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Photonics Talks

Wednesday 10th & Thursday 11th October - Theatre 3, Ericsson Exhibition Hall

In parallel with the technical conference there is an exciting and varied series of Photonics Talks - seminars, tutorials, training & launch of new products.



SESSION 1 : Lasers

11:30 Masterclass on lasers (45 minutes)
Craig Garvie, Photonic Solutions, UK

When planning to use laser technology for your research or in your work it is important to understand the different types that are available, what applications they can be used for and how to make sure they are going to work for you.

In this 45 minute open, informal workshop we will be discussing various laser types and systems.

The point of a ‘Masterclass’ is to endeavour to cover all research areas but in the time available this is impractical and so we major in those areas in which we are currently finding there to be most interest. We will introduce four topics for different research areas and explain how different lasers enable these applications.

>Visit the Maserclass webpage<

Speaker biography
Craig joined Photonic Solutions in April 2005 as a senior laser engineer and became a sales engineer in 2011 and in July 2017 became Sales Director. Craig recevied a BSc (Hons) in 2001 in laser physics & optoelectronics and a PhD in physics in 2005 from Strathclyde University.

12:45 Laser Safety Training (2 hours)
Tim Frieb, LASERVISION GmbH & Co. KG.

When using lasers it is important to know what are the primary and secondary hazards and to take precautions to avoid injury. In this tutorial we will discuss these hazards, how laser radiation interacts with the skin and eyes, share some cautionary tales and offer up ways in which laser users can protect themselves and people around them.

Learn more about what makes laser radiation different from ordinary light, the hazards associated with laser light, what the various laser classes mean, the European laser safety standards.

>Visit the Laser Safety Training webpage<

SESSION 2 : Products & Applications
15:00 Seeing life in Short Wave Infrared - The role of InGaAs based cameras in scientific imaging
Mark Donaghy, Raptor Photonics, UK

Over the last few years there has been an increased interest in longer wavelengths, beyond visible. As we move into the red and deep red, towards short wave infra-red (SWIR), traditional silicon based sensors have limitations. But there are lots of interesting things to see beyond 1000nm. InGaAs based cameras now allow scientists to see up to 1700nm. Advances in lasers and dyes have enabled novel new imaging techniques. Applications include hyperspectral imaging, surveillance, scientific imaging, telcon and imaging in space. But there are limitations with InGaAs. Resolution, pixel size, well depth, speed, exposure time, environmental ruggedness and cost all play a role in deciding which camera to use. This talk gives an overview of SWIR and InGaAs camera technology, things to consider and examples of applications where SWIR camera technology has been put to use.

15:20 Laser Driven Tunable Light Sources
Megan Echoff, Energetiq (a Hamamatsu Company)
  Laser-Driven Light Sources (LDLS™) have ultrahigh-brightness, a broad wavelength range from 190nm to 2400nm and are different from all other light sources in the market. They use diode lasers or fiber lasers to deliver a focused laser beam at the center of a high-pressure Xe bulb to energize a high-temperature small volume Xe plasma. Compared to any conventional broadband light sources, the LDLS offers much higher brightness, longer lifetime, better stability and a broader wavelength range, which suits many spectroscopy, metrology, coating and film thickness applications.

Due to these advantages of the LDLS it is being utilized as a broadband light source for Tunable light source (TLS). A TLS is typically comprised of a broadband light source coupled to a monochromator to produce monochromatic light. By using a Laser-Driven Tunable Light Source (LDTLS™) higher throughput, longer light life and a more stable output can be achieved. These features make the LDTLS desirable in many applications such as wavelength-induces physical changes of materials, aerosol mass spectrometry and the semiconductor industry.

SESSION 3: OED: Engineering & Design

Chairs: Jon Maxwell and Beric Read

10:30 Introduction and welcome
10:40 Advances in adaptive optics: What can ophthalmology, microscopy and astronomy learn from each other?
Dr Karen Hampson, University of Oxford, UK

Adaptive optics is a technique that can compensate for aberrations. It was first developed for astronomy and military applications to remove the blurring effects of the atmosphere on light propagation. Since its first demonstration several decades ago, the technique has been applied to a number of other fields. For example, it is used in ophthalmology to compensate for the aberrations introduced by the optics of the eye. This has allowed in-vivo imaging of individual retinal cells. By compensating for aberrations introduced by refractive index inhomogeneities in a specimen, microscopes can reach higher resolutions.

Although adaptive optics has proved successful in these fields, each field still has challenges. However, what may be a challenge in one field, has been solved in another. One such example is increasing the field of view over which adaptive optics can increase resolution, a technique known as multiconjugate adaptive optics, which was originally developed in astronomy.

This talk will begin with an overview of how adaptive optics works. It will then discuss the current advances across the fields of ophthalmology, microscopy and astronomy. Finally, how the advances in each field can address the challenges in the others will be discussed.

11:00 Optical filters in Spectroscopy
Oliver Pust, Delta Optical Thin Films A/S, Denmark

Biochemists and chemists wishing to investigate the structure of unknown compounds often apply a technique known as spectroscopy. Spectroscopy involves submitting a sample to some form of energy in the form of radiation or light and examining how the sample interacts with that energy.

Interference filters are considerably smaller and lighter than monochromators and also offer technological benefits, in particular greatly increased potential grasp of energy ('light grasp') compared to monochromators. When properly designed, an interference filter is capable of collecting several hundred or even several thousand times the quantity of light collected by a monochromator with the same bandwidth.

Interference filters can be designed to meet the needs of spectroscopists, e.g. Continuously Variable Filters in which the wavelength of light transmitted and reflected from the optical layers changes continuously as it passes along the length of the filter.

11:20 Simulation & testing of optics for laser DEW applications
Dr Peter Rees, LumOptica Ltd

High-power laser systems require very high-quality optics in order to maintain beam quality and, in the case of Laser DEW systems, achieve high pointing accuracy. Coherent beam combining systems are especially demanding in this respect, typically requiring a wavefront quality on the scale of a few tens of nanometres to be maintained whilst transmitting tens of thousands of Watts of laser power.

This presentation will introduce the issues involved in designing the optics for such systems. In particular, computer modelling of the heating and consequent optical aberrations of lenses and mirrors will be presented along with experimental validation results.

11:40 Accounting for coherent effects in the ray-tracing simulation: more rigorous approach of subwavelength features in a design
Dr Maryvonne Chalony, Light Tec, France

The coherent effects of light arising from the near/subwavelength features are difficult to include in the RayTracing simulation of a device. The RT techniques are based on the geometric optics approximation, their primary limitation is that they fail to model subwavelength geometric features where coherent effects, such as diffraction and interference, are critical. On the other hand, rigorous electromagnetic (EM) wave optics-based techniques, such as finite-difference time-domain (FDTD) and rigorous coupled wave analysis (RCWA), solve Maxwell’s equations either directly or through some approximation.

These rigorous EM techniques can be used for modeling several optical aspects of a design including the subwavelength layered structures, nanostructured gratings, micropatterned substrates, photonic crystal and other periodic gratings, coupling to surface plasmon modes for back-reflectors, and random surface textures. However, these rigorous EM techniques have difficulty in analyzing the larger structures due to computational resource limitations.

It becomes clear that a mixed-level simulation approach is required to circumvent the limitations of the individual numerical techniques.

We will introduce the principle of the mixed-level simulation approach and demonstrate its usage through various examples (LED, surface textures...).

12:00 1000 Shades of grey - fabricating micro-optical elements using greyscale laser lithography
Andreas Ludwig, Heidelberg Instruments, Germany


Greyscale laser lithography is a versatile technique for the creation of microstructures in photoresist. In contrast to traditional lithography, where the photoresist is either completely exposed or unexposed, the goal of greyscale lithography is to transfer exposure intensity gradients into a resist topography. Its geometric flexibility, high speed and the possibility to scale it up to large exposure areas (e.g. 1.4 x 1.4 m²) make greyscale laser lithography a perfect technique for both fast prototyping and large-area production of 2.5-dimensional microstructures for applications like micro-optics, diffractive optical elements, computer-generated holograms, MEMS and many others.

Geometry-dependent proximity effects as well as the non-linear resist response to varying exposure intensities, however, pose major challenges to this technique.

Resolving them usually requires time-consuming iterative optimization procedures, leading to steep learning curves for anyone new to the field.  To facilitate this, software-based approaches for exposure optimization have been developed, which aim at reducing time and effort required for obtaining the desired geometry.

In this talk, the general concept and selected applications of greyscale laser lithography are presented. Both iterative and software-based approaches for exposure optimization are discussed and their respective strengths and weaknesses elucidated.

12:20 The commercial application of harsh environment optical sensors in aerospace and power generation
Ian Macafee, Oxsensis, UK

Optical instrumentation is finding its place in demanding applications in energy intensive and physically demanding applications. The ability to operate non-electrically, at high temperatures, at large distances, and to deliver multiple measurands with a single device – make a difference in key sensor challenges. The progressive maturing of system components and supporting technology now enable optical sensors to displace legacy electrical systems and the paper will show how this is being achieved in two high value markets – power generation and aerospace. In both cases, optical instrumentation is gaining ground due to changes in requirements and also optical systems are enabling architecture changes to be made in flight and land based systems. The alignment of key customers, changes in expected system standards and the targeted support of sector investment are all part of the adoption path for technologies such as this. Oxsensis is the optical instrumentation leaders in its chosen markets and the paper will describe progress to date and the near term next steps it is taking to support its customers.

