Archive for July 2014

‘Third generation’ laser makes the cut

July 30, 2014

A multikilowatt diode laser system that’s bright enough to cut and weld — even through a half-inch of steel — at greater efficiencies than today’s industrial lasers is being commercialized by MIT Lincoln Laboratory spinout TeraDiode.

A TeraDiode laser cuts through one-sixteenth inch thick stainless steel

A TeraDiode laser cuts through one-sixteenth inch thick stainless steel

The 4-kilowatt TeraBlade runs on a novel power-scaling technique developed at MIT that manipulates individual diode laser beams into a single output ray. This allows for boosting power of a diode laser, while preserving a very focused beam.

“[The TeraBlade] has comparable beam quality as compared with traditional manufacturing lasers, such as carbon dioxide, disk, and fiber,” says TeraDiode co-founder and vice president Robin Huang, a former Lincoln Laboratory researcher and TeraBlade co-inventor. “However, because the TeraBlade is a direct-diode laser, it has the highest efficiency and lowest cost of ownership as compared with these other lasers.”

Huang says TeraBlade represents a “third generation” of industrial lasers. The first generation, which evolved a few decades ago, was carbon dioxide lasers, in which electricity runs through a gas to produce light. These are very bright, but can be as large as trucks and operate at about 20 percent efficiency.

Then came diode-pumped solid-state (DPSS) lasers — including disk and fiber — that first transfer energy from diode lasers into a medium, usually a crystal, before converting it into a laser beam. These operate only up to about 30 percent efficiency.

But the TeraBlade, aptly called a “direct-diode” laser, uses light directly from the diodes, skipping the DPSS conversion step and saving energy, Huang says. This means the TeraBlade operates with just as much power and brightness as all other industrial lasers — about 2,600 megawatts per square centimeter per steradian — at roughly 40 percent efficiency.



Corning Expansion in Canton, NY

July 29, 2014

Corning will expand production at its Canton plant in a $21 million project that will create 40 permanent jobs with the help of a low-cost power allocation, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo is expected to announce today.

The plant on McAdoo Road in the town of DeKalb will increase production of high-fused silica glass used in the semiconductor industry. The plant supplies microchips for computers, cellphones and other electronics. It also makes specialized glass products for the U.S. Department of Defense and the aerospace industry.

The 30,700-square-foot expansion will include 23,500 square feet for increased production and a 7,200-square-foot warehouse. Corning is expected to host a formal ceremony next month for the start of construction.

fused silicaThe New York Power Authority is allocating 2.1 megawatts to the plant for the expansion.

“The St. Lawrence-FDR power plant is crucial for economic development in Northern New York,” Gil C. Quiniones, president and chief executive officer of NYPA, said in a news release Monday. “It’s a top priority for NYPA to utilize its low-cost hydropower in ways that will yield the greatest results and Corning’s commitment toward the creation of 40 high-paying jobs in the region is exactly that, a great result.”

Destructive Innovation is Outpacing Creative Innovation

July 23, 2014

Mort Zuckerman, Editor-in-chief at US News and World Report, suggests that we are losing manufacturing jobs, not because competing economies are stealing them, but because we are not growing the workforce to fill the job openings that we have. STEM, immigration and job training are three areas to focus on to deal with destructive innovation, says Zuckerman.

SPIE Sponsors International Year of Light Photo Contest

July 22, 2014

The International Year of Light 2015 recognizes the importance of raising global awareness of how light-based technologies promote sustainable development and provide solutions to global challenges in energy, education, agriculture, and health. Share your work and show SPIE (and the world!) how light and light-based technologies play a vital role in our everyday lives.

Rural Cambodians make use of a MoonLight, a solar-powered lantern designed to replace the often-dangerous kerosene lamps that are typically found in villages throughout Cambodia and the developing world. The Kamworks lantern uses energy-efficient LED bulbs and is powered by a small solar cell. (Mathieu Young photo)

Rural Cambodians make use of a MoonLight, a solar-powered lantern designed to replace the often-dangerous kerosene lamps that are typically found in villages throughout Cambodia and the developing world. The Kamworks lantern uses energy-efficient LED bulbs and is powered by a small solar cell. (Mathieu Young photo)

Exciting National and International Light-based Initiatives

July 22, 2014

ROC The International Year of Light!


National Photonics Initiative (NPI)





International Year of Light and Light-based Technologies 2015


The Layman’s Guide to Scratch Resistant Displays

July 21, 2014

Gorilla Glass or Sapphire?  One of our takeaways from the Optatec conference in Frankfurt was the surprising number of Sapphire vendors coming out of the woodwork.


NIST observes that Rochester, New York is bursting with energy, photonic energy

July 1, 2014


Rochester, New York is bursting with energy, photonic energy! The New York (NYSTAR) MEP Center, aka High Tech Rochester, is a key player in the revitalizing this industry, along with various economic and business development entities in the Rochester region.

To strengthen and grow this industry the Rochester region has received three grants; the Advanced Manufacturing Jobs and Innovation Accelerator, (AMJIAC) the Advanced Manufacturing Technology Consortia Program (AMTECH), and the Investing in
Manufacturing Communities designation (IMCP). They are also gearing up to apply for a more significant and larger scale program, the National Network for Manufacturing Innovation, in order to further grow the optics and photonics industry.

Read more here…