June 29, 2012—The editors of R&D Magazine have announced the winners of the 2012 R&D 100 awards, an annual tribute to 100 of the most technologically significant products introduced every year. In its 50th year of recognizing commercial technological advances, the award winners include many optics and photonics products.
Among them, AdValue Photonics (Tucson, Ariz., U.S.A.) was selected for its 2-micron high-power mode-locked fiber laser. The AdValue 2-micron fiber laser has no free-space components in the optical system for optimal stability and reliability. With a picosecond pulse width, 10-kW peak power and near diffraction-limited beam, the laser is designed for use in mid-infrared (mid-IR) applications including nonlinear optics, frequency conversion, spectroscopy, LIDAR, materials studies and medical diagnostics.
Another winner in optoelectronics is Headwall Photonics (Fitchburg, Mass., U.S.A.) for its Hyperspec Recon hyperspectral imaging sensor for handheld deployment in intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance. The sensor operates in the very-near infrared (VNIR) from 380 to 1000 nm and uses high-efficiency diffractive optics.
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley, Calif., U.S.A) was an R&D 100 winner four times in 2012 as developer or co-developer of various products, including the Laser Ablation Molecular Isotopic Spectrometry (LAMIS) technology, which has applications in homeland security and planetary exploration. The LAMIS technique uses a high-powered laser beam and an optical spectrometer to sample chemical spectral emission peaks in plasmas and identify specific isotopes of chemical elements.
Another Berkeley Lab R&D 100 winner is the compact variable collimator (CVC), which enables shaping of X-ray beams to virtually any size or shape within its aperture range. The CVC, installed at Berkeley Lab’s Advanced Light Source along with a collection of beam lines known as the Berkeley Center for Structural Biology (BCSB), is small, easy to use and readily adapted to any configuration of X-ray beam line at the BCSB.
The resolution of the CVC can be optimized for applications such as protein crystallography, X-ray microscopy and small angle X-ray scattering, for optimal data extraction from imperfect protein crystals. The CVC, co-developed with Takeda Pharmeceutical and the Novartis Research Foundation, has already made critical discoveries in Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, Lassa fever, antibiotic resistance and food crop improvements.