12:40 Concluding comments
SESSION 4: Products & Applications
13:00 Differential Pyroelectric Sensors - A New Approach to Challenging Detection Problems
Dr Tony Hornby, Laser Components (UK) Ltd
  Pyroelectric detectors are inherently single ended electrical sensors, making them susceptible to electromagnetic interference from non-detector related noise.  Several manufacturers of OEM sensor devices use EMI filters to prevent these noise sources interfering with the operation of the device but for many applications, a higher level of noise immunity is required.

LASER COMPONENTS has developed a new pyroelectric detector using a differential mode of operation, ensuring that external pick up is eliminated greatly improving the electromagnetic immunity of the device.  Pyroelectric crystals generate positive and negative charges on opposite faces of the crystal and using appropriate amplification can generate a differential signal.  Differential operation results in a significant increase of the signal to noise ratio.  This is because the output signal is doubled with this configuration while the noise only grows with the square root.  The improvement in signal to noise is approximately 1.41 over a standard single ended pyroelectric detector.

This paper will provide an overview of this ground-breaking technology and the advantages that the differential mode creates in terms of eliminating electromagnetic interference and improving signal to noise.
13:15 A new route to scalable photonics - without vacuum processing
Damien Gardner, Optomel Ltd, UK

Optomel is developing a breakthrough filter technology allowing optics and photonics integrators to address new markets and applications; scalable from single units to ultra-high volumes.

Most conventional photonic devices are manufactured using complex and expensive techniques. For example, interference filters use vacuum deposition to deposit sequential layers of metal oxides with precise layering to generate the optical reflection effect. This processing can impose some limitations – such as size, shape, cost and choice of substrate, for example.
In this talk, Optomel will discuss an alternative strategy with the aim of addressing these limitations and without use of vacuum processing: molecular materials that self-organise into unique structures and which can be used to create key photonic components such as interference-like optical filters.

By simplifying the processing and significantly reducing start-up and ongoing costs, this approach gives optics and photonics integrators and OEMs a range of new options to introduce new products or consolidate existing ones.

13:30 Lidar: Technology Deep Dive
Adnan Quazi, Hamamatsu Photonics ,UK
  An in-depth look into three major Lidar techniques, the photonics technologies on which they hinge, and their applications. The focus will be on both Industrial and Automotive environments.
13:50 Mid Infrared Spectroscopy, Opportunities and Challenges
Dr Carsten Giebeler, Spectrolytic Ltd, UK

Mid-infrared spectroscopy is a powerful analytical technique that is mainly used in analytical laboratories for oil analysis, food analysis or medical applications. With the advance of interconnected sensor networks there are now many opportunities that requires a robust, accurate, and cost-effective solution to move mid-infrared spectroscopy out of the laboratory into the realms of Industry 4.0 applications.

This talk will address the working principles of mid-IR spectrometers without any moving parts such as filter based spectrometers and static FTIRs. It will emphasize the challenges posed by the limited supply chain for suitable materials and use real world examples to discuss some of the evolving applications for such systems.

14:10 A brief introduction to atomic layer deposition, nanomaterials and their applications
Nigel Matthews, Strem Chemicals Ltd, UK

Atomic layer deposition (ALD) is a vapor phase technique capable of producing thin films of a variety of materials. Based on sequential, self-limiting reactions, ALD offers exceptional conformity on high-aspect ratio structures, thickness control at the Angstrom level, and tunable film composition. With these advantages, ALD has emerged as a powerful tool for many industrial and research applications. In this presentation we provide a brief introduction to ALD and it’s uses.

Nanomaterials are being used in more and more applications with many now becoming available commercially available. In the presentation we will discuss a few commercially available materials along with their application.

14:30 Introducing CSA Catapult
Dom Brady, CSA Catapult

CSA Catapult is focused initially in four key technology areas:  Photonics, Power Electronics, RF & Microwave and Advanced Packaging.

Come to this session to hear about our Photonics capabilities which can offer companies access to a range of services to assist with fast application development.  CSA Catapult’s integrated approach supports the whole design lifecycle from device to optical system, test and characterisation and qualification testing for harsh environments, accelerating product development.  Established by Innovate UK, the Catapult centres are a network of world-leading facilities designed to transform the UK’s capability for innovation in specific areas and help drive future economic growth.

  The exhibition remains open until 4pm

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