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Photonex 2021: Product showcase (part 2)

01 Oct 2021

optics.org reviews a batch of the new launches and solutions on show in Glasgow, this week.

This week’s SPIE Photonex + Vacuum Technologies exhibition in Glasgow, UK, has provided the photonics industry with one of the first in-person platforms to present the latest research results and new products from across the industry.

optics.org has produced a review of the event, which includes the first batch of news and reviews news from the exhibition. Here we present a second batch of new announcements and launches.

Physik Instrumente (PI) has expanded its portfolio for industrial precision automation with the V-855 und V-857 high-load linear stage series. These are positioning systems for applications in electronics manufacturing and micro assembly, for testing sensors, or for use in inkjet printing processes – applications that require high speed and repeatability over long travel ranges.

The stages are designed for industrial applications with high operating cycles over long travel ranges: 3-phase linear motors with recirculating ball bearing guides make a constant load to 1000 N and velocities to 5000 mm/s possible.

Furthermore, for multi-axis applications, PI’s new linear stages can easily be combined to gantry setups. The axes can be assembled individually thanks to the optionally available motion platform and the triple M6 hole pattern. With a slim design of 132 mm maximum width, the stages can be integrated in a space-saving manner into compact machine assemblies.

For the control of the V-855 and V-857 linear stages, PI offers the G-901 19in rack electronics solution, which combines an ACS Motion Controller and drivers for up to four axes as well as an integrated “Safe-Torque-Off” (STO) module.

PowerPhotonic has completed what it calls “an important milestone in the development of the mass production of freeform optical components.” The firm has produced not one, but two designs, in fused silica and shipped these to its partners in the Phabulous consortium.

PowerPhotonic used its patented laser machining and smoothing process to produce optically precise freeform surfaces in fused silica. Each surface is an array of optical elements, with each element itself a highly freeform shape, having no symmetry (rotational or translational).

Company founder and CEO Roy McBride said, “Making these master surfaces in fused silica is an important achievement on the path to the mass production of freeform optical components.”

A motorized stand combined with Prior Scientific’s portfolio of automation and optical components offers a new way to develop custom optical platforms, says the firm.

The OpenStand is a modular platform that allows for easy customization. It is a fully configurable and motorized optical stand, when combined with a range of readily available optics, light sources and accessories, creates a complete customizable optical microscope.

Thomas Freda, CEO of Prior Scientific, commented, “The most significant advantage of OpenStand is that we can get a working instrument to our customers fast. They can start developing their application straight away, reducing their development costs and time to market significantly.”

The stand is suitable for applications in optogenetics, physiology, electrophysiology, neuroscience, industrial and general imaging applications. The OpenStand modular approach allows maximum interchangeability and flexibility enabling users to image a wide range of samples.

Pro-Lite focuses on the following areas of photonics: instruments for measuring light and the optical properties of materials; photometry; lasers and laser safety equipment; spectroscopy and spectral imaging.

In Glasgow, the firm presented a Goniophotometers from SSL Resource. The device measures the variation of luminous intensity with angle from a light source. The devices are often used to generate “photometric data files” for lighting products in either the standard IESNA (.ies) or EULUMDAT (.ldt) formats.

Applications of goniophotometers include the testing of general or architectural lighting products, UVC germicidal lighting, vehicle lighting, flashing visual alert devices, road traffic signals, airfield and aircraft lighting.

For any lamp that has a narrow beam angle (e.g. spot light, vehicle headlamp), there is a much simpler solution. By projecting the beam onto a matte white screen and recording the beam pattern with an imaging photometer, a user can record goniometric intensity data instantaneously with no moving parts.

Quantum Design UK and Ireland participated at Photonex & Vacuum Technologies with its camera partners, Raptor Photonics, which provides digital camera solutions for scientific, industrial & surveillance markets. QDI also showed its InfraTec high speed thermography systems and Specim hyperspectral imaging cameras.

Raptor Photonics itself launched the OWL 640T camera. The 640T has already been recognized among the best in machine vision by the judges of the Vision Systems Design 2021 Innovators Awards program, the company said.

The OWL 640T is the latest variant of the Owl 640 family, being the world’s first SWaP optimised ½in / VGA InGaAs sensor with a 10µm x 10µm pixel pitch, offering a spectral response from 0.6µm to 1.7µm.

It offers <50 electrons readout noise, with a high intra-scene dynamic range of 69dB that enables simultaneous capture of bright and dark portions of a scene. It is the perfect candidate for a range of machine vision applications.

Raptor Photonics also launched the Ninox 640SU, a vacuum cooled InGaAs based camera with 640x512 sensor with a 15µm x 15µm pixel pitch for the highest spatial resolution. The Ninox 640SU is vacuum cooled to -80°C for exposures up to 5 min. Its ultra-low dark current and read-noise result in the highest sensitivity SWIR camera on the market today. It is a suitable camera for applications in SWIR wavelengths (from 900nm – 1700nm), including NIR-II in-vivo imaging, fluorescence imaging and astronomy.

SLS Optics manufactures Fabry-Perot Etalons, precision laser optics and thin film coatings. Its products are employed in applications such as medicine, aerospace, defense, astronomy, microlitography and research.

Fabry-Perot Etalons, solid and air-spaced, are available with matched flatness of up to λ/200. Applications of these include: semi-conductor processing, telecommunications, industrial, medical and scientific. SLS optics also offers a coating only service on customer supplied substrates.

Bespoke software allows SLS to test quality performance of a finished assembled etalon before shipment and measure individual parts throughout the manufacturing process. The firm has extensive software facilities for calculating theoretical performance of etalons in customer specified conditions of use.

SLS also manufactures a wide range of high performance optical coatings deposited on customer supplied or SLS sourced substrates; customers can choose from a selection of standard OEM components or ask SLS to design a custom coating.

Thorlabs announced the release of a range of in-house-manufactured volume phase holographic (VPH) gratings. VPH gratings consist of a gelatin film with periodic index modulations sealed between two AR-coated glass substrates.

The VPH gratings offer high first-order diffraction efficiencies across broad bandwidths, low polarization dependence loss, low scatter of stray light between diffraction order peaks, and minimal ghosting, suiting applications in spectroscopy and OCT.

Thorlabs says VPH gratings are “superior to their conventional surface relief counterparts in that they can be cleaned using standard optics cleaning methods.” These VPH gratings have undergone extensive environmental and thermal shock testing. Customized round or square optics can be achieved with dimensions as small as 10 mm and as large as 60 mm.

Toptica manufactures optical isolators covering the ultraviolet to the near infrared wavelength range. They have the highest available transmission in the forward direction and the highest extinction in the reverse direction, says the company.

Toptica’s isolators are designed for extreme performance, matching the demands on the lasers. They are designed to handle 40 W of optical power and a maximum intensity of 4 kW/cm2.

Isolator design can be very flexible to meet an application’s needs. Deployed quantum technology systems may require compact laser systems, and Toptica has developed <1 cm3 isolators to fit into compact laser systems.

The company also has delivered high performance compact isolators at wavelengths <400nm and at 488nm. These wavelengths are difficult to achieve with typical approaches to optical isolators.

Berkeley Nucleonics CorporationUniverse Kogaku America Inc.Optikos Corporation CHROMA TECHNOLOGY CORP.Mad City Labs, Inc.LaCroix Precision OpticsECOPTIK
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