous auto-exposure Pulsed laser single pulse isolation to 20 kHz Eliminates the ADC, Noise and Dark current limitations of CMOS sensors 1310 & 1550 nm Telecom options; UV converters 1 to 355 nm TaperCamD options to 15 x 20 mm area imaging. Powerful software with comprehensive measurement features: ISO 11146 compliance, Relative power, Active X interface, Export to Excel, Pass/Fail, Beam Wander, Data Logging, Fluence, 40 db log intensity view

DataRay Inc.

Boulder Creek, California Advancing the Technology of Laser Analysis since 1988 1-866-WinCamD 1-866-946-2263 or (203) 210-5065. Visit www.dataray.com for contacts, Selection Guide, Datasheeets, Sample Software ◊ 3 year warranty ◊ Free software upgrades ◊ 30-day Evaluation

Smart Beam Profiling, Imaging, Focusing, Pointing, Divergence, Collimation, M2 See Us at Photonics West, Booth #947 166 January 2007

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OPPORTUNITIES • FIND NEW VENUES FOR YOUR PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT • COMPLETE PROMOTIONAL SUPPORT FROM ALL ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT AGENCIES • GREAT EXHIBITOR EXPOSURE VIA THE PHOTONICS NORTH MAIN EXHIBITION • A CHANCE TO DISCOVER UNIQUE BUSINESS OPPORTUNITIES WITH A MINIMUM OF TIME & ENERGY • PROMOTE NEW TECHNOLOGY TRANSFERS • INTERNATIONAL NETWORKING • SALES LEAD GENERATION THROUGH NEW FIELD/AREA BUYERS • EXPAND YOUR PRODUCT/TECHNOLOGY MANUFACTURING AND DEVELOPMENT RANGE THROUGH OTHER RELATED TECHNOLOGIES

The 3rd Annual Executive Symposium on Photonics Commercialization LIGHTING THE FUTURE A high-level international event that brings together Senior Executives from leading photonics corporations together with high ranking government officials who will present their perspective on the commercialization of photonics. Presenters will also showcase emerging commercial opportunities in optics and photonics and show how these technologies are changing the way we live. Your registration to Photonics North, gives you full access to the Symposium

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>ÃiÀÊ-…ÕÌÌiÀ ->viÌÞʘÌiÀœVŽÃ >LœÀ>̜ÀÞ]ʘÃÌÀՓi˜Ì]ʘ`ÕÃÌÀˆ>Ê««ˆV>̈œ˜ÃÊ

newproducts They are available in windowless TO-5 packages. Cal Sensors, Santa Rosa, CA info@calsensors.com

LED bulbs

Our patented technology features a single flexing blade element to eliminate reliability concerns. Failsafe closure. Can be controlled with simple DC circuits. Internal beam dump. Position sensors independent of the power circuit verify open or close. Full feature interlock controllers, single and multi-output.

337 Piercy Road San Jose, CA 95138 www.nmlaser.com Ìi\Ê{än‡ÓÓLJnә™ÊUÊv>Ý\Ê{än‡ÓÓLJnÓÈxÊUÊÃ>iÃJ˜“>ÃiÀ°Vœ“

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The 1 W LuxemBulb series of LED MR-16 bulbs has been augmented for accent, display, and target lighting applications. The bulbs use a 1 W Lumileds power LED as their light source. The bulbs incorporate proprietary designs in heat management, electrical drivers, and optical beam shaping, offering 15- or 25-degree beam patterns. They are available in white, blue, green, amber, and red. CAO Group, West Jordan, UT info@caogroup.com

Color line-scan camera The Piranha color line-scan camera is available in 2k or 4k resolutions with line rates up to 33 kHz. Trilinear sen-

Laser Focus World

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LOW VISCOSITY EPOXY SYSTEM Has Low Exotherm

sor technology uses three sensors on one die; one for each color (red, green, and blue), to achieve three-pixel center-to-center line spacing. Other features include built-in flat field correction and a Camera Link interface. DALSA, Waterloo, Ontario Sales.Americas@dalsa.com

UV blocking filter The new UltraBlock filters are designed to block more than 99% of harmful UV wavelengths between 200 and 380 nm and transmit more than 90% of the visible wavelengths between 425 and 700 nm. UltraBlock coatings are compliant with Mil-C-675 standards. Proprietary MicroDyn reactive-sputtering-deposition technology is used to produce the coating, which does not change the

MASTER BOND EP37-3

For bonding, coating and casting applications Exceptionally long working life ■ Easy to use 2 to 1 mix ratio by weight ■ Outstanding optical clarity ■ Superior toughness and impact resistance ■ Low exotherm - ideal for large castings ■ Superb electrical insulation properties ■ Chemical resistance ■ Serviceable from -80°F to +250°F ■ Convenient packaging ■

Prompt Technical Assistance 154 Hobart St., Hackensack, NJ 07601 TEL: 201-343-8983 ■ FAX: 201-343-2132 www.masterbond.com ■ main@masterbond.com

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newproducts color appearance of the source material. Deposition Sciences, Santa Rosa, CA solutions@depsci.com

Polarization-insensitive isolator The Yb:Fiber free-space polarization-insensitive isolators eliminate damaging back reflections from work pieces. Designed for harsh environments, they are suited for industrial applications in the 1030 to 1100 nm region for powers up to 100 W continuous wave. They provide more than 30 dB isolation at 23°C and more than 23 dB isolation from 15°C to 50°C. Return loss is less than –50 dB and insertion loss is more than 0.3 dB. Models accommodate beams up to 5 mm in diameter. Electro-Optics Technology, Traverse City, MI sales@eotech.com

Laser-scanner software Version 4.0 of the FARO 3-D laser-scanning software is

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used for viewing, calibrating, filtering, and managing large, 3-D point clouds collected with the Laser Scanner LS. New features include intrinsic use of the inclination sensor, constraint-plane fit for plane positioning, improved slice export, automatic filtering, object export in DXF format, and intelligent contrast to improve point-cloud visualization. FARO Technologies, Lake Mary, FL www.faro.com

S/TEM microscope The Titan 80-300 kV S/TEM is a scanning/transmission electron microscope capable of viewing and analyzing individual atoms and bonds, down to the sub-Ångstrom level. Examples of research enabled by the Titan include quantum computing, carbon nanotubes, solid oxide fuel cells, and degenerative brain diseases. FEI, Hillsboro, OR www.fei.com

Industrial Photonics – successful solutions Optical Systems and Micro-Optics • • • • •

customized beam shaping solutions mass production of lenses on wafer base any wavelength from 157 nm to 10,6 µm any material (glass, fused silica, CaF2, silicon...) systems for beam shaping with < 1% flat-top uniformity

Laser Systems • ultra-high brightness diode lasers: BPP=5 mm mrad • extremely homogeneous field illumination at multi-kW power levels • narrow line systems with below 1 nm line width for pump applications with wavelength stabilization • fully equipped FDA-prepared medical laser packages • homogeneous laser lines – Diode, excimer, CO2 and solid-state LIMO-Lissotschenko Mikrooptik GmbH Bookenburgweg 4-8 44319 Dortmund, Germany Phone: +49 (231) 22241- 300 Phone US Rep: +1 (404) 586 6860 Phone China Rep: +86 (10) 84536818 www.limo.de sales @limo.de

Technologies • • • • •

programmable free form illumination for any high-power laser source diffraction-limited beam shaping by micro-optics well-defined, reliable and efficient materials processing best practice best cost-benefit ratio industrial solutions tested in LIMO’s own application labs

LIMO inside – always one step ahead Laser Focus World

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newproducts Face detection for camera phones The Face Tracker is facedetection and tracking technology for camera phones. It detects the presence and position of a subject’s face at up to 30 frames per second during image capture. Up to eight faces can be simultaneously tracked on a camera phone. Other features include automatic image orientation, face cropping, and face thumbnail generation. FotoNation, Galway, Ireland info@fotonation.com

Intelligent video-surveillance system The Auto-Cam is an intelligent video-surveillance system that enables PTZ cameras to be programmed to tour both a facility’s area of responsibility (site) and area of interest (adjacent buffer zone). Other features include close-up view of threats, continuous threat tracking from PTZ camera to PTZ camera, and the continuous mapping of the threat’s movements on a 2-D or 3-D site display. Guardian Solutions, Bradenton, FL www.guardiansolutions.com

Laser Diode Drivers The only line of high power diode drivers in the world designed for the OEM customer. Units are small, economical and designed to protect the laser diode from damaging transients.

• 8 models – 50W through 3000W • Compact size • Universal input • CW output current to 200A • Pulsed output to 200A • +/- 15V, +5V auxiliary outputs • Optional RS-232 interface

Capacitor Charging Power Supplies Lumina Power’s advanced line of capacitor charging supplies are more compact, more efficient and more reliable than any other units available today. Our designs have found their way into medical, industrial and scientific applications. Units are available in various package configurations and power levels.

