November 2006

Paint-On Optoelectronics

Sjoerd Hoogland, Gerasimos Konstantatos and Edward H. Sargent

Over the past few decades, researchers, and now companies, have begun spin-coating optoelectronic materials as a lower-cost alternative to epitaxially grown devices. Now, a group of researchers at the University of Toronto have demonstrated that one such “wet” semiconductor device with a painted-on liquid nanolayer can outperform standard chips.

Micro-Optics and Megapixels

For some spectrometers and imagers, smaller is actually better. New sampling and measurement methods are shrinking the size and boosting the performance of optical devices for many applications.

Tabletop Lasers in the Extreme Ultraviolet

Over the past half-century, the use of coherent light has played an indispensable role in applications in telecommunications, optical data storage and other areas. In today’s world, the development of tools and techniques that use coherent light at ever-shorter wavelengths—in the extreme ultraviolet and soft X-ray regions of the spectrum—is assuming increasing importance.

The Optical Vortex Lens

Researchers have long known about optical vortices—or so-called “twisted light”—but only recently have they begun to apply them to practical systems. For example, a helical-shaped phase mask could be used as a type of “vortex lens” that may lead to improvements in astronomical observation, the manipulation of micro-particles, optical pattern recognition and other areas.

Chromatic Dispersion

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