Articles about Optics and Photonics, Lasers, Fiber Bragg gratings and FBG sensors

Fiber optics overcome capacity limits

on March 29, 2019

Optical Fiber (1)Fiber optics is a universal material that finds numerous fields of application all over the world, in particular, in the communication area where it is very important optical fiber capacity. The fact is fiber technology has not reached its upper limits yet. And nowadays it is planned to enhance the fiber capacity to 800 gigabits in 2019.

Recently researchers from the USA announced that they have obtained fiber optic capacity of 26.2 terabits per second over the roughly 4,000 mile-long trans-Atlantic MAREA cable. Herewith, they confirm that in the near future their company will improve the optical fiber system, and it will offer data transmission of an 800 gigabit-per-second.

Also, it should be mentioned that the MAREA fiber cable developed almost a year ago enables to transmit 160 terabits of data per second through its eight 20-terabit pairs. And, the researchers tested their improved fiber optic cable which fiber capacity was 20% higher than expected.

Therefore, this optical fiber cable system offers the following advantages:

  • high bandwidth capacity;
  • limited data dispersion and external interference;
  • fast transmission speed;
  • numerous fields of application;
  • low cost;
  • compact size.

It is considered that this fiber technology is able to increase network capacity without requiring new optical cables which cost is pretty high and can achieve hundreds of millions of dollars. This factor can play a crucial role in some countries such as Africa where the number of people, who are online, is still dramatically low.

Moreover, it is also required to increase the bandwidth capacity of fiber cables for data centers. At the present time, the level of fiber optic capacity is good, but it has to be higher. Nevertheless, the capacity of optical fiber cables may reach their limits soon. In other words, if fiber capacity increases, consequently, the reach will be reduced.

These things happen because of noise contamination and efficiency deterioration while the pipe increase. The decision about an 800-gigabit fiber cable will be announced later. Herewith, they say that the principle of fiber operation is based on the use of coherent optical transmission that possible increase the fiber capacity.

Optromix is a provider of top quality special fibers and broad spectra optical fiber solutions. The company delivers the best quality special fibers and fiber cables, fiber optic bundles, spectroscopy fiber optic probes, probe couplers and accessories for process spectroscopy to clients. If you have any questions or would like to by an optical fiber product, please contact us at info@optromix.com

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editorFiber optics overcome capacity limits

Vibrational spectroscopy enables to diagnose fibromyalgia

on March 22, 2019

Fibromyalgia (FM) is a common and chronic disease that evokes bodily pain and mental distress. Herewith, its symptoms are similar to those of arthritis, or joint inflammation. That is why it is highly important to differentiate these diseases and a team of scientists from the USA confirms that detailed profiling of the biological content of blood samples by vibrational spectroscopy technology is the solution to the problem.

Canva - Blood, Medical, Attempts, Tube, Diagnostics, Laboratory (1)

The new vibrational spectroscopy method for the analysis was recently presented by a group of scientists from Ohio State University. The principle of its operation is based on the use of energy vibrational pattern of each biological molecule for final detection of biomarkers specific to the fibromyalgia disease.

If the method of vibrational spectroscopy is developed and honed to reproducibility, the process spectroscopy will have the following benefits:

  • possibility to detect specific treatment subsets for fibromyalgia;
  • identification of new aims that differ from each other metabolically.

It should be noted that FM is a difficult-to-diagnose disorder characterized by chronic pain. Nevertheless, most patients mention other symptoms, for example, fatigue, sleep disorder, etc. that can be similar to other medical diseases. Thus, FM diagnosis remains a challenge for doctors, however, environmental and clinical factors are considered to make a great contribution.

The technology of vibrational spectroscopy is traditionally used in numerous medical fields of application, for example, cancer, urology, rheumatology etc. Moreover, vibrational spectroscopy enables to make a quick detailed analysis of complex biological samples, creating an exceptional chemical profile for each sample.

At the present time, the scientists test the potential use of vibrational spectroscopy technique to estimate FM’s distinctive features. Therefore, they examined blood samples from 50 FM patients and compared the results to those of 29 patients with rheumatoid arthritis, 23 with systemic lupus erythematosus, and 19 patients with osteoarthritis.

Using the vibrational spectroscopy method, the scientists could distinguish with 100% efficiency the biological samples according to their corresponding disease. Consequently, vibrational spectroscopy offers a reliable precise diagnostic test for FM differentiation from other syndromes characterized by pain symptoms.

The combination of chemical analysis with vibrational spectroscopy technology demonstrates that protein backbones and pyridine-carboxylic acids are two main component groups that distinguish the different disease samples and detect FM-associated biomarkers.

Optromix is a provider of top quality special fibers and broad spectra optical fiber solutions. The company delivers the best quality special fibers and fiber cables, fiber optic bundles for IR imaging, spectroscopy fiber optic probes, probe couplers and accessories for process spectroscopy to clients. If you have any questions, please contact us at info@optromix.com

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editorVibrational spectroscopy enables to diagnose fibromyalgia

Automotive application of fiber laser systems

on March 15, 2019

Fiber laser marking is a relatively new technology in the automotive industry that lies in the finishing and making of parts no matter their size. Besides the automotive industry, fiber laser systems are highly often used in other types of applications. For example, today fiber lasers are exploited for all types of plastic and metal elements because of their accuracy, precision, and efficiency.

Canva - Person in Welding Mask While Welding a Metal Bar (1)It should be mentioned that not only the manufacture of automotive elements but also the security technology equipment and all types of electronic machines that require to be marked for safety and quality assurance purposes are based on laser system technology.

The fact is the technology of laser system marking differs from the basic imprinting and ink printing by its methods as the principle of its operation is based on the use of special fibers that allow creating a permanent and everlasting image free from the danger of being removed by any solvents.

Moreover, laser fibers have such characteristics as a high level of quality, high contrast marking on elements through the laser beams. Fiber lasers are ideally suited for complicated patterns and shapes that are only produced by accurate computer processing.

The main fields of laser applications include processing of the materials, direct energy weapon manufacturing, telecommunications industry, medicine etc. Herewith, there are different types of fiber laser systems that now are quite popular in the automotive industry for such processes as marking, cutting, engraving etc.

The double clad fiber laser system is a high-power laser that consists of two accurate and measured layers of fiber cladding. This construction enables to provide the ultra-powerful laser beam. Herein, the fiber laser design creates sufficient light confinement in the core and optical pump section all in the little piece of fiber.

The dark soliton fiber laser is not so popular as other fiber lasers because it is a relatively new technology that emits the brightest lasers with focused pulse emission as well, along with the option of single and multiple pulses.

Today the most popular lasers are fiber disk lasers in the automotive industry due to their free cladding of fibers that are not limited, and the fiber core looks like a rope that is bound to itself. The construction is ideal for power functions thanks to the coil strength. Also, fiber disk laser systems are easy-to-use.

Optromix is a fast-growing fiber laser manufacturer and a vendor of optical fiber sensors and optical monitoring systems. The company offers fast turnkey solutions and creates sophisticated fiber laser systems for special purposes. Optromix uses only its own technologies and develops a broad variety of fiber lasers. If you have any questions or would like to buy a laser system, please contact us at info@optromix.com

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editorAutomotive application of fiber laser systems

Fiber laser processing methods for multifunctional composites

on March 1, 2019

Recently a group of researchers from Germany has developed fiber laser processing techniques for economical joining, cutting, ablation, and drilling of composite materials, especially, when it comes to existing process chains. The researchers confirm that the mechanical processes, for example, milling, sawing, or water-jet cutting, as well as bonding, can be made by laser technologies.

Canva - Welder, Welding, Industry, Industrial, Manufacturing (1)Also, it should be mentioned that now fiber laser systems have greatly increased the level of their efficiency and quality of overall construction processes. The thing is that all plastics and metals have specific qualities (malleability, strength, or thermal conductivity), and all of them can be a compound of hybrid components with the help of fiber lasers.