• 7 models – 500J/sec to 6400J/sec • Compact size • Rugged design for HV environments • Universal input • Power factor correction • Output voltage up to 15kV • Shoebox/chassis configurations • Low leakage for medical applications

240 Jubilee Drive, Peabody, MA 01960 Ph: 978-532-4666 Fx: 978-532-3066 www.luminapower.com sales@luminapower.com See Us at Photonics West, Booth #5072 172

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REGISTER TODAY!

GO TO WWW.STRATEGIESINLIGHT.COM

February 12 – 14, 2007 San José McEnery Convention Center San José, CA

LEDS  Pushing the Boundaries of Lighting Be Part of the Year’s Most Valuable Global Conference and Exhibition for the HB LED Industry. Hear it first at the 2007 kickoff event in the LED industry: HB LED Market Overview and 5-year Forecast by world renowned market researcher, Strategies Unlimited. Learn about the latest trends in LED-based illumination from major luminaire manufacturers. Explore emerging HB LED applications with the foremost industry experts. Get in on the new generation of automotive LED headlamp designs. Receive the latest updates on LED performance roadmaps from major LED suppliers. Listen to expert panels discuss the future of LED lighting. Network with your peers from the global LED community.

PLUS NEW! Four Pre-Conference Workshops More Exhibitors New and Expanded Location in San Jose! For more information on the conference, exhibits, speakers and the event, please visit www.strategiesinlight.com and register online. Be part of the biggest HB LED Event! Last year this event drew record attendance from the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Europe, Asia, Africa, and Australia. Strategies in Light is the perfect opportunity to increase your organization’s visibility and participation with key decision makers who are involved in every aspect of the LED industry and are assessing the driving forces in the LED markets. For more information on Sponsorship and Exhibit Packages for the leading event in the LED industry, please contact Tim Carli, Sales Manager, at (650) 941-3438, ext. 23, or email: tcarli@strategies-u.com. Or contact Jay Novack, Sales Director, at (603) 891-9186, or email: jayn@pennwell.com.

GO TO WWW.STRATEGIESINLIGHT.COM TO REGISTER.

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KEYNOTE: Truth in Lighting, the Reality of LEDs for General Illumination Neal Hunter Chairman and Co-Founder, LED Lighting Fixtures, Inc.

FEATURED SPEAKERS INCLUDE: A Major Luminaire Manufacturer’s View of the Role of LEDs in Lighting Ruedi Hug Managing Director, LEDON Lighting GmbH

Photonic Lattice-Based LEDs: A New Class of Solid-State Light Sources Bob Karlicek Chief Scientist, Luminus Devices

Near-term Application Opportunities for LEDs: A Laboratory-to-Marketplace Perspective Michael Siminovitch Director, California Lighting Technology Center

Accelerating SSL Adoption in the Broad Market: The Emergence of Global HB LED-Focused Distribution Cary Eskow Director, LightSpeed, Avnet Electronics

High-Brightness LED Market Overview and Forecast Robert Steele, PhD Conference Chair and Director of Optoelectronics Strategies Unlimited

OWNED AND PRODUCED BY:

FLAGSHIP SPONSOR:

1/4/07 3:09:40 PM


newproducts Microscopy workstation The Mircroscopy Workstation 780 is an active-vibration-isolated surface measuring 40 × 45 cm, to accommodate the microscope, surrounded by conventional, nonisolated laboratory work surface. The active isolated surface can accommodate large inverted light microscopes. For acoustic isolation applications, it can be used with the company’s Acoustic Enclosure 780. Halcyonics, Goettingen, Germany info@halcyonics.de

Silicone-free thermal interface material The POLARCHIP SP3000 siliconefree thermal interface material is a fluoropolymer composite used to fill air gaps between heat-generating devices on printed-circuit boards and the heat sinks, heat spreaders, and

metal chassis that are used to dissipate the heat. The absence of silicone eliminates the problems of silicone outgassing and silicone oil migration. W.L. Gore and Associates, Elkton, MD www.gore.com

Avalanche photodiode The S10362 series MPPC (multipixel photon counter) is an advanced Geiger-mode avalanche photodetector. The series has a 1 × 1 mm active area and is available in 100, 400, or

1600 pixel counts. A quenching circuit in each pixel counts simultaneous photon events separately. Packaged in either TO-18 or ceramic, peak sensitivity is at 400 nm and gain is approximately 1 × 106. Hamamatsu, Bridgewater, NJ sales@hamamatsu.com

Elliptical diffuser The ED-106-LR elliptical diffuser homogenizes an input beam and adds a 1.25° angle over the x-axis and a 0.80° angle over the y-axis. It has a transmission efficiency of about 95% and a diffraction efficiency of about 75%. Suitable for single- and multimode lasers,

JOIN THE WORLD LEADERS POINT SOURCE HAVE THREE EXCITING NEW POSITIONS AVAILABLE SALES DIRECTOR • Drive Sales Revenue growth • Manage and develop relationships with key accounts • Develop and manage a successful international field sales team

ENGINEERING MANAGER • Manage short cycle, custom design projects with clear on-time, on budget and design to cost targets • Manage all aspects of product engineering and manufacturing support • Manage introduction of new products to manufacturing

QUALITY MANAGER • Develop and maintain ISO9001-2000 compatible Quality Management System • Instigate and champion change to constantly improve customer service and satisfaction • Manage corrective and preventive actions

We are an innovative, dynamic company and world leaders in Flexible Laser TechnologyTM. We are currently in an exciting period of growth and are looking to expand our management team. We offer a unique working environment, where we thrive on new challenges and opportunities to make a difference. We set and achieve extremely high standards, and in turn we reward individuals with a competitive salary and generous benefits package, as well as a friendly and creative working environment from our offices in Southampton, UK. For these roles, you will have a technical degree or equivalent and extensive experience within the relevant field. Candidates must also be able to demonstrate expertise in man management and team development. We firmly believe that any role is what you make it so if you have an innovative flair and the drive and energy to succeed, we urge you to get in touch by submitting your CV and covering letter, along with your current salary details, to: Louise Coaker, Point Source Ltd, Mitchell Point, Ensign Way, Hamble, SO31 4RF, UK Alternatively you can email louise.coaker@point-source.com The closing date for all applications is 9th February 2007.

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it is made from pure fused silica, has a 25.4 mm diameter, and is 3 mm thick. Holo Or, Rehovot, Israel holoor@holoor.co.il

Interactive assistance tools M.A.S.T.E.R. (multi-line analysis selection tools for enhanced reliability) uses a proprietary, ICP-based spectra database containing wavelengths, detection limits, and line widths. It performs multiline selection with appropriate sensitivity, without spectral interference. The S.O.S. (statistical outlier survey) ANOVA-based statistical data-processing tool is used to verify possible outliers by providing a single concentration result per element. HORIBA Jobin Yvon, Edison, NJ info@jobinyvon.com

Single-photon-detector module The id201 photon-counting system is based on a cooled InGaAs/InP avalanche photodiode. The operating temperature is set to –50°C for optimized signal-to-noiseratio performance. Temperature variation of less than 0.1°C is achieved through a thermoelectric cooler controlled by a PID regulator. Other features include a trigger unit, delay function, a gate generator and pulser unit, an internal counter, and an auxiliary counter. idQuantique, Carouge, Switzerland sales@idquantique.com

Programmable digital cameras The IPX-16M3-G and the IPX-16M3-L cameras offer fully programmable resolution, frame rate, and exposure control. Part of the LYNX digital camera line, they utilize a 16-megapixel Kodak KAI-1600 interline-transfer CCD sensor to deliver up to 4872 × 3248 pixel resolution. Full-resolution images transfer up to 3 frames per second (fps) using dual output, and up to 29 fps using AOI mode. Monochrome and color configurations are available. Imperx, Boca Raton, FL sales@imperx.com

What brings us together: the courage to take on challenges. Highest quality diode lasers now have a new name – the Diode Laser Group of Jenoptik. The new group brings together the time proven expertise, excellent technological know-how and huge power of innovation of JENOPTIK Laserdiode GmbH, JENOPTIK unique-mode GmbH and JENOPTIK Diode Lab GmbH. The benefit to the customer: from unmounted semiconductors to fiber-coupled diode laser modules, you now receive it all from a single source. The Diode Laser Group of Jenoptik – The Quality Group Visit us at Photonics West in San Jose, USA, from January 23 to 25, 2007, booth 1027.

Atomic-force microscope The VideoAFM is an atomic-force microscope that delivers real-time images with nanometer resolution at video frame

www.jenoptik-dlg.com

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newproducts and one PMC expansion site. Kinetic Systems, Lockport, IL sales@kineticsystems.com

rates of 25 frames per second. The microscope allows users to visualize and interact with chemical or biological processes, at the molecular level, in real time. Infinitesima, Oxford, England info@infinitesima.com

The V155 is a singlewidth C-size module with 1.1, 1.6, and 1.8 GHz clocking options that combines a Pentium M–based processor with a VXI Slot-O controller. It features dual Ethernet controllers that support 10BaseT, 100BaseTX, and 1000BaseT interfaces, up to 2 GByte bootable flash on a secondary IDE up to 1.5 GByte of PC1600 DDR SDRAM

Capture Pro 2.1 is camera-control and image-capture software for ProgRes microscope cameras. The software now includes extended measurement functions including line, ellipse, angle, rectangle, polygon, and freeform in the live and the captured image. An optimized time-lapse function works with single images and video sequences. Jenoptik, Jena, Germany progress@jenoptik.com

Rotational stage assembly The SF-100 Rotational Stage Assembly allows for micropatterning of features on cylindrical surfaces. This

17 – 22 June 2007 • Munich, Germany Europe's premier joint conference on lasers, electro-optics and fundamental quantum electronics. The conference will be held at the Munich International Congress Centre (ICM) in conjunction with Laser 2007 World of Photonics, the largest European exhibition of laser and electro-optic equipment and services.

Deadline for submissions: 15 January 2007

More on: www.cleoeurope.org

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CLEO®/EUROPE - IQEC 2007

Slot-O controller

Image-capture software

highly repeatable patterning uses standard photolithography techniques and materials. Features as small as 10 µm have been patterned. The assembly is designed for use with the SF-100 Maskless Micropatterning System. Intelligent Micro Patterning, St. Petersburg, FL info@intelligentmp.com

Pump fibers for DPSS lasers

Optical fibers are manufactured to feed the pump energy into the laser rod of DPSS lasers. Pump-light sources emit in the 808 to 980 nm wavelength range. All silica low-OH series fibers can be assembled with various

SPEAKERS Plenary • T.W. Hänsch, Max-Planck-Institute, Garching, Germany • G. Mourou, ENSTA, LOA, Palaiseau, France Tutorial • I. Bloch, Johannes Gutenberg Univ. Mainz, Germany • D. Gauthier, Duke Univ. of Durham, USA • P. Russell, Univ. of Erlangen-Nüremberg, Germany • C.M. Soukoulis, Iowa State Univ., Ames, USA Keynote • J. Baumberg, Univ. of Southampton, UK • P. Corkum, National Research Council, Ottawa, Canada • J. Dalibard, Lab. Kastler Brossel, Paris, France • B. Eggleton, CUDOS Univ. of Sydney, Australia • J. Kitching, NIST Boulder, USA • D. Richardson, Univ. of Southampton, UK • K. Vahala, California Inst. of Technology, Pasadena, USA

CONTACT European Physical Society, BP 2136 68060 Mulhouse Cedex, France Tel: +33 389 32 94 42 • Fax: +33 389 32 94 49 Email: s.jung@eps.org • website: www.eps.org

SPONSORED BY EPS/Quantum Electronics and Optics Division IEEE/Lasers and Electro-Optics Society Optical Society of America

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core diameters and connectors, including SMA, SMA with free-standing fibers, FC, DIN, and more. The fiber is housed in protective tubes such as Teflon or flexible metal. Laser Components, Hudson, NH info@laser-components.com

Fiber-laser marking kit Designed for OEM use, the i-Series Fiber Laser Marking Kit uses an air-cooled, ytterbium, Q-switched fiber laser with a 1 mJ output to mark virtually any material. It provides more than 50,000 maintenance-free hours of operation, has low-voltage (110/220 V AC) power requirements and a flexible-cable beam-delivery system. Laser Photonics, Lake Mary, FL fiber@laserphotonics.com

Dispersion-compensating ďŹ ber The M2 Fiber Lab Model DCF is a 1U high, 19 in. rack-mount chassis that can be loaded with dispersion-compensating fiber to correct dispersion and dispersion slope of

LASERSOURCES

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Â&#x2022; Nd - Lasers Â&#x2022; Diode pumped Â&#x2022; Arclamp pumped Â&#x2022; Application: Marking-Structuring-Cutting-Welding Â&#x2022; Designed for industrial environment 6Â&#x2C6;Ă&#x192;Â&#x2C6;Ă&#x152;Ă&#x160;Ă&#x2022;Ă&#x192;Ă&#x160;>Ă&#x152;Ă&#x160; *Â&#x2026;Â&#x153;Ă&#x152;Â&#x153;Â&#x2DC;Â&#x2C6;VĂ&#x192;Ă&#x160;7iĂ&#x192;Ă&#x152;]Ă&#x160;->Â&#x2DC;Ă&#x160;Â&#x153;Ă&#x192;iĂ&#x160; Ă&#x201C;Ă&#x17D;Ă&#x160;qĂ&#x160;Ă&#x201C;xĂ&#x160;>Â&#x2DC;Ă&#x2022;>Ă&#x20AC;Ă&#x17E;Ă&#x160;Ă&#x201C;ääĂ&#x2021;Ă&#x160; Â&#x153;Â&#x153;Ă&#x152;Â&#x2026;Ă&#x160;xäÂ&#x2122;Ă&#x17D;

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San Jose, USA, January, 23rd - 25th, Booth 737

Â&#x2022; Frequency: up to 100 kHz

/Ă&#x160; Â&#x153;Ă&#x20AC;Ă&#x152;Â&#x2026;Ă&#x160;Â&#x201C;iĂ&#x20AC;Â&#x2C6;V>]Ă&#x160;Â&#x2DC;V°Ă&#x160; 1-Ă&#x160; *Â&#x2026;Â&#x153;Â&#x2DC;iĂ&#x160;³£Ă&#x160;xĂ&#x2021;äĂ&#x160;Â&#x2122;x{Ă&#x160;äÂ&#x2122;Ă&#x17D;Ă&#x17D;Ă&#x160; >Ă?Ă&#x160;³£Ă&#x160;xĂ&#x2021;äĂ&#x160;Ă&#x2C6;Â&#x2122;Ă&#x17D;Ă&#x160;Ă&#x17D;Ă&#x2C6;Ă&#x17D;ÂŁĂ&#x160; Â&#x2021;>Â&#x2C6;Â?Ă&#x160;Ă&#x20AC;Ă&#x152;Ă&#x20AC;Â&#x153;Ă&#x152;Ă&#x152;Â&#x2C6;Â&#x2DC;Â&#x2C6;JÂ&#x2C6;Â&#x201C;Ă&#x152;Â&#x201C;>Ă&#x192;Â&#x17D;°VÂ&#x153;Â&#x201C;

Â&#x2022; Power range: 3W - 120W Â&#x2022; Beam quality: up to TEM00

Photon Energy GmbH

Bräunleinsberg 10 D-91242 Ottensoos - Germany

Tel: +49 - 9123 - 99034 - 0 Fax: +49 - 9123 - 99034 - 22

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www.photon-energy.de E-Mail: info@photon-energy.de

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newproducts SMF-28e, LEAF, AllWave, and TrueWave fibers in the C-band to improve analog and digital performance (BER) over long distances. It can be supplied with SCOPC, SCAPC, FCUPC, or FCAPC connectors. M2 Optics, Holly Springs, NC www.m2optics.com

Fiber-coupled laser module The uncooled LU0915T065 fiber-coupled laser module provides up to 6.5 W output power at a 915 nm pump wavelength. The laser uses a new chip generation with more than 60% electricalto-optical power conversion efficiency. Target applications include ytterbium fiber lasers and fiber amplifiers. Lumics, Berlin, Germany sales3@lumics.com

able epoxy that produces durable, chemically resistant coatings, bonds, and seals that are serviceable over the temperature range of –50°C to over 150°C. Post-curing the coating at 90°C to 125°C for 30 minutes will give it a glass transition temperature, Tg, of over 125°C. No solvents or volatiles are released during curing. Master Bond, Hackensack, NJ technical@masterbond.com

UV-curable coating

EUV light source

UV15LV is a one-component, UV-cur-

The extreme-ultraviolet light source,

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model 642, is similar to sealed x-ray tubes. The tube is not sealed so users can exchange anodes to produce desired wavelengths, (for example, boron for 6.7 nm, silicon for 13.5 nm). Two symmetrical output beams are used for sample/reference comparison in various test setups. McPherson, Chelmsford, MA sales@mcphersoninc.com

Optical tables and breadboards Optical tables and breadboards have been added to the company’s online

Laser Focus World

1/4/07 3:10:21 PM


catalog. The tabletops feature excellent surface flatness, minimum relative motion, low dynamic deflection, sealed holes for ease of cleanup, and a unique athermalized design for thermal stability. Melles Griot, Carlsbad, CA sales@catalog.mellesgriot.com

