Loosely defined as the study of the interaction of light and matter, the umbrella term of spectroscopy includes several techniques that help researchers gather data about molecular structures invisible to the human eye. Laser Focus World has a long tradition of covering advances in spectroscopy, and this issue is no exception, with three features highlighting spectroscopy applications. First, our cover story this month explores how recent advances in spectrograph technologies are enabling new capabilities for near-infrared Raman spectroscopy in research applications (see article) due to sensitivity, light throughput, imaging quality, and quantum efficiency advantages.
The next article covers spectroscopy in medical applications where Raman spectroscopy promises to enable next-generation point-of-care (POC) testing. While Raman spectroscopy has been shown in clinical trials to be a useful tool for the detection of a wide range of diseases, including cancers, traditional Raman spectroscopy suffers from two primary drawbacks: signal strength and depth penetration. Our Future Photonics: Healthcare article discusses several enhancement techniques that significantly mitigate these issues, enhancing the technology’s viability of in vivo and ex vivo POC testing (see article).
Over the past few years, scientific ultrafast lasers, often used in spectroscopy, have been industrialized to achieve improved levels of reliability and stability, with the aim of improving research productivity. Our final spectroscopy article provides an update on two complementary ultrafast solid-state laser materials: Ti:sapphire and Yb-doped, and describes work done in recent research including two-photon photostimulation of many neurons and three-photon mouse-brain microscopy (see article).
In addition to spectroscopy, we also cover waveguide optics, photonics manufacturing, and hyperspectral imaging. First, Contributing Editor Jeff Hecht explains waveguides and how they apply to fiber optics, and then expands to waveguide optics beyond conventional solid-core fibers, which offer exciting new possibilities in sensing and metrology applications (see article). Then, we highlight an assembly solution targeted at the high-volume, high-mix manufacturing challenges of new TO-can photonic devices for high-speed datacenter interconnect and 5G wireless network rollouts (see article). And finally, we detail the development of a hyperspectral imaging system that grades agricultural products (see articleLOLS10在线直播下注). As always, I hope you enjoy this issue.