Lasers & Photonics
An Analytical Balancing Act
Mettler Toledo’s XPE205 analytical balance
provides unique performance in analytical weighing and support for the highest
requirements for safety, efficiency and
ease of compliance. These balances feature
two quality management features, the StatusLight and StaticDetect, which take
the worry out of weighing and provide users with a high level of trust in their
results. StaticDetect detects electrostatic charges on a sample and warns users
of any weighing error measured. StatusLight features a LED light embedded in
three sides of the balance terminal for optimal visibility, providing at-a-glance
information on the balance’s readiness for weighing tasks.
The balance also features new RFID functions, the EasyScan and
SmartSample, which introduce a safe and easy way of pipette performance
testing via RFID-tagged pipettes and sample prep for titration applications
via RFID-tagged sample containers. The EasyScan RFID reader-writer can be
clipped to the side panel of the balance and read the serial number and calibration data on RFID-tagged pipettes. The SmartSample is a RFID reader-writer
that reliably identifies titration samples in RFID-tagged beakers on the balance.
The sample data is written to the RFID tag and then the sample is manually
transferred to the InMotion Autosampler where the beaker is identified.
◗ Mettler Toledo, www.mt.com
A Micro Step Forward
Micro GC technology is a proven technology
for gas analysis in laboratory, pilot plant and
field applications. The principle benefit of
Micro GC over a traditional benchtop gas
chromatography (GC) is speed of analysis.
INFICON’s temperature-programmable Micro
GC Fusion has further improved the Micro GC
speed advantage, cutting the average analysis time over
an isothermal Micro GC in half.
The Micro GC Fusion achieves this improvement through fast temperature
ramping on capillary columns and a MEMS micro-thermal conductivity detector
(TCD) that offers a 1 ppm detection limit and is 10 times more sensitive than a
traditional TCD. The temperature-programmable GC column focuses late eluting
peaks, providing advanced control over peak resolution and a significant sensitivity
gain for heavier hydrocarbons. Based on a modular GC design, with each module
comprised of a MEMS injector, a temperature-programmable GC and a MEMS
detector, the modules can be custom configured to meet specific application needs.
The instrument can be outfitted with one or two modules and the sample is run in
parallel to optimize analysis speed. Modules can easily be exchanged onsite in minutes to adapt to new applications or perform maintenance.
◗ INFICON, www.inficon.com
LEDs Challenge Xenon Lamps
Physicians and scientists have two major options when it comes to solid-state
lighting for applications in fiber optics: conventional lamps, using xenon
gas, or LEDs. The light sources, which may be used for tasks ranging from
endoscopy in medical settings or borescopy for jet engine inspection, must
generate light output with high luminance in order to couple sufficient light
into the used light fiber of 5 mm in diameter or even smaller. Until recently,
LEDs couldn’t generate the light output needed to fully compete with 300-W xenon
lamps. But OSRAM GmbH, Osram Sylvania and T.Q. Technology Co. Ltd. have jointly developed a new white-light LED module based on laser technology: the ITOS PHASER 3000. Designed for
light sources using fibers about 5 mm in diameter, the system generates non-modulated white light at a nominal (80% of maximum) level of 2,100 lumens and three times higher luminance than common competing LED
options. The light output at the distal end of an endoscope truly matches the same performance as when using
a typical 300-W xenon lamp, which are the most commonly used type for this application.
ITOS PHASER 3000 lasts up to 30 times longer than xenon lamps. It generates significantly less heat and
therefore also less fan noise when cooling the system. Specifically in endoscopy applications it is of advantage that
the light output is free of infrared or ultraviolet light, reducing the impact on the patients tissue during surgery.
◗ OSRAM GmbH, www.osram.com
Life Preserver for Fiber Lasers
Isolators are used to block back-reflected light in a fiber laser. Conventional free-space fiber pigtailed isolators can only handle less than 1 W of back-reflected light, which accounts for the main cause of failure for
most fiber laser systems. Estimates are that more than 60,000 fiber lasers are at risk of this type of failure,
costing operators $75 million a year.
With its All-Fiber Isolator, AdValue Photonics Inc. can now provide fiber laser system operators with the ability to handle more than 200 W of back-reflected light. This capability
lets fiber laser systems operate reliably up to the kilowatt levels.
The innovation behind the All-Fiber Isolator is a highly rare-Earth-doped
Faraday rotating fiber and fused fiber polarizer. The fiber and polarizer are
fusion spliced together, such that there is no air gap from the input and the
output. Lack of an air gap means the device can handle high-throughput
power. Another key innovation is glass fiber material itself, a heavily terbi-um-doped silicate fiber that exhibits a strong magneto-optic: Its Verdet constant is
greater than 300 times higher than conventional silica glass.
◗ AdValue Photonics Inc., www.advaluephotonics.com
Powerful Single-output Laser
Efforts to scale the power of a single-output laser
to more than 100 k W have encountered significant challenges in removing waste heat, maintaining beam quality and avoiding optical damage to
output optics. Electrically driven solid-state lasers
have been demonstrated at this power level, but
the thermo-optical distortions in the bulk laser
materials demonstrated to date result in degraded
beam quality, which limits the irradiance delivered to a target.
Spectral beam combining (SBC) of fiber lasers
offers a straightforward approach for power scaling. The approach exploits the broad gain bandwidth to enable large numbers of fiber laser channels to be combined with near-diffraction-limited
beam quality. Rigorous application of SBC has
allowed a development team including Lawrence
Livermore National Laboratory, Lockheed
Martin Laser and Sensor Systems and Advanced
Thin Films to develop the EXtreme-power,
Ultra-low-loss, Dispersive Element (EXUDE)
optical element, the first-ever electrically efficient,
near-diffraction-limited 30-k W beam combined
laser. Key underlying technologies include proprietary optical coating designs using more than
100 thin-film layers that enable ultra-low-loss
transmission levels. This and other enabling technologies, such as dispersive surface relief structure
design, allow single 30-k W beams of light at more
than 98% efficiency, and project maximum output
of more than 100 k W.
◗ Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory