Archive for the ‘Technology of interest from outside the RRPC’ category

‘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.



To Aid the Blind, an Assist From Cameras

June 10, 2014

Rochester is Home to ABVI, The Association for the Blind or Visually Impaired.

Imagine the Possibilities this Thursday with ABVI, HTR and Your RRPC Colleagues.

Here are some possibilities to rattle your thinking:

In two labs some 50 miles apart in Israel, computer scientists and engineers are refining devices that employ tiny cameras as translators of sorts. For both teams, the goal is to give blind people a form of sight — or at least an experience analogous to sight.


Fusion energy milestone reported by Livermore NIF scientists

February 13, 2014

Fuel gain exceeding unity in an inertially confined fusion implosion.
From the Journal,  Nature

Ignition is needed to make fusion energy a viable alternative energy source, but has yet to be achieved. A key step on the way to ignition is to have the energy generated through fusion reactions in an inertially confined fusion plasma exceed the amount of energy deposited into the deuterium–tritium fusion fuel and hotspot during the implosion process, resulting in a fuel gain greater than unity. Here we report the achievement of fusion fuel gains exceeding unity on the US National Ignition Facility using a ‘high-foot’ implosion method, which is a manipulation of the laser pulse shape in a way that reduces instability in the implosion. These experiments show an order-of-magnitude improvement in yield performance over past deuterium–tritium implosion experiments. We also see a significant contribution to the yield from α-particle self-heating and evidence for the ‘bootstrapping’ required to accelerate the deuterium–tritium fusion burn to eventually ‘run away’ and ignite.


Washington Post article with cool photo gallery here:

IBM Singing The Blues In New York State

September 17, 2013

New York State’s plan to build up to three “mega” computer chip factories at the SUNY Institute of Technology outside Utica is raising questions about the future of IBM’s operations in downstate Dutchess County.

Story here.

Florida Congressman Tours UCF Laser Facility

August 19, 2013

Photonics was the focal point at the University of Central Florida (UCF) on Wednesday when Rep. John L. Mica paid a visit to the Center for Research and Education in Optics and Lasers (CREOL).

“They are performing phenomenal research in our backyard,” Mica said. “The work going on at UCF holds tremendous potential for our workforce and will impact and touch nearly every aspect of our lives.”

Among the technologies on display were a laser used to break apart cancer particles and a cellphone that analyzes blood, allowing Mica to witness the inroads light-based technologies have made in the medical field, among others.

The National Photonics Initiative (NPI) launched this spring by a cadre of photonics organizations (See: Photonics Societies Launch National Initiative) seeks to unite experts from industry, academia and the government to advance photonics R&D, to grow the US economy, and to improve national security. A key part of the effort is to educate members of congress on the vital role photonics plays in homeland security and the US economy.

“Central Florida is a prime example of how the NPI’s goals can be realized through education, research and public-private partnerships,” said Peter Baker, executive director of the Laser Institute of America. “Greater investment in key photonics-driven fields will create jobs, grow our economy, and protect and improve lives.”

Article here.



IDEX Announces Repartition of CVI Laser and Melles Griot Brands

February 2, 2013

Albuquerque, NM – February 1, 2013 ─ The IDEX Optics & Photonics (IOP) platform announced that CVI Melles Griot will be moving forward as two companies, CVI Laser Optics and Melles Griot, effective immediately.

The two companies had been acquired separately and merged into a single marketing name, CVI Melles Griot for several years.  The Melles Griot Optics Group has been based in a 35,000-square-foot facility located on Science Parkway in Rochester, New York.

IDEX Optics & Photonics President, Jerry Jurkiewicz, expressed, “The CVI Melles Griot brand has been repartitioned back into two brands which signify our ongoing focus on and commitment to excellence in laser optics (CVI), as well as light sources and optical systems (Melles Griot). This clarification better aligns our brands with our capabilities and products. Each brand will stand alone and define its excellence individually.”