Machine-vision lenses The new HR series of machine microlenses are optimized for megapixel cameras, up to 2/3 in. CCD chip size. The telecentric lenses provide 0.3 µm

can be stored in memory. NIR Technology Systems, Bankstown NSW Australia nirtech@nirtech.net

resolution and uniform coaxial illumination across the entire field of view. Applications include machine vision and industrial inspection. Moritex, Cambridge, England sales@moritex.com

Sarfus technology

Alcohol analyzer The Series 1000 alcohol analyzer is a near-IR spectrometer designed to measure alcohol in wine, beer, and any other clear beverage. It is based on a solid-state diode-array optics system that scans from 860 to 1020 nm, where the O-H and C-H bonds absorb NIR energy. Up to 10 product calibrations

Sarfus technology has been developed for static and dynamic visualization of ultrathin films, nanotubes, and nanowires. This optical quantitative imaging technique measures precise 3-D thickness, dimensional roughness, profile, and step height on a nanometer scale. Micro Photonics, Irvine, CA info@microphotonics.com

JOIN THE WORLD LEADERS POINT SOURCE HAVE THREE EXCITING NEW POSITIONS AVAILABLE SALES DIRECTOR • Drive Sales Revenue growth • Manage and develop relationships with key accounts • Develop and manage a successful international field sales team

ENGINEERING MANAGER • Manage short cycle, custom design projects with clear on-time, on budget and design to cost targets • Manage all aspects of product engineering and manufacturing support • Manage introduction of new products to manufacturing

QUALITY MANAGER • Develop and maintain ISO9001-2000 compatible Quality Management System • Instigate and champion change to constantly improve customer service and satisfaction • Manage corrective and preventive actions

We are an innovative, dynamic company and world leaders in Flexible Laser TechnologyTM. We are currently in an exciting period of growth and are looking to expand our management team. We offer a unique working environment, where we thrive on new challenges and opportunities to make a difference. We set and achieve extremely high standards, and in turn we reward individuals with a competitive salary and generous benefits package, as well as a friendly and creative working environment from our offices in Southampton, UK. For these roles, you will have a technical degree or equivalent and extensive experience within the relevant field. Candidates must also be able to demonstrate expertise in man management and team development. We firmly believe that any role is what you make it so if you have an innovative flair and the drive and energy to succeed, we urge you to get in touch by submitting your CV and covering letter, along with your current salary details, to: Louise Coaker, Point Source Ltd, Mitchell Point, Ensign Way, Hamble, SO31 4RF, UK Alternatively you can email louise.coaker@point-source.com The closing date for all applications is 9th February 2007.

www.point-source.com Laser Focus World

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MANUFACTURERS’ PRODUCT SHOWCASE

NanoScan Laser Beam Profiler

Honey, We shrunk the CO2 laser! RF Excoted 400 mw – 60 watt Options: Super pulsed; Power stabilized; Line stabilized; Grating tuned; Gratingless tuned; Portable; Q-switched; Battery operated; CO laser; Accessories

Photon’s NanoScan measures virtually any beam of interest with three detectors to cover UV to FIR beyond 100μm. Pulsed and CW beams, near- and far-field profiles, M2 laser propagation, and collimation/divergence can all be accomplished using just one instrument. Ease-of-use, analysis speed, and accurate, repeatable results and NIST traceability are all yours with NanoScan.

For further information, contact: Photon Inc. 1-800-374-6866 or visit www.photon-inc.com

OPTICAL RESEARCH ASSOCIATES CODE V Optical Design Software CODE V is a comprehensive software package for the design, optimization, analysis, and tolerancing of optical systems. CODE V’s image simulation feature makes it easier for optical system designers to visualize overall performance and communicate design tradeoffs to non-optical personnel. Image simulation models how an object would appear when imaged by the optical system, taking into account diffraction, lens aberrations, distortion, relative illumination, and even blurring due to detector pixel size. This function also determines image orientation for complex folded systems. Using the power of the Fast Fourier Transform (FFT) calculation, image simulation delivers much more efficient and accurate results than geometrical ray-blasting techniques. Optical Research Associates Email: info@opticalres.com • Web: www.opticalres.com Phone: 626-795-9101 • Fax: 626-795

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5603 47th Ave. NE Unit B, Marysville, WA 98270 USA Phone: (360) 651-6141; Fax: (360) 657-4841

Access Laser Company www.accesslaserco.com access@accesslaserco.com

High Speed Swept Lasers

The Micron Optics ss225 is a swept laser module capable of fast and wide range tuning across the 1060 nm, 1310 nm or 1550 nm wavelength windows. A unique external optical trigger enables uniform frequency sampling and spectral calibration. Powered by a high spectral brightness at rapid sweep rates, the ss225 enables superior signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) measurements in bio-medical imaging systems, optical frequency domain ranging, and high-density fiber-optic sensor interrogation over long distances. Its wide spectral range and narrow linewidth also enables high-resolution optical sensor characterizations.

Micron Optics, Inc. 1852 Century Place, NE Atlanta, GA 30345 USA Ph: 404 325 0005 Fx: 404 325 4082

Laser Focus World

1/4/07 3:06:05 PM


Zeiss MMS 4 channel CCD Spectrometer Hellma introduces the new Carl Zeiss MMS CCD Spectrometers. They enable simultaneous high-precision in up to four wavelengths with a single system covering 350-950nm. Compact MMS modules, until now only available with a photodiode array, can be used to monitor layer thickness, perform color measurements of printed products and LED light sources, conduct content analyses in the food industry and agriculture, and now also perform fluorescence measurements in microscopy. All MMS modules feature high sensitivity, excellent dynamic behavior and a good price/performance ratio. MMS CCD modules consist of a glass body with the two-dimensional CCD array. The use of an array detector enables automatic dark current correction during the measurement as the measuring signal is not imaged onto the entire detector area. The non-illuminated part (a few lines) is then available for dark current measurement. The MMS CCD is the first Zeiss spectrometer module to include integrated electronics, featuring a USB 2.0 interface. Contact Hellma 516-939-0888

Vizix™ Series Kinematic Optical Mounts

The Vizix™ Series Kinematic Optical Mounts from Newport Corporation are value priced, stable, and have exceptional adjustment feel and sensitivity. They are available in clear aperture for 1-inch (25.4-mm) diameter optics, as well as in a platform version for holding mounted mirrors, prisms, or cube beamsplitters. Newport Corporation 1-800-222-6440 www.newport.com/vizix

New enhanced Lumogen coating greatly improves the UV quantum efficiency of CCDs

Liekki Introduces Optimized Polarization Maintaining Fiber For High-Energy Amplification

PI/Acton is now producing enhanced Lumogen coatings in a new Class 10,000 clean room located in their Trenton, NJ facility. This proprietary chemical coating process produces thin films that are highly efficient as UV converters for CCDs and other silicon photodetectors. This coating effectively, reliably and inexpensively achieves a dramatic increase in device sensitivity for wavelengths between 60 nm and 430 nm with almost no degradation of the visible spectrum performance. Both front-illuminated and back-illuminated CCDs will benefit from improved UV response with PI/Acton’s enhanced Lumogen coating.

Liekki expands its broad, ytterbiumdoped fiber product family with a highly doped, large mode area fiber with very high cladding absorption. The Yb1200-20/125DC-PM fiber features a unique combination of a highly doped, 20 μm diameter core and a large core-to-cladding ratio. These features result in a nominal cladding pump absorption of 7.1dB/m at 920nm rising to as much as 30dB/m for absorption near the peak at around 976nm, enabling use of very short active fiber lengths. Typical applications of this fiber are materials processing, laser ranging, remote chemical detection, and nonlinear frequency conversion for access to wavelengths from the infrared to the ultraviolet.

15 Discovery Way, Acton, MA 01720 1 978.263.3584 • 1 877.4 PIACTON moreinfo@piacton.com • www.piacton.com

Liekki Corporation Sorronrinne 9, FI-08500 Lohja, Finland Phone: +358 19 357 391, Fax: +358 19 357 3949 Email: liekki@liekki.com, www.liekki.com

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MANUFACTURERS’ PRODUCT SHOWCASE

PRISMA DPSS Lasers – Performance. Reliability. Precisely.

ExciStar XS Series – Compact Size. High Performance.

Coherent’s PRISMA series of diode-pumped solid-state lasers are designed to provide optimum performance in precision industrial applications, e.g. ID-Card Marking, Solar Cell Structuring. Specifically, PRISMA lasers are based on a unique, flexible architecture that can easily be configured over a wide range of values for pulse duration, pulse energy and output power. This means that a PRISMA laser can easily be tailored to meet the precise needs of your specific application, resulting in maximum process efficiency. PRISMA lasers are offered with a choice of infrared (1064 nm) or visible (532 nm) output.

The ExciStar XS series represents a compact, economical excimer laser that offers exceptional performance and lifetime characteristics. Specifically, the air cooled ExciStar XS measures only 0,08 m3, yet delivers pulse energies of 1mJ at 157nm up to 12mJ at 248nm with an energy stability of <2% (1σ), at repetition rates up to 500Hz. The ExciStar XS can operate at 157nm, 193nm, 248nm, or 351nm. Its compact size and low total cost of ownership make the UV laser particularly attractive to research as well as industrial users, especially for marking applications.

