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Prism Awards 2014: the finalists

27 Nov 2013

A vein viewing system, a MEMS spectrometer and a terahertz scanner feature among the shortlisted entries.

Organizers SPIE and Photonics Media have announced the finalists for the 2014 Prism Awards, with frequency-doubled green lasers, optical tweezers and hand-held diagnostic devices among the short-listed technologies.

The awards, which will be presented at the forthcoming SPIE Photonics West conference and trade show, are designed to showcase advances in photonics technology and its application.

As in previous years, the entries have been whittled down to three finalists in each of nine categories. This year sees one entry – a MEMS-based infrared spectrometer from Si-ware Systems – named in two separate categories, and Germany’s Hubner short-listed for two different products, meaning that 25 companies are represented overall.

Started up a decade ago, Si-ware Systems is based in the Egyptian capital Cairo. Earlier this year, the fabless company licensed its MEMS-based Fourier transform infrared (FT-IR) spectrometer – claimed to be the world’s first single-chip spectrometer – to Japan’s Hamamatsu Photonics.

The device, nominated for awards in both the “optics and optical components” and “test, measurement and metrology” categories, was the first product to be developed on Si-ware’s silicon integrated micro-optical system technology (SiMOST) platform.

According to the company, this approach allows for alignment-free optics. So whereas discrete optical systems normally have to go through costly and time-consuming precision alignment procedures, with SiMOST the optical components are aligned lithographically on-chip, yielding dramatic savings.

Nano-tweezers versus vein imaging
The “life sciences and biophotonics” category sees an optical diagnostic reader from Holomic – the start-up company that span out of work by Aydogan Ozcan’s research group at UCLA – go up against an optical nano-tweezer system from Philadelphia-based Optofluidics and a system for viewing veins developed by the medical imaging company AccuVein.

In the “advanced manufacturing” category, the Photonic Professional GT from Nanoscribe – a nanoprinting lithography system that was launched at Photonics West earlier this year – makes the short list. Also nominated in that category are a beam-waist analyser from Haas Laser Technologies and Germany-based Innolite’s ultra-precision “ILCENTRIC” diamond turning tool for lathe centering of mounted lenses.

In a change from recent years, the 2014 Prism Awards will not feature a “green photonics” category. In its place, the event sees the return of the “other light sources” category, which features frequency-converted green lasers from both Necsel and Fujitsu-backed QD Laser from Japan, alongside an LED-based white-light source for fluorescence microscopy developed by UK-based CoolLED.

Winners will be announced at a gala dinner taking place during next February’s Photonics West event – at which many of the finalists are also exhibiting. For full details, visit the 2014 Prism Awards web site. The full list of finalists and their respective categories is as follows:

Defense and Security
Hubner: T-Cognition, terahertz scanner
Infrasign: SPoT, QCL-based HAZMAT detection
• Ocean Optics: IDRaman mini, handheld sample analyzer

Detectors, Sensing, Imaging, and Cameras
• BaySpec: OCI-1000, hyperspectral handheld imager
• Stanford Computer Optics: XXRapidFrame framing camera fhigh-speed, multi-channel CCD
• Tornado Spectral Systems: OCTANE-860, on-chip spectrometer for OCT

Other light sources
CoolLED: universal light source for fluorescence microscopy
Necsel, frequency-converted green laser array
QD Laser: compact 561nm laser module

Industrial Lasers
• DILAS: Fiber-coupled, multi-single emitter module
PolarOnyx Laser: URANUS mJ, high-energy femtosecond fiber laser
• V-Gen: VPFL-ISP-1-40-HE-50000 short-pulse MOPA fiber laser

Life Sciences and Biophotonics
AccuVein: AV400 vein viewing system
Holomic: rapid diagnostic reader
Optofluidics: Nano Tweezer

Advanced manufacturing
Haas Laser Technologies, beam waist analyzer monitor
• Innolite: ILCENTRIC, precision diamond turning system
• Nanoscribe: Photonic Professional GT, high-speed 3D nanoprinter

Optics and Optical Components
• Arrayed Fiberoptics: non-contact optical fiber connector
Compass-EOS, r10004 router
• Si-ware Systems: MEMS FT-IR spectrometer

Scientific Lasers
Amplitude Technologies, PULSAR femtosecond laser
Hubner: C-WAVE optical parametric oscillator
• Lockheed Martin Aculight: Argos Model 2400, optical parametric oscillator

Test, Measurement, Metrology
Pie Photonics: PieX, portable interferometer
Zygo: NexView 3D Optical Surface Profiler
• Si-ware Systems: MEMS FT-IR spectrometer

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