At Photonics West 2014, TAG Optics
launched the beta version of its TAG Lens HP.
Similar to the TAG Lens 2.0, the new device is
specialized for laser material processing applications and can accept more than 100 W of
According Christian Theriault, president
and CEO of TAG Optics, Princeton, N.J.,
several trends apparent in the photonics and
optics industries continued to make their
presence felt at Photonics West: the rise of
solid-state/LED lighting for illumination, the
use of ultra-short pulsed lasers instead of con-tinuous-wave lasers, adaptive lenses instead of
motion systems and new resolution/tunable
detectors for hyperspectral imaging and spectroscopy.
“Additionally, I do believe there is a slow,
but constant shift to what I would call ‘smart
optics’ as the industry gains more trust and
exposure to these non-traditional components,” says Theriault.
The optical component industry is also
heavily supported by a number of OEMs who
specialize in support mechanisms for the core
light-handling components. These include
makers of enclosures, power supplies and
Physik Instrumente (PI), Auburn, Mass.,
has been filling the needs of positioning for
decades, and has an extensive portfolio of
miniature piezoelectric positioning stages that
can align optical components, gratings and
lenses, such as those used in spectroscopy and
microscopy. The company recently introduced
a new generation of positioning products that
are driven by a ceramic motor and use no
energy to hold a position, meaning there is
less heat dissipation and better stability on a
microscopic and nanoscopic level.
The new miniature stages are available for
linear and rotary motion—with linear travel
from 0.25 to 1.0 in—and provide resolution
down to the nanometer range. They can be
stacked for multi-axis arrangements and controlled from a computer.
According to Stefan Vondran, VP for marketing at PI, one of the key drivers for recent
improvements in his company’s products has
been the miniaturization of optics, which
requires smaller and high-precision mechanisms for test and assembly.
“The need for smaller and higher-precision
mechanisms has driven our R&D department
to come up with new motion technologies,
more powerful control and alignment algo-
rithms and smaller positioning products,” says
PI’s piezo mechanisms and 6-axis hexapods
provide the precision and flexibility. PI hexapods, Vondran says, can move in all six degrees
of freedom and allow the user to program the
center of rotation anywhere in space: at a focal
point of a lens, at the waist of a beam or the
tip of an optical fiber.
Optics transform mass spectrometry
Plug-and-play optics don’t always work for scientific instrumentation, and this holds true not
just for customized or single-purpose devices
built in a single laboratory. High-volume
instrument vendors also work to develop their
own optics solutions, which they standardize
for use throughout the instrumentation line,
or license for outside manufacture.
For laboratory researchers, optics components are indispensable in two key
instrumentation families: spectroscopy and
microscopy. While microscopy relies on
more traditional optics solutions—including
lenses, beamsplitters and photomultipliers
With a width of 22 mm and travel ranges up to
26 mm, the piezo-actuated LPS- 22 linear stage
is one of the smallest available on the market.
Manufacturing advances like these have helped
OEMs make their instruments more compact.
Ultra Series Filters
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