Coherent, Inc. Phone: (800) 527-3786; (408) 764-4983 E-mail: tech.sales@Coherent.com www.coherent.com

Coherent, Inc. Phone: (800) 527-3786; (408) 764-4983 E-mail: tech.sales@Coherent.com www.coherent.com

New Diode Array Enables Longer Lifetimes under Extreme Conditions

New PulseLife Horizontal Array for Side Pumping Applications

Coherent releases a new generation of conductively cooled packaged (CCP) diode arrays enabling longer lifetimes in both commercial and defense environments. Utilizing our new PulseLife™ solder technology, industrial applications that require “on-off” cycling can now achieve >10k hours MTTF at 50 Watts CW. In QCW mode, operation at heat sink temperatures as high as 75°C can be used with excellent reliability and efficiency. Standard bar configurations at 808, 940, and 980 nm are available for direct -diode materials processing, medical, and illumination applications, as well as for solid state laser pumping. PulseLife-soldered CCPs, which can be customized in power and wavelength for special OEM needs, provide users with new levels of performance and reliability.

Coherent now offers a new line of water-cooled horizontal linear arrays delivering up to 40 Watts/bar of reliable pump power. Utilizing our new PulseLife™ solder technology, these 2-bar and 3-bar arrays have MTTF >20k hours. The unique “macro” channel design requires only simple filtered water and eliminates the complicated water requirements of other water-cooled heat sinks. Standard products at 808 nm in either 80-Watt 2-bar or 120-Watt 3-bar configurations are available for pumping applications. PulseLife horizontal arrays can be customized in both power and wavelength for special OEM needs to provide solid-state laser designers with higher levels of performance and reliability.

Coherent, Inc. Phone: (800) 527-3786; (408) 764-4983 E-mail: tech.sales@Coherent.com www.coherent.com

Coherent, Inc. Phone: (800) 527-3786; (408) 764-4983 E-mail: tech.sales@Coherent.com www.coherent.com

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Laser Focus World

1/4/07 3:06:21 PM


Chameleon Ultra II for MPE Microscopy Unmatched Ultrafast Power & Tunability in One Box

LAMBDA SX 540C — High Power Industrial Excimer Laser Doubles Process Throughput

The Chameleon™ Ultra II offers the widest tuning range — from 680 nm to 1080 nm — of any single-box, hands-free ultrafast laser. Built specifi cally for multiphoton excitation (MPE) microscopy, its 3.3W of output power is 50% greater than the Chameleon Ultra, allowing deeper imaging into tissues, brighter multi-color images, and easier two-photon uncaging. Image quality is specifi ed M 2 <1.1, astigmatism is <10%, and tuning speed is 40 nm per second. The Chameleon’s integrated Verdi™ pump laser, which offers exceptional stability, provides unmatched lifetimes. Other capabilities include harmonic generation, the use of novel fl uorophores, and multiple beam imaging.

Coherent has introduced a higher power version of their unique LAMBDA SX class of high pulse energy lasers at 308 nm. Targeted at high-throughput manufacturing applications, the LAMBDA SX 540C is the first industrialgrade excimer laser to deliver both high pulse energy (up to 0.9 J) and a high pulse repetition rate (up to 600 Hz). This repetition rate is twice that of earlier models that effectively doubles the available average power, and translates directly into higher process throughput.

Coherent, Inc. Phone: (800) 527-3786; (408) 764-4983 E-mail: tech.sales@Coherent.com www.coherent.com

Coherent, Inc. Phone: (800) 527-3786; (408) 764-4983 E-mail: tech.sales@Coherent.com www.coherent.com

Diamond-Turned Non-Rotationally Symmetric Optics For Specialized Uses Nonrotationally symmetric optics — combining multiple optics into one single element — are now being manufactured in II-VI INFRARED’s Diamond Turning facility. These optics include biconic lenses, biconic mirrors, transmissive beam integrators, reflective beam integrators, focused flat-top doublets, long working distance off-axis parabolas, optical arrays, ring-focus off-axis parabolas, rooftop beamsplitters, and vortex lenses. Rather than off-the shelf parts, these optics, although falling into discreet categories, are truly made-to-spec or customcrafted for each unique laser and/or IR application, giving optical designers whole new dimensions of optics flexibility and performance. Contact a II-VI sales engineer or visit www.iiviinfrared.com/noveloptics.html for more details.

LBA FireWire & BeamStar

Spiricon Inc is now supplying not only its traditional FireWire Laser Beam Analyzer, but also Ophir Optronics’ BeamStar FireWire Profiler and Spiricon’s USBII Profiler. With both of the industry’s top profilers available from the same source, customers have the choice of the one that best suits their needs. Spiricon’s legacy profiler provides the industry standard for accuracy, with Ultracal and other measurement and display features. Ophir’s BeamStar provides easy setup and many user friendly features.

Contact: Spiricon Inc 435-753-3729 www.spiricon.com info@spiricon.com

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MANUFACTURERS’ PRODUCT SHOWCASE

OEM Spectrometers from the World Leader in Miniature Modular Spectroscopy

High Precision IR-Wavelength Measurement up to 2250 nm

Ocean Optics’ Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) Partner Program helps innovators best exploit the size, affordability and performance advantages of our spectrometers and accessories. We offer discounted pricing and expert advice — backed by the experience of more than 80,000 spectrometer systems sold — on how to get the most out of your OEM application. In addition, we grind and polish our own optics, coat them using proprietary techniques, and make our own optical fiber assemblies and accessories. We also offer optical-sensor coating services and licensing of our proprietary chemical sensing coating technologies.

The HighFinesse WS7-IR-II expands the product range from 192-1120 nm, into the infrared region up to 2250 nm. The Wavelength Meter WS7-IR-II is the first device worldwide measuring cw- and pulsed laser up to a wavelength of 2250 nm — with a relative accuracy of 10-7. This corresponds to an absolute accuracy of approx. 50 MHz or 0.1 pm at 1064 nm. Like every HighFinesse Wavelength Meter, the WS7-IR-II is based on Fizeau-interferometer. The main benefit of this type of interferometer is that there are no moveable internal mechanics or optics. This ensures accuracy and a measurement speed up to 500 Hz but also a high reliability. Our standard instruments available are divided into four classes of accuracy, from 3 GHz down to the world’s most accurate Wavelength Meter, 10 MHz. The multi channel option allows measurement of up to 8 Lasers at a time with a single device. Active control of the lasers is provided by the PID-controller-option. All are controlled through an easy-to-use USB interface.

Ocean Optics 727.733.2447 • Info@OceanOptics.com http://www.oceanoptics.com/products/oem.asp

Toptica Photonics Inc. Tel.: 585-657-6663, Fax: 877-277-9897 info@highfinesse.com, www.highfinesse.com

New Low Cost, Broadband Emitter

Surf the new GREEN-Wave spectrometers from StellarNet: Extreme Design, High Performance, Low cost with Full Ride.

Cal Sensors has released its new low cost, broadband emitter that provides significantly higher output compared to standard steady state emitters of blackbody radiation. The radiating element in the steady state emitter is a coiled filament of a Cal Sensors specific material with a specialized coating for an emissivity of 0.70. The special filament and a new generation of reflectors, boost output efficiency. The radiated output closely emulates a blackbody in spectral distribution. The emitter is designed to operate at a rated filament temperature of 1170°K. The new higher output emitters range in input power from 1.15 Watts to 2.1 Watts and are available in TO-5 packages. These windowless packages provide long-term stability and lifetime without spectral attenuation caused by window materials

5460 Skylane Blvd., Santa Rosa, CA 95403 Tel: 707/545-4181, Fax: 707/545-5113 e-mail: info@calsensors.com, website: www.calsensors.com

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The miniature GREEN-Wave spectrometers are connected to a PC’s USB port and detect signals via fiber optic cable input. Several models are available for a variety of ranges and resolutions in the UV-VISNIR wavelengths. The instruments are ruggedized for extreme portability and are designed to handle shock and temperature changes. The units are USB powered with optional battery power jack. Detector options include 2k/3k element CCD or PDA arrays with no defects or moving parts. The unit is just 1×3×5 inches and weighs 14 oz. Each system includes StellarNets’ free SpectraWiz software with tons of spectroscopy apps and also customizable LabView and Excel programs.