Nevertheless, for the creation of hybrid compounds, the preparation of the metal surfaces is required. It can include microstructuring with a continuous-wave/CW fiber laser or micro- or nanostructuring with ultrashort-pulsed/USP laser system with different machine techniques. Herewith, the researches are conducted in magnesium that is considered to be the lightest metal, very perspective for future application.

Moreover, the metal has a specifically high thermal conductivity. The research demonstrates that very soon the developed fiber laser processes will allow magnesium to create very stable and form-fitting connections with various thermoplastics in hybrid injection molding processes. The fact is that the heat-affected zone and the processing time of fiber laser systems are influenced by numerous factors:

  • laser power;
  • scanning speed;
  • cooling time between the scans.

Thus, the researchers analyze these factors and determine the best possible settings for the material that can be used as a component of hybrid parts. This is possible to make due to the ability of CW high-power fiber lasers that have high beam quality.

Especially durable compounds of high-quality can be made carbon-fiber textile is drilled by USP laser system radiation, into which functional parts are implemented in a form-fitting way. Also, laser system scanners allow creating demanding drilling contours, for example, star-shaped holes, and consequently, it is possible o integrate load-adapted inserts.

Finally, the ultrashort-pulsed laser beam machining makes it real to drill both preforms and consolidated CFRP components at high quality.

Optromix is a fast-growing fiber laser manufacturer and a vendor of optical fiber sensors and optical monitoring systems. The company offers fast turnkey solutions and creates sophisticated fiber laser systems for special purposes. Optromix uses only its own technologies and develops a broad variety of fiber lasers. If you have any questions or would like to buy a laser system, please contact us at info@optromix.com

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editorFiber laser processing methods for multifunctional composites

Raman spectroscopy detects tuberculosis

on February 22, 2019

Tuberculosis is one of the most prevalent diseases of our century that can have a lethal outcome. Last year almost ten million people were down with tuberculosis and near two million of them have died. Fortunately, the disease can be cured and prevented, however, its early diagnosis remains difficult.

Blood, MedicThis is the reason why a group of physicists from Russia has developed a new process spectroscopy technique that allows fast identification of antibiotic-resistant bacteria cells that are the agents of tuberculosis. Thus, the technique of process spectroscopy enables to find the bacteria and estimate their resistance to antibiotics without any harm to the biological material.

It should be mentioned that tuberculosis is caused by antibiotic-resistant strains of Mycobacterium tuberculosis, and the disease is highly dangerous because the strains are quite resistant to numerous medicinal drugs. At the same time, its fast identification requires both clinical practice and scientific research.

The researchers offer to use Raman scattering spectroscopy for fast analysis of bacteria cells. The principle of Raman spectroscopy operation is based on the scattering of laser module radiation with a certain wavelength by its sample. Process spectroscopy is a noninvasive technique, to be precise, the tested material is not subject to any mechanical impact or destruction.

Herein, Raman spectroscopy has  numerous benefits over different conventional methods of biophysical analysis, for example, fluorescence spectroscopy, electron microscopy, x-ray scattering, and crystallography that include:

  • numerous organic and inorganic materials can be analyzed;
  • no sample preparation needed;
  • not interfered by water;
  • non-destructive;
  • highly specific technique;
  • fast operation;
  • possibility to make analysis through glass or a polymer packaging;
  • laser system light and Raman scattered light can be transmitted by optical fibers over long distances for remote analysis.

Raman technique was tested by Russian scientists, whereas they used bacterial strains obtained from lung expectorations of tuberculosis patients, as well as from bone tissue samples taken during surgeries.  Before the tests with Raman scattering spectroscopy, the bacteria drug resistance was detected by traditional biological and chemical methods.

Finally, the researchers obtained information about the structure of the cells belonging to different strains pointing the laser beam at different bacteria during process spectroscopy, and it appeared that cells of different strains scatter the light differently.