CVI Laser Optics will now focus solely on high-quality laser optical components and will continue with a large catalog and e-commerce website for standard products, a rapid semi-custom optics capability, in addition to design and manufacturing of fully custom components tailored to its OEM customers’ needs.
Melles Griot will continue to grow and strengthen its custom capabilities in the areas of lasers and light engines in Carlsbad, CA, as well as subsystems – including lens assemblies and shutters – and fully integrated optical systems in its Rochester, NY, Tamagawa, Japan, and Seoul, Korea locations.
As two stronger yet separate brands, CVI Laser Optics and Melles Griot will continue to develop their individual capabilities within the expanding IDEX Optics & Photonics platform.

IDEX also acquired Rochester-based Semrock in 2008, and added Advanced Thin Films (Boulder Co.) to the IDEX Health & Science Technologies segment in 2011.  The two companies continue to offer customers the exceptional performance, reliability and rapid delivery of quality optical filters, for which Semrock is renowned.

About CVI Laser Optics
Scientists, engineers, and optical system manufacturers from research to industrial to medical markets recognize CVI Laser Optics as the leading global optics manufacturer specializing in components for lasers and laser-based systems. CVI’s industry-leading capabilities combine substrate manufacturing and thin-film coating services with advanced metrology and optomechanical integration to provide exceptional optical and laser-damage performance. Through its main headquarters in Albuquerque, NM, high-volume production in Seoul, South Korea, and the large-aperture facility in the Isle of Man, UK, CVI offers rapid turnaround with standard, semi-custom, and fully customized laser optics solutions. Visit

About Melles Griot
Melles Griot is a leading global volume manufacturer of optics and photonics products including lasers, light engines, shutters, lens assemblies, and optical integrated systems. The company has engineering and manufacturing in the United States, Japan, and Korea with distribution activities worldwide. Melles Griot serves industries ranging from semiconductor to biotechnology, industrial metrology, and research. For additional information about Melles Griot and its products visit

About IDEX Optics & Photonics:
IDEX Optics & Photonics (IOP) platform, under the IDEX Health & Science segment, provides technically advanced optical and photonic products offering both custom and standard offering product solutions. IOP is built on the industry’s high demand for custom engineered solutions and innovative products. Headquartered in Albuquerque, NM, the IOP platform currently consists of five brands, ATFilms, CVI Laser Optics, Melles Griot, Precision Photonics, and Semrock. The platform combines top-of-the line technology, manufacturing, and distribution capabilities. IOP serves the life science, medical, scientific, industrial, semiconductor, defense and environmental markets.


December 14, 2012

APPLIED IMAGE Group announced the acquisition of MICROTRONICS Inc, a key USA based “mask maker”. MICROTRONICS manufactures glass masks for the semiconductor, hybrid, MEMS, and electro-optical industries. Masks are primarily used to transfer electro-optical designs from the glass imaged plates (that MICROTRONICS manufactures) to the wafer, which becomes the final microelectronic or electro-optical components themselves. It will operate as a wholly owned division of the APPLIED IMAGE group.

aiplacementAll of the equipment used in the mask manufacturing process, along with customer accounts, have been transfer to APPLIED IMAGE Rochester, NY facility. With the new laser based writing systems, APPLIED IMAGE will be capable of designing, and imaging, to sub-micron geometries with 1/10th micron tolerances. These capabilities will place APPLIED IMAGE at the forefront of the electro-optical and photonic industry. In addition, MICROTRONICS will continue to be a prime “mask making” house providing products and services to the electronic industry, government research systems, and universities throughout the world.

“This is a very exciting acquisition for us at APPLIED IMAGE” said CEO Bruno Glavich. “We are already a prime manufacturer of opto-imaging, calibration standards, optical components, and image evaluation test targets. This new capability will expand our offering significantly including the ability to create hybrid applications for our customers in the MEMS, Electro-Optics, and Bio-Optics fields”.

For more information about MICROTRONICS laser based “mask making” services, please go to

For more information about APPLIED IMAGE unique opto-imaging standards, optical components, and image analysis test targets, please go to