14390 Carlson Circle, Tampa, Florida 33626 www.StellarNet.us • Tel: 813-855-8687

Laser Focus World

1/4/07 3:06:37 PM


Smart Head to USB interface: USBI-4

ProLite® Monsoon Stacked Diode Laser Arrays

Convert your laptop or desktop PC into an Ophir Smart Head Power /Energy Meter — The new USBI-4 Smart Head to PC Interface from Ophir Optronics Ltd enables you to turn your PC or laptop into a full fledged Ophir multichannel laser power/ energy meter. Just install the software, plug the head and power source into the interface box and the USB cable from the box to the PC USB port. Using the USBI-4, you can connect up to 4 heads to each box. The connection from there to the PC is via one USB cable. The USBI-4 allows you to record pulse energies at up to 20,000 Hz for all 4 channels simultaneously. An external trigger input enables measurement of missing pulses. The application allows tiling of up to 8 heads on one screen, and active X software will later be provided (mid 2007) so that you can control the USBI from your own software.

Spectra-Physics introduces the next level of performance from our ProLite® Monsoon® series stacked diode laser arrays. The Monsoon series, now with powers up to 100 W, can deliver modular power tailored to your application. With wavelength ranges available between 780-980 nm, the Monsoon series provides next generation power levels for use in industrial laser pumping, aesthetic medical, and direct materials processing.

Ophir www.ophiropt.com

Laser Diodes for Optical Communications, Bio-sensing, & Fiber Amplifiers

OptoHub Co., Ltd. of Japan produces high power laser diodes for 8xx, 9xx and 14xx applications. Packaging options include 14-PIN butterefly, coaxial and mini-DL structures. OptoHub modifies packages for custom requirements, offers wavelength conversion for visible wavelengths, and will integrate detectors for power monitoring. In addition to laser diodes, OptoHub offers erbium doped fiber amplifiers for communications and broadband lightsource applications, CWDM mux/demux filters, and triplexer filters for FTTH/PON networks. OptoHub engineers have over 3 decades experience building active and passive devices for communications, bio-sensing and research markets. Skill sets include custom package design and precision alignment of micro-components.

Newport Corporation 1-800-775-5273 www.newport.com/monsoon

Laser to Trim Resistors Newly configured Model LEP-Y6TQ/70 trims the full range of thick- and thin-film resistors with a stable 1064-nm output over

the range 0.5 Watts to 6 Watts at pulse rates up to 30 kHz, in a high-quality TEMoo mode with an M2 < 1.3. A special SHG design produces 4 Watts at 532 nm. Diode lifetime > 20,000 hours. Diode module replacement permits reuse of the existing optical fiber cable. Applications include resistor and microcircuit trimming, and marking applications that require pulse rates up to 100 kHz for YAG and up to 200 kHz for Vanadate. SEE US AT PHOTONICS WEST, BOOTH #1045

OptoHub Co., Ltd. Saitama, Japan U.S. contact: AMS Photonics, LLC Tel. 301-395-7226 info@amsphotonics.com www.amsphotonics.com

salesdept@leelaser.com

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MANUFACTURERS’ PRODUCT SHOWCASE

Air-cooled q-switched green Disk Lasers from 4 W to 10 W JENOPTIK Laser, Optik, Systeme GmbH continues its innovative air-cooled Disk laser series. JenLas.® epidot (4 W and 10 W) are the first members of a Disk laser family in the 532 nm range. The laser has up to 10 W output power, M2 better than 2 and pulse repetition rate up to 100 kHz. The purely air-cooled laser operates in q-switched mode. Reliability, efficiency and compactness are exceptional like known from the JenLas.® smaragd and JenLas.® garnet Disk lasers. These JenLas.® epidot products are suitable for a quite number of applications in precision material processing and quality marking and engraving. JENOPTIK Laser, Optik, Systeme GmbH Business Unit Lasers Phone: +49 3641 65 3194 laser.sales@jenoptik.com www.jenoptik-los.com Visit us at Photonics West, Booth #1027

Cargille Labs, started in 1924, develops and manufactures Optical Liquids calibrated for Refractive Index for use throughout many laboratory disciplines involving microscopy and/or optics, ex: aerospace, telecommunications, particle identification, hematology, geology, testing labs, art conservation, etc. A Specialty Optical liquids catalog is available which includes typical optical & physical properties and comparative diagrams of glasses and optical liquids. Cargille’s other catalog includes data sheets on Disposable Beakers, Heavy Liquids, Immersion Oils, Refractive Index and Immersion Liquids, Plastic Boxes, Reference Sets, Sample Storage Systems, Micro Slide and Tissue File Boxes and Viscosity Tubes. Cargille’s major products: Refractive Index Matching Liquids, Optical Coupling Liquids, Immersion Oils, Meltmount™ Mounting Media packages, Optical Gels, Fused Silica matching liquids, high Refractive Index melts, glass & mineralogical reference standards and slides for microscopy, Heavy Liquids and Sink-Float® density standards.

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Introducing the latest evolution of the Sydor ROSS product family. Like the UV & IR versions, the X-Ray system will deliver high precision and accuracy enabling single secondary electron detection and world-class performance in the most demanding applications. Key features include fully remote operation with advanced software interface, flat field imaging and geometric distortion correction, reflection mode fiber optic timing fiducial, electro-optic shuttering, and quick-change photocathode plate that accepts a variety of UV & X-Ray sensitive materials. The entire package is compatible with a vacuum air bubble & TIM interface.

For more info, visit: www.sydorinstruments.com

Rotation Stages

CARGILLE LABORATORIES 55 COMMERCE ROAD CEDAR GROVE, NJ 07009 USA PH: 973-239-6633 FAX: 973-239-6096 EMAIL: CargilleLabs@aol.com www.Cargille.com

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Sydor ROSS X-Ray Streak Camera

• Continuous 360 degree rotation • Fine adjustment by micrometer • Concentricity <50 microns • Compatible with linear translation stages • Five sizes cover most applications • Inch and metric mounting • Also available in motorized versions

Tel: 949-851-5881 • Fax: 949-851-5058 E-mail: sales@optosigma.com Internet: www.optosigma.com

Laser Focus World

1/4/07 3:06:53 PM


Ytterbium Single Mode Output Fiber Lasers IPG Photonics has increased the power available from their line of single mode output fiber lasers to 2 kiloWatts. These lasers are available from 50 watts to 2000 watts with M2 values of < 1.1 and an emission wavelength of 1070nm. They operate in the continuous mode or can be modulated to 50 kiloHertz. The lasers have gained wide acceptance on material processing applications in the printing, medical device and computer industries. The higher power levels, (above 1 kiloWatt), have made them very competitive with CO2 and Nd:YAG lasers operating at much higher power levels.

Ultrafast Laser Chirped Mirrors

The problem: an ultrafast laser beam, when transmitted through multiple optical components, suffers from pulse spread. The answer: Newport’s new Ultrafast Laser Chirped Mirror. This mirror provides a negative group velocity dispersion (GVD) to the incoming beam with every bounce off of the surface. Reflectance is an impressive >99.8% from 700 – 900 nm, ideally suited for use with SpectraPhysics Tsunami®, Spitfire® Pro and MaiTai® Lasers.

SEE US AT PHOTONICS WEST, BOOTH #1119

Tel: 508-373-1100 • www.ipgphotonics.com

Megapixel CCD201 from e2v!

e2v’s 1kx1k, 13μm pixel CCD201 is designed for low light, high resolution scientific applications. It is one of the most sensitive image sensors in the world! With QE peaking at 95% and minimal induced noise, the CCD201 is ideally suited to bio-science applications, such as drug discovery, bio-luminescence and fluorescence microscopy. The frame transfer device also finds areas of application in the astronomy sector. The CCD201 is available in front- and back-illuminated formats, each capable of operating at an equivalent output noise of less than one electron at pixel rates of over 15 MHz.

Newport Corporation 1-800-222-6440 www.newport.com

One-year subscription to LASER FOCUS WORLD FREE!

Visit us online at www.lfw-subscribe.com or call Customer Service at 847.559.7500

http://imaging.e2v.com

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Web: www.spectrumthinfilms.com OPTICS/FILTERS MANUFACTURING Optical Filters, Windows, Lenses and Mirrors.

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OPTICS/COATINGS MANUFACTURING

INFRARED OPTICS Lenses, Windows, Filters, Beamsplitters, Reflectors fabricated from Ge, ZnSe, CAF2, Si, BAF2, Sapphire, NACL, KBR, KRS-5, ZnS, LiF2, MgF2. Lens assemblies for 3–5 microns & 8–12 µm.

