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Photonics West news: Tuesday

29 Jan 2003

A summary of the new products that caught our eye on the first day of the exhibition.

e2v, UK, announced what it claims is the world's most sensitive low-light image sensor. The back-thinned CCD60 is available in 128x128 pixel format and can allegedly acquire up to 1000 frames per second. According to e2v, the device offers a quantum efficiency of more than 90% and a read noise of less than one electron.

Coherent, US, demonstrated a 1mW ultraviolet diode laser for applications ranging from semiconductor test and measurement to biological and chemical detection. Based on GaN technology the diode operates in continuous-wave mode at 375nm and is cooled for stability and long lifetime.

Positive Light, US, showcased the Legend, which it says offers the shortest pulses commercially available from a Ti:sapphire amplifier. The amplifier, which provides sub-30fs 800nm pulses with energies in excess of 1mJ at a repetition rate of 1kHz, is designed for time-resolved femtosecond spectroscopy and high-field physics. A high-energy model delivering in excess of 2.5mJ at 1kHz is also available.

Sarnoff Corporation, US, launched an ultraviolet camera that combines high speed with high resolution. The 14-bit back-illuminated CCD camera operates between 157 and 315nm and has a resolution of 1024x1024 pixels and a frame rate of up to 100 frames per second. "This is a breakthrough in UV camera technology," said Robin Dawson of Sarnoff. "If you want to measure the uniformity of a UV optical coating, now you can get a camera with consistent results across its field of view."

Spectra-Physics, US, exhibited its expanded line of Vanguard lasers. The latest addition, the Vanguard 350, is a frequency-tripled Nd:YVO4 laser delivering 350mW of quasi-cw output at 355nm. The company says that in addition to eliminating the cost of UV ion lasers, the use of all solid-state technology means that there is no degradation in beam quality or beam pointing over the laser's lifetime. Target applications include computer and microelectronic manufacturing as well as flow cytometry and cell sorting.

GSI Lumonics, Canada, unveiled the HB X10 - a laser scan head that promises high-performance beam control. The head combines high-quality marking at speeds of 500 characters per second with an accuracy of better than 70 microns.

US-based Newport's latest optical spectrum analyzer made its debut at the show today. The LambdaCommander employs digital micromirror technology to allow the user to reshape and transform the optical input signal. "The LambdaCommander's programmable spectral control of an optical signal in a single self-contained instrument provides tremendous flexibility to a photonics laboratory," said Newport's Hector Lara. "The system's innovative approach allows the user to automate testing in the laboratory or manufacturing environment for sub-nanometer spectral shaping, spectral gain flattening and optical filter design."

New Wave Research, US, introduced a diode-pumped Nd:YLF laser system designed for high-speed particle image velocimetry (PIV). The Pegasus-PIV emits 10mJ of 527nm light pulses at a repetition rate of 1kHz and suits PIV applications such as turbulent flow studies and jet aircraft performance analysis. The system measures 17x8x5.75 inches and weighs 25lbs.

Author
Jacqueline Hewett is news reporter on Optics.org and Opto & Laser Europe magazine.

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