Optromix is a manufacturer of Raman fiber optic probes that are ideal for process spectroscopy. The probes are miniaturized without compromising its performance, which is enabled by the technology of direct deposition of the dielectric filters at the fiber end faces. It results in a small, cost-effective Raman probe for endoscopy and other applications. If you have any questions or would like to buy Optromix Raman fiber optic probes, please contact us at info@optromix.com

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editorRaman spectroscopy detects tuberculosis

Improved IR imaging performance

on February 15, 2019

Recently engineers from the USA have improved a conventional method of IR imaging by inhibiting spectral crosstalk between dual-band long-wavelength photodetectors. Their discovery is considered to be able to reduce the distortion of an image and greatly improve the performance of IR imaging process.

DBR

Furthermore, they confirm that this improvement will certainly open the potential opportunity to develop a new generation of high spectral-contrast IR imaging devices. Also, it should be mentioned that the problem of spectral crosstalk has great importance because it influences the imaging results.

Spectral crosstalk is a distortion type that appears when light from one wavelength channel is absorbed by the second channel. Herewith, the results of such distortion are quite severe because it requires more time for the detection of wavelengths. Thus, it was necessary to improve the process of IR imaging by suppressing this spectral crosstalk.

This is the reason why American engineers have developed totally new distributed Bragg reflector or DBR, consisting of 650-nm/650-nm pairs of type II superlattices (T2SLs) and air gaps. Thus, they put the DBR between the two channels of a dual-band detector and now it divides two channels in an antimonide T2SL photodetector.

Also, the researchers have tested the end device comparing the quantum efficiency levels of two long-wavelength IR photodetectors with and without the air-gapped DBR. The obtained results demonstrate a significant spectral suppression that makes the quality of IR imaging higher and IR process more accurate.

It is well-known fact that high spectral-contrast IR imaging devices have a large range of applications that include:

  • medicine;
  • defense and security;
  • planetary sciences;
  • art preservation.

In addition, dual-band process imaging in night-vision cameras afford ground for distinction between moving targets and objects in the background. It should be mentioned that the device could offer numerous advantages in infrared imaging such as:

  • higher quality of images;
  • more available data for image-processing algorithms.

Nevertheless, there is yet a possibility of a limitation by spectral crosstalk interference between the two channels that could prevent to reach infrared camera technology’s potential.

Optromix is a provider of top quality special fibers and broad spectra optical fiber solutions. The company delivers the best quality special fibers and fiber cables, fiber optic bundles for IR imaging, spectroscopy fiber optic probes, probe couplers and accessories for IR fiber spectroscopy to clients. If you have any questions, please contact us at info@optromix.com

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editorImproved IR imaging performance

CO2 laser system for burn scar treatment

on February 8, 2019

Human life is very unpredictable and sometimes it brings “unpleasant gifts”. Thus, there are a lot of children who have suffered from different accidents and now have some problems with their physical health. Nevertheless, these problems are easily solved thanks to lasers. Now CO2 laser systems are often used for scar treatment in children all over the world.

Carbon dioxide lasers allow safely and effectively reducing the devastating impact of scars in burned children and the laser modules return their usual appearance for children who have lost an eye, an arm, ears or other parts of the body. It should be mentioned that it is impossible to remove the scars completely but CO2 laser treatment is able to improve the appearance essentially by changing their size, stiffness, and discoloration.

Thus, the advantages of CO2 lasers include:

  • Minimizing skin damage, scars;
  • Improvement of skin texture and even skin tone;
  • Help to treat pre-cancerous skin lesions
  • Minimal recovery time.

The thing is that burn specialists are able to help the majority of children thanks to laser system technologies developed by Israel companies. Moreover, they promoted greatly the advancement of both laser types and technologies.

For example, before it was impossible to treat fresh scars, and burn specialists had to wait a year or two before treatment. Now the combination of different laser systems makes scar treatment real almost upon healing, taking out redness and itchiness. Also, it works on long-term scars changing their appearance and elasticity.  

Nowadays, CO2 ablative lasers become a convenient tool for cosmetic-aesthetic procedures such as skin resurfacing. The principle of their work includes the use of laser beams that burn off the top layer of skin with its damaged collagen, and finally, the injured skin produces new collagen in its place.

