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3D-printed optics and liquid lens make Prism finals

28 Nov 2014

27 innovations across nine categories shortlisted for the annual ceremony.

Innovations in 3D printing, groundbreaking tools for cancer diagnosis and a deformable liquid lens are among 27 products shortlisted for the 2015 Prism Awards.

Spread across nine technology categories – which this year include additive manufacturing for the first time – the awards will be handed out at a gala dinner in February as part of SPIE’s Photonics West event.

"Once again this year, some of the very creative innovators in our dynamic field have presented the Prism Awards judges with the distinct challenge of choosing a few finalists from among a large field of impressive products," said SPIE CEO Eugene Arthurs.

"These new products bring valuable new capabilities, and the wide range of applications illustrates the ubiquitous influence of photonics in our lives."

Optoacoustics and Raman
Among the finalists in the biomedical instrumentation category this time around is the Houston, Texas, company Tomowave Laboratories, which is at the forefront of a new medical imaging modality called optoacoustic imaging.

Based on a combination of non-ionizing optical illumination and detection of the induced ultrasound, the technique promises to yield more accurate diagnoses of cancer and improved distinction between different types of tumors. Its effectiveness if currently being evaluated in clinical trials.

Founded by award-winning researcher Alexander Oraevsky, Tomowave will be up against stiff competition in the form of St Louis, Missouri, company Bacterioscan, whose laser system is being used by researchers to detect very low concentrations of bacteria like E.coli, and Clearbridge Photonics.

Clearbridge is one of a handful of companies working on the concept of lensless microscopy – where high-resolution images are reconstructed from scattered light using a technique known as ptychography. Based in Singapore, the company is a spin-off from the California Institute of Technology.

Among the more familiar names to make the short list this year are fiber laser company IPG Photonics, for its “GLPN-500-R” green industrial laser, JDSU for its “PicoBlade” – one of a number of picosecond lasers to have emerged recently for materials processing – and Hamamatsu for its fingertip-sized, MEMS-based “C12666MA” spectrometer.

Less-well-known companies to have made the list include the Swiss firm Femtoprint, diamond optics maker Element Six and California’s OndaVia – whose highly sensitive analytical equipment is based on Raman spectroscopy.

Femotoprint, which has developed a method for 3D-printing glass microdevices, will be up against LUXeXcel’s printed optics and Multiphoton Optics’ lithography equipment for making optical packages in the new additive manufacturing category.

The complete list of finalists and their products is:

Additive Manufacturing
LUXeXcel: Printoptical Technology
Multiphoton Optics: LithoProf3D

Biomedical Instrumentation
BacterioScan: Laser Microbial Growth Monitor
Clearbridge Biophotonics: Fourier Ptychographic Microscopy
TomoWave Laboratories: Laser Optoacoustic Imaging System (LOIS-3D)

Detectors and Sensors
Hamamatsu: Micro-spectrometer (C12666MA)
OndaVia: OndaVia Analysis System

Imaging and Cameras
Advanced Scientific Concepts: Peregrine 3D Flash LIDAR Camera
ESPROS Photonics: OHC15L
Seek Thermal and Raytheon: Seek Thermal Camera

Industrial Lasers
Cobolt: Cobolt Odin
IPG Photonics: GLPN-500-R
JDSU: PicoBlade

Materials and Coatings
ALPhANOV: Laser-engineered surfaces
Element Six Technologies: Innovative Supermaterial Solution
Inrad Optics: Stilbene Scintillation Crystals

Optics and Optical Components
Corning, US Conec, and Intel: MXC Connector
Varioptic, a Business Unit of Parrot: Visayan 80S0
Vescent Photonics: SEEOR (Steerable Electro-Evanescent Optical Refractor)

Other Metrology Instrumentation
Mahr: TWI 60
Polytec: MSA-100-3D Micro System Analyzer
WITec: RISE Microscopy

Scientific Lasers
Fianium: WhiteLase SC400-20
Northrop Grumman -- Cutting Edge Optronics: 7.5 Joule Laser Amplifier
Optonicus: Intelligent Fiber-Collimator Array (INFA)

CeNing Optics Co LtdSPECTROGON ABLaCroix Precision OpticsBerkeley Nucleonics CorporationABTechHyperion OpticsCHROMA TECHNOLOGY CORP.
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