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30 Nov 2007
Transferring technology from academia into industry is not an easy task, even for a commercially orientated research unit like Strathclyde University's Institute of Photonics, UK. OLE speaks to the institute's business development manager Simon Andrews to see how it approaches the challenge.
Stimulated emission depletion (STED) microscopy has demonstrated that, contrary to a longstanding notion, diffraction-unlimited spatial resolution is viable with conventional lenses and visible light. Currently providing 15–70 nm resolution, it is entering the life sciences at a fast pace, while still undergoing technical improvements. Stefan W Hell, Lars Kastrup and Katrin I Willig summarize its principles and recent outcomes.
Thermoelectric coolers the size of chips are helping to control the temperature of lasers used in data networks and spectroscopy applications. Tim Hayes spoke to Burkhard Habbe of Micropelt to find out more about the technology, its applications and its benefits.
Developing lasers that process plasma display panels at rates of up to six metres per second is commonplace at Powerlase. Mike Mason and Matt Henry tell Jacqueline Hewett about the company's technology and the new opportunities that are on the horizon.
What factors should be taken into account when considering plastic versus glass optics? Andreas Maahs of JENOPTIK Polymer Systems discusses the merits of using plastic optics and explains the criteria that optical systems designers should bear in mind.