INFRARED OPTICAL PRODUCTS, INC. Tel: 1-631-692-9055, Fax 1-631-692-9056 E-mail: IROPTICAL@AOL.com www.infraredopticalproducts.com #1 in the INFRARED

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POLARIZERS FIBER OPTICS

COATINGS anti-reflection • hard carbon infrared • metalization

REFLEX Analytical Corporation “Serving you across the Spectrum” PO Box 119 Ridgewood, New Jersey 07451 Internet: www.reflexusa.com E-mail: reflexusa@att.net Tel: 201-444-8958 Fax: 201-670-6737 Request our FREE catalog

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www.sterlingprecision.com Call: (847) 864-6900 Fax: (847) 864-6910 sales@sterlingprecision.com

CO2 LASER OPTICS

Laser Focus World’s “Business Resource Center” provides readers with quick access to electro-optics services. Contact Mary Donnelly at 603-891-9398 or maryd@pennwell.com

P.O. Box 262, Frankfort, IL 60423 Ph. (815) 462-9500 FAX (815) 462-8955 Web: http://www.midwest-laser.com email: mlp@midwest-laser.com

Recently Acquired Excess Inventory – microscopes, optics, mounts, stages, vibration isolation tables, clean room equipment, etc. Why pay “new” prices when you can get “like new” at a fraction of the cost? www.photomachining.com/inventory/ 603-882-9944 PhotoMachining, Inc. Contact: sales@photomachining.com

Laser Focus World

1/4/07 3:10:37 PM


LASER MODULES VCSEL/TRANSCEIVERS

OPTICS/COATINGS MANUFACTURING

OPTICS/COATINGS

Lasermate Group, Inc. provides high quality and low cost of • 405nm-1610nm lasers including blue, green, red, & infrared laser diodes, modules & products. • 670nm-850 nm VCSEL chip, array, diode, transmitter & transceivers • 635nm-1610nm laser diodes including fiber coupled pigtail & receptacle packages up to 25W • 1270nm-1610nm DFB lasers for CWDM 18 channels • Analog 1310nm & 1550nm FP & DFB lasers & Analog InGaAs PIN Photodiode • Up to 10Gbps GaAs & InGaAs PIN photodiodes & arrays • 100M to 4.25G optical transceivers including 1×9, SFF, SFP & GBIC with duplex & simplex connectors • 1W to 3W blue, green, red, yellow & white LED modules • Laser & optics mounting components • Laser safety goggles and laser accessories Call: (909) 623-4995 Fax: (909) 623-4915 E-mail: sales@lasermate.com

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E-mail: info@spectrumthinfilms.com

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advertiser&web index PAGE

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Access Laser Company .................................... 180 www.accesslaserco.com

Electro-Optics Technology............................... 130 www.eotech.com

Logitech ............................................................ 129 www.logictech.com

Aerotech ............................................................. 68 www.aerotechinc.com

EUROPEAN PHYSICAL SOCIETY ....................... 176 www.cleoeurope.org

Lumina Power Inc ............................................. 172 www.luminapower.com

Agilent Technologies-Precision ....................... 108 www.aglient.com

Fermionics Opto-Technology ........................... 143 www.fermionics.com

Macken Instruments .......................................... 92 www.macken.com

American Society of Laser Medicine & Surgery ............................... 189 www.aslms.org

Fiberguide Industries ......................................... 59 www.fiberguide.com

Master Bond ..................................................... 169 www.masterbond.com

Frankfurt Laser Company ................................ 178 www.frlaserco.com

Meadowlark Optics ...........................................110 www.meadowlark.com

Fujian Castech Crystals, Inc. ............................. 80 www.castech.com

Melles Griot ..........................................43, 66, 130 www.mellesgriot.com

General Scanning ............................................... 16 www.gsig.com/scanners

Micro Laser Systems, Inc. ............................... 168 www.microlaser.com

Gentec – EO .........................................................11 www.gentec-eo.com

Micron Optics, Inc. ........................................... 180 www.micronoptics.com

Glendale ............................................................ 102 www.glendale-laser.com

MultiWave Photonics, SA ................................... 46 http://www.multiwavenetworks.com/

Global Laser ...................................................... 172 www.globallasertech.com

New Focus, Inc. .......................................... C4, 135 www.newfocus.com

Hamamatsu Corporation .............................. C2-C3 www.usa.hamamatsu.com

Newport Corporation.........................181, 185, 187 www.newport.com

HCP Photonics Co. Ltd........................................ 70 www.hcphotonics.com

Newport Corporation – Spectra-Physics .........................126, 156, 164, C6 www.newport.com

Anchor Optics ................................................... 120 www.anchoroptics.com Andor................................................................... 36 www.andor.com APE GmbH ........................................................... 86 www.ape-berlin.de Apollo Instruments ........................................... 169 www.apolloinstruments.com Archer OpTx ........................................................ 42 www.archeroptx.com Argyle International ...........................................115 www.argyleoptics.com AVANTES ..............................................................57 http://www.avantes.com/ Avetech Electrosystems ........................... 164, 166 www.avtechpulse.com

Hellma International ....................................61, 181 www.hellmausa.com

Axcel Photonics .................................................. 49 www.axcelphotonics.com

Heraeus Optics ................................................. 124 www.heraeusoptics.com

B&W Tek ............................................................. 89 www.bwtek.com

HORIBA Jobin Yvon .......................................... 122 www.jyhoriba.com

Berliner Glas KGaA ..............................................77 www.berlinerglas.com

II-VI Infrared ..................................................... 183 www.iiviinfrared.com

Big Sky Laser...................................................... 92 www.bigskylaser.com

ILX Lightwave ..................................................... 78 www.ilxlightwave.com

Breault Research Organization .................. 12, 132 www.breault.com

IMT .....................................................................177 www.imtag.ch

BWT Beijing Ltd. ................................................147 www.bwt-bi.com

Incubic Venture Fund ....................................... 165 www.incubic.com

Cal Sensors....................................................... 184 www.calsensors.com Cambridge Technology........................................47 www.camtech.com Cargille Laboratories ........................................ 186 www.Cargille.com China Daheng Group,Inc. ................................... 24 www.cdhcorp.com Cobolt .................................................................. 73 www.cobolt.se

IPG Photonics ............................................. 44, 187 www.ipgphotonics.com JDS Uniphase ...................................................... C5 www.jdsu.com Jenoptik Laser, Optik, Systeme GmbH ...... 94, 186 www.jenoptik-los.com Jenoptik Laserdiode GmbH .......................101, 175 www.jold.com

Coherent .........................................8, 85, 182, 183 www.coherent.com Conferium Conference Services .......................167 www.photonicsnorth.com Continuum ................................................... 27, 111 www.continuumlasers.com CRYSTECH Inc. ....................................................31 www.crystech.com DataRay Inc. ............................................... 55, 166 www.dataray.com Dilas, Inc. .............................................................97 www.dilas-inc.com DSI........................................................................51 www.depsci.com e2v .....................................................................187 http://imaging.e2v.com eagleyard Photonics GmbH ...............................119 www.eagleyard.com EdgeWave GmbH .............................................. 104 www.edge-wave.com Edmund Optics ........................................... 40, 142 www.edmundoptics.com/LF

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Koheras ............................................................... 52 enquiry@koheras.com Kugler of America Ltd. ..................................... 140 www.kuglerofamerica.com Lambda Research Optics Inc ....................141, 157 www.lambda.cc Laser Components IG Inc. .................................. 23 lasercomponents.com Laser Diode Array,Inc......................................... 30 www.idai.com Laser Drive ......................................................... 53 www.laserdrive.com Lee Laser ............................................ 26, 146, 185 www.leelaser.com Liekki .........................................................151, 181 www.liekki.com LightMachinery Inc .......................................... 106 www.lightmachinery.com LightPath Technologies ...................................... 34 www.lightpath.com LIMO-Lissotschenko Mikrooptik GmbH ...........171 www.limo.de

nmLaser Products, Inc. ............................ 128, 168 www.nmlaser.com Northrop Grumman ...................................... 29, 39 www.northropgrumman.com Nufern ................................................................. 54 www.nufern.com Ocean Optics .............................................. 58, 184 www.oceanoptics.com OFR Inc.................................................................37 www.ofr.com Ophir Optronics .........................................131, 185 www.ophiropt.com Optical Research Associates ..................... 72, 180 www.opticalres.com Optical Society of America ................ 60, 152, 154 www.osa.org Optimax Systems ....................................... 62, 118 www.optimaxsi.com OptoHub Co., Ltd. ............................................. 185 www.amsphotonics.com OptoSigma Corp. ................................ 14, 159, 186 www.optosigma.com OSI Optoeletronics ............................................. 63 www.udt.com Oxide Corporation .............................................. 84 www.opt-oxide.com PD-LD Inc............................................................ 56 www.pd-ld.com PHASICS ........................................................... 150 http://www.phasicscorp.com/index.php Photon Energy GmbH ........................................177 www.photon-energy.de Photon Engineering .............................................41 www.photonengr.com/fred Photon, Inc ........................................ 105, 123, 180 www.photon-inc.com Photonic Cleaning Technologies ...............115, 158 www.photoniccleaning.com Photonic Products .................................... 129, 139 www.photonic-products.com PI ( Physik Instrumente) L.P. .............................. 33 www.pi.ws PICO Electronics ..................................................74 www.picoelectronics.com

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ADVERTISING SALES OFFICES PAGE

PAGE

Picoquant GmbH ....................................... 158, 162 www.picoquant.com

Spectra-Physics: A Division of Newport Corporation..................126, 156, 164, C6 www.newport.com

Piezosystem Jena GmbH.................................... 86 www.piezojena.com Point Source ..............................................174, 179 www.point-source.com/lfw Polar Onyx............................................................. 2 www.polaronyx.com Polymicro Technologies, LLC ........................... 128 www.polymicro.com Power Technology ...................................... 25, 148 www.powertechnology.com Princeton Instruments/Acton ...........................181 www.piacton.com QPC Lasers ......................................................... 38 www.qpclasers.com QUANTRONIX ...................................................... 20 www.quantronixlasers.com REO ..................................................................... 10 www.reo.com Rockwell Collins Optronics ................................ 98 www.rockwellcollins.com Rocky Mountain Instruments .............................. 6 www.rmico.com Roithner LaserTechnik GmbH ...........................171 www.Roithner-laser.com Rolyn Optics........................................................ 75 www.rolyn.com Rsoft Design Group .............................................. 4 www.rsoftdesign.com Sabeus .................................................................31 www.sabeus.com Sacher Lasertechnik GmbH ............................. 170 http://www.sacher.de Schott Glass Technologies ................................107 www.us.schott.com Scientific Materials, Corp. ............................... 100 www.scientificmaterials.com Semrock.............................................................. 64 www.semrock.com Sensors Unlimited (see SUI) ......................... 18-19 www.oss.goodrich.com Sill Optics GmbH & Co KG ................................... 76 www.silloptics.de Society of Vacuum Coaters .............................. 170 www.svc.org Special Optics ................................................... 143 www.special-optics.com

Spectral Instruments ........................................116 www.specinst.com Spectrogon US Inc. ..............................................61 www.spectrogon.com SPIE Defense & Security ...................................161 spie.org/events/dss Spiricon Inc....................................................... 183 www.spiricon.com Stanford Research Systems .............................. 22 www.thinkSRS.com StellarNet ............................................ 28, 144, 184 www.stellarnet.com StockerYale Canada, Inc. ................................. 106 www.stockeryale.com SUI, part of Goodrich Corporation ................ 18-19 www.oss.goodrich.com Sydor Instruments, LLC.................................... 186 www.sydorinstruments.com Synrad ............................................................... 125 www.synrad.com Tempotec Optics Co., Ltd. ................................ 158 www.tempotec.com Texas Instruments DLP........................................87 www.dlp.com THALES LASER ................................................. 16A www.thales-laser.com Thin Film Center ................................................112 www.thinfilmcenter.com Thorlabs .......................... 91, 93, 95, 114, 134, 138 www.thorlabs.com Time-Bandwidth Products AG .......................... 136 www.time-bandwidth.com Toptica Photonics .................................32, 45, 184 www.toptica-usa.com, www.highfinesse.com Trumpf, Inc .......................................................... 48 www.us.trumpf.com TwinStar ............................................................ 153 www.starstar.com ULO Systems LLC ............................................... 99 www.ulooptics.com VLOC Division of II-VI Inc......................50, 96, 160 www.vloc.com ZC & R Coatings for Optics, Inc. ............................1 www.zcrcoatings.com Zemax ................................................................. 35 www.zemax.com

Send all orders & ad materials to: Ad Services Specialist, Laser Focus World, 1421 S. Sheridan, Tulsa OK 74112 Laser Focus World Copyright 2007 (ISSN 1043-8092) is published 12 times per year, monthly, by PennWell, 1421 S. Sheridan, Tulsa OK 74112. All rights reserved. Periodicals postage paid at Tulsa, OK 74101 and additional mailing offices. Subscription rate in the USA: 1 yr. $150, 2 yr. $275, 3 yr. $375; International Air: 1 yr. $250, 2 yr. $375, 3 yr. $475; Canada: 1 yr. $200, 2 yr. $325, 3 yr. $425. Single copy price: $15 in the USA, $25 via International Air and $20 in Canada. Single copy rate for March issue which contains a Buyers Guide Supplement: $125.00 USA, $155.00 Canada, $185.00 International Air. Paid subscriptions are accepted prepaid and only in US currency. SUBSCRIPTION INQUIRIES: phone: (847) 559-7520, fax: (847) 291-4816. (POSTMASTER: Send change of address form to Laser Focus World, POB 3293, Northbrook, IL 60065-3293.) We make portions of our subscriber list available to carefully screened companies that offer products and services that may be important for your work. If you do not want to receive those offers and/or information, please let us know by contacting us at List Services, Laser Focus World, 98 Spit Brook Road, Nashua, NH 03062. Authorization to photocopy items for internal or personal use, or the internal or personal use of specific clients, is granted by Laser Focus World (ISSN 1043-8092), provided that the appropriate fee is paid directly to Copyright Clearance Center. Prior to photocopying items for educational classroom use, please contact Copyright Clearance Center Inc., 222 Rosewood Drive, Danvers, MA 01923 USA 800-982-3887. Return Undeliverable Canadian Addresses to: P.O. Box 122, Niagara Falls, ON L2E 6S4. Officers of PennWell: Frank T. Lauinger, Chairman; Robert F. Biolchini, President and Chief Executive Officer. Laser Focus World is a registered trademark. All rights reserved. No material may be reprinted. Bulk reprints can be ordered from Mary Donnelly, PennWell, Laser Focus World, 98 Spit Brook Road, Nashua, NH 03062, tel. (603) 891-9398; FAX (603) 891-0574, Attn. Reprint Dept.; marym@pennwell.com Volume 43 No. 1 GST No. 126813153 Publications Mail Agreement No. 40052420

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in m y view By Jeff Bairstow

The next big thing: the video scientist

T

hose of you who read this column regularly will know that, in the recent past, I have often been reluctant to offer words of praise for science videos, even when such encomiums may have been justified. In fact, I may have been a tad too quick to be downright scathing or have tended to too readily damn with faint praise. So, now here comes an organization that could well prove me wrong. It’s not the first time I have been proven wrong, of course. And it will probably not be the last time, either. The object of my recent video affection comes to us via a splendidly polished website for the U.K.-based Vega Science Trust (www.vega.org. uk). Click on that URL right now before you continue to read this column. This slick nonprofit group has been collecting and drawing up high-quality science-related video programs for showing on television, notably on Britain’s government-sponsored BBC channels. As a result, the Vega Science Trust has amassed a considerable number of fascinating videos, several of which held me enthralled for a long day’s night, the very day I had planned to use for writing this column. For me, the creme de la creme was a series of very entertaining lectures given in 1979 by Richard Feynman on the theory of photons, at the University of Auckland (New Zealand). Although the video has

selling book author, freelance science writer, and magazine editor. Although I found the content of these vintage videos quite fascinating, most of them could have benefited from the serious improvement in production values that a competent television director, working with a skilled video editor, could bring to the party. Tell me, why do academics have to appear on video in ratty sweaters? Why do otherwise articulate authors have to mumble their monotonous way through a boring prepared text? And, why not hire a competent graphic designer to produce professional-looking charts, graphs, and tables? I could go on (and on), but you will quickly get the idea after looking at a few of these videos. Frankly, it is not necessary to hire a team of expensive video professionals to get significantly better videos. Great videos can be made with what is often called “prosumer” equipment that is a cut above amateur video gear but not as expensive or as complex as top-level pro gear. I recommend that you take some young and enthusiastic person in your company or department and have that individual trained in the use of Avid Technology’s Media Composer suite of video-editing and post-production programs (www.avid.com/products/media-composer). You’ll be amazed at the difference a few weeks of training and skill development can make. And if you want to do live webcasts, I suggest

TELL ME, WHY DO ACADEMICS HAVE TO APPEAR ON VIDEO IN RATTY SWEATERS? WHY DO OTHERWISE ARTICULATE AUTHORS HAVE TO MUMBLE THEIR MONOTONOUS WAY THROUGH A BORING PREPARED TEXT? some technical problems caused by the relatively primitive nature of video-recorders at that time, the content is absolutely fascinating. If you have never seen the late Professor Feynman in full iconoclastic flow, then I heartily recommend that you watch this series of lectures—a bravura performance! Even a nonscientist will readily understand the larger part of these videos. But there’s much more to visit on this Web site. I also enjoyed Flight in Birds and Aeroplanes by John Maynard Smith, a professor of biology at the University of Sussex; Science and Fine Art by David Bomford, a senior restorer at Britain’s National Gallery; and The Man Who Loved Only Numbers by Paul Hoffman, an American best-

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you look into the TriCaster—a TV studio in a box for under $5000 by NewTek (www.newtek.com/ tricaster)—that will produce very professionallooking output for webcasts, video recording, or cable-TV broadcasting. A few hours of hands-on training is all that the TriCaster requires..

Jeffrey Bairstow Contributing Editor In-My-View@comcast.net

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