Cover Story

MEMS: Some Self-Assembly Required

Uthara Srinivasan, Michael A. Helmbrecht, Richard S. Muller and Roger T.Howe

Fluidic self-assembly can provide the vital step in the fabrication of chip-sized optical MEMS for a wide variety of applications. Nature herself provides an inspirational model for fluidic self-assembly, as well as useful guidelines for... more>>

Features

Biomedical Applications of Fluorescence Lifetime Imaging

Dan Elson, Stephen Webb, Jan Siegel, Klaus Suhling, Dan Davis, John Lever, David Phillips, Andrew Wallace and Paul French

Fluorescence lifetime imaging (FLIM) provides a robust functional imaging modality for biomedicine. Recent advances in ultrafast laser and detector technology make FLIM increasingly accessible for life scientists and point the way to new clinical instrumentation. more>>


Polymer Optical Interference Filters

Roger Strharsky and John Wheatley Photographs by Jack Revoir

Polymers are increasingly used in the design and manufacture of photonics products. One class of polymer optical components provides product forms and functions achievable only via polymer optics. Specific applications include ultrahigh-efficiency reflectors and reflective polarizers. Recently, all-polymer wavelength separation filters for the photosensor industry have been developed. These filters offer new degrees of freedom to designers and manufacturers at both the component and device levels. more>>


Quantum Information Science

Ian Walmsley and Peter Knight

Quantum technology has made great strides in recent years. While quantum computers offer many benefits, we are far from seeing them implemented on a mass scale. Here we review the basic building blocks of quantum information processing, identify the advantages of quantum physics over classical physics, explain how quantum communication protocols work and identify the challenges we need to overcome to realize a quantum computer. more>>


A Multiport Cross-Connect Switch Using VLIMOEMS Mirror Arrays

Dmitry V. Bakin and Janusz Bryzek

The authors describe an all-optical multiport cross-connect switch based on very-large-integrated micro-optical electromechanical systems (VLIMOEMS). They explain the principle of operation of the switch, as well as the design requirements necessary to operate it in conformity with Telecordia GR-1073-CORE. Basic methods for optical modeling and optimization are described, as is a method for obtaining cross-connect scalability at levels of up to 16,000 ports. more>>