Moreover, the novel CO2 lasers can treat scars in deeper skin levels, they are both very powerful and accurate, so they do not harm the surrounding tissue even in spite of the fact that they go deeper. Finally, the future development of CO2 laser systems will enable to get better results with fewer treatments.

Optromix is a fast-growing fiber laser manufacturer and a vendor of optical fiber sensors and optical monitoring systems. The company offers fast turnkey solutions and creates sophisticated fiber laser systems for special purposes. Optromix uses only its own technologies and develops a broad variety of fiber lasers. If you have any questions or would like to buy a laser system, please contact us at info@optromix.com

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editorCO2 laser system for burn scar treatment

New nano-sized optical fiber determines waves from live cells

on February 1, 2019

Recently, researchers from California have developed a totally new nanofiber device that is almost 100 times thinner than a human hair. Moreover, the nano-sized optical fiber is highly sensitive and is able to determine forces down to 160 femtonewtons that are ten trillion times smaller than a newton.

Thus, the researchers put the optical fibers in a solution with live Helicobacter pylori bacteria. And they discovered on the example of beating heart muscle cells from mice that the nano-sized optical fiber system allows detecting sound waves down to -30 decibels that are 1.000 times below than human ear can hear.

The nano-optical fiber is made from a highly thin fiber of tin dioxide, coated with a thin layer of polyethylene glycol and studded with gold nanoparticles. The principle of work includes placing the nano-optical fiber system into a solution of live cells, then the researchers send a light beam down the fiber and analyze the light signals it sends out.

While light goes down the optical fiber, it cooperates with the gold nanoparticles which diffuse the light as signals that is possible to see with a traditional microscope. Herewith, the more live-cells in which the optical fiber bundle placed, the more changes in the intensity of the light signals. And this signal intensity shows the level of force or sound that the fiber is getting from the surrounding cells.

Also, forces and sound waves from the live cells influence the gold nanoparticles, pushing the nanoparticles into the polymer layer that separates them from the optical fiber‘s surface. In this case, the researchers adjust the device so the intensity of the signals could correspond to various levels of force or sound waves.

The main option of the nano-sized optical fiber system is not only picking up the tiny forces and sounds but the nanomechanical probing of high resolution. Moreover, the polymer layer of the device can be adjusted. For example, for large forces measurement, a stiffer coating is ideal, a softer polymer such as a hydrogel is ideally fit for increased sensitivity.

According to the researchers, the main advantage of the optical nanofiber is that it is about ten times more sensitive than an atomic force microscope. Also, the one more difference is the compact size, because the nano-optical fiber is only several hundred nanometers in diameter.

The researchers confirm that their device is a compact AFM with the sensitivity of an optical tweezer. The field of the device future applications include detecting the presence and activity of a single bacterium; monitoring bonds forming and breaking; sensing changes in a cell’s mechanical behavior that might signal it becoming cancerous or being attacked by a virus, or as a mini stethoscope to monitor cellular acoustics in vivo.

Optromix is a provider of top quality special fibers and broad spectra optical fiber solutions. The company delivers the best quality special fibers and fiber cables, fiber optic bundles, spectroscopy fiber optic probes, probe couplers and accessories for IR fiber spectroscopy to clients. If you have any questions, please contact us at info@optromix.com

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editorNew nano-sized optical fiber determines waves from live cells

Cheap diode laser system for accurate measurements

on January 25, 2019

Nowadays Russian scientists have developed a totally new way of the emission spectrum narrowing of a conventional diode laser, similar to a laser pointer. Thus, their tool is able to replace more complicated and very expensive single-frequency lasers, and consequently, allow manufacturing of small chemical analyzers that can be used for smartphones, cheap lidars for self-driving cars, security and structural health monitoring systems etc.

Their initial prototype shows that now it is possible to create a cheap narrow-linewidth laser that is more efficient and has a compact size comparing to a single-frequency laser system. Herewith, the device with no additional modification can be used for generating of optical frequency combs that are the key component of a spectroscopic chemical analyzer.

Moreover, the fields of diode laser application include practically all areas of human life, for example, laser eye surgery, laser sights, fiber optic communication, satellite navigation, accurate time data transfer, and the radial velocity method for detecting extrasolar planets, even spectroscopy whose main option is the precise measurement of chemical composition.

To be precise, the method of optical frequency comb is based on laser spectroscopy where a laser system device creates optical radiation at numerous stable frequencies. Thus, its function includes the accurate measurement of light frequency similar to a ruler and it is also able to make spectrometric measurements.

Nevertheless, not every laser systems are appropriate to pump optical frequency combs in a microresonator because they have to be both very powerful and monochromatic that means the ability of light emitting to fall into narrow frequency band. The solution is the use of cheap non-monochromatic diode lasers with additional devices – external resonator or a diffraction grating to make the laser linewidth narrower but in this case diode laser system stops being cheap and compact.

The solution is the use of diode lasers with microresonators generating optical frequency combs.  As a result, it is possible to save the same cost, laser power, and compact size, and at the same time, the microresonator increases the laser monochromaticity by almost 1 billion.

Today small inexpensive diode laser systems are available for the whole optical spectrum, and moreover, they enlarge their application fields. For example, one of them is telecommunication where the bandwidth of the fiber optic network is highly important. Also, diode lasers will be quite useful in sensor manufacturing, for example, reflectometers used in security and monitoring systems for the detection of a fiber optic cable break. Finally, the demand for this type of diode laser will continually increase.

Optromix is a fast-growing fiber laser manufacturer and a vendor of optical fiber sensors and optical monitoring systems. The company offers fast turnkey solutions and creates sophisticated fiber laser systems for special purposes. Optromix uses only its own technologies and develops a broad variety of fiber lasers. If you have any questions or would like to buy a laser system, please contact us at info@optromix.com

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editorCheap diode laser system for accurate measurements

Annual laser system market review

on January 18, 2019

Nowadays laser systems became a usual technology that is worldwide used for electronics production, especially, smartphones and autonomous vehicle lidar that force laser manufacturers and laser materials equipment providers to produce more lasers.

laser chrimera

The main drivers of 2018 laser market are consumer electronic devices and China and the most popular technologies are fiber laser systems, lidar lasers, and vertical-cavity-surface-emitting lasers or VCSELs. Also, lasers are the key element of semiconductor manufacturing, for example, semiconductor wafers and consumer appliances.

Moreover, the previous year is a great time for the laser system industry and worldwide laser revenue reached almost twenty percent over 2017. It should be mentioned that the biggest part of growth is due to increasing use of lasers and optics, for example, for smartphone manufacturing because its construction includes numerous laser-based processes as well as VCSELs for 3D sensing and ranging applications.

Now laser systems become more and more universal in human everyday lives. Sometimes people even do not know that their devices include laser stuff. One more field of laser application is Light Identification Detection and Ranging or LIDAR, those market is planned to double over the next 5 years.

LIDAR is often used in self-driving vehicles, rangefinders, aerial mapping, 3D scanning of objects and spaces, and aerosol velocity monitoring. However,  autonomous vehicles will increase laser market revenue due to lidar sensors in spite of the fact that this type of vehicles has already a large market share comparing to all other lidar applications.

Two other fields of laser application are quantum technologies and augmented reality/virtual reality (AR/VR) applications. For example, lasers are used as cooling element for atomic clocks, laser materials play a crucial role in equipment manufacturing for photonic crystals, optoelectronics, and diffractive optics.

Also, industrial laser systems experience high growth due to excimer lasers, ultrafast pulse and CO2 lasers that are highly used for:

  • metal processing (welding, cutting, annealing, drilling);
  • semiconductor and microelectronics manufacturing (lithography, scribing, defect repair, via drilling);
  • marking of all materials;
  • other materials processing (cutting and welding organics, rapid prototyping, micromachining, and grating manufacture).

Optromix is a fiber laser vendor that develops and manufactures a broad variety of fiber lasers. The company offers fast turnkey solutions and creates sophisticated fiber laser systems for special purposes. If you have any questions or would like to buy a fiber laser system, please contact us at info@optromix.com

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editorAnnual laser system market review