Lighting And Photonics

Uses of Photonics in Lighting

Photonics is the science of light and how it can be harnessed, embracing its generation, manipulation, and capture for utilization in an enormous variety of applications, as evidenced by its increasing pervasiveness in our everyday lives. We use photonic technologies to light up our homes, offices, and cities, to harvest renewable energy from the sun.

Photonics makes use of advanced technology to realize high-value products and services, but its roots lie in the fundamental source of our planet's energy – the capture of light from the sun by photosynthesis in plants. This fundamental "photonic" process is the enabler for life on our planet.

WHERE AND HOW PHOTONICS CAN CONTRIBUTE SUSTAINABILITY

Till now what we are able to do:

  • Sustainable Energy Generation.
  • Photovoltaic solar energy.
  • Reduced Energy Consumption.
  • Solid-State Lighting (SSL).
  • Communication Technologies.

Enabled Eco-friendly Design and Production:

  • Light-weight product design using advanced laser processing.
  • Material savings by precise laser cutting.
  • Explore the future of optogenetics where specific areas of the brain can be treated with light for addictions.
  • Control of production processes by sensor.
  • Laser processing for clean manufacturing.

    Reduced Risk Potential:

  • Sensor networks for higher safety and security.
  • Environmental monitoring by sensors.

This is just beginning of a new era. There is a lot of space to know and improve in photonics. Research going on.

WHERE AND HOW PHOTONICS CAN CONTRIBUTE SUSTAINABILITY

Examples of the direct environmental benefits arising from new product designs enabled by a switch to laser-based manufacturing techniques are numerous and include:

Till now what we are able to do:

  • Information Technology and Telecommunications.

Optical networks represent the infrastructure on which this modern information society is built. Progress in optical communications, data storage, and computing has been driven by the ever-increasing demand for data capacity and speed (both transmission and storage). This, in turn, has been allowed and has scaled up with the tremendous advances in several specific photonic components and techniques spanning several multi-billion dollar industries, such as.

Semiconductor lasers:

  • CD has displaced the tapes and records because of cost-effective volume production of infrared semiconductor lasers.
  • DVD is displacing the VCR because of cost-effective volume production of red semiconductor lasers.
  • Arrival of the blue-ray disk has been allowed by major advances in the production of blue laser diodes.
  • High-quality infrared laser diode transmitters for optical networks have allowed the explosion of the transmission capacity through a single fiber by using Dense Wavelength Division Multiplexing (DWDM).
  • Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems (MEMS) devices allow for tunable Vertical Cavity Surface Emission Lasers (VCSELs), allowing for flexible and reconfigurable optical networks.

Optical, electro-optic and opto-electronic materials and devices:

Semiconductor optoelectronic materials, as well as various linear and non-linear optical materials, are key in the manufacturing of semiconductor lasers, detectors, optical modulators and other components of the optical networks.

Till now what we are able to do:

  • Semiconductor opto-electronic materials as well as various linear and non-linear optical materials are key in the manufacturing of semiconductor lasers, detectors, optical modulators and other components of the optical networks.
  • Planar-technology such as silica-on-silicon allows the manufacturing of integrated photonics devices such as Array Waveguide Gratings (AWGs).
  • MEMS technology allows for the implementation of a wide range of devices in a microscopic footprint, such as optical switches, attenuators, etc.
  • New display technologies::

  • Liquid Crystal Display (LCD) has displaced the cathode ray tube, and novel concepts based on inorganic and organic light emitting diodes (LED’s) and electroluminescent displays are emerging.
  • Nano-photonic materials promise to revolutionize the display applications even further.
  • Far from being confined to the information technology and communications, the new display technologies have a myriad of applications in the even broader consumer markets (displays for the cell phones, digital cameras and camcorders, electronic organizers, game consoles, etc.) as well as in the most advanced security and defense applications.
  • Information storage media and devices::

  • From CD, to DVD, to blue-ray disks, the progress in photonics has allowed a tremendous increase in the data storage capacity.
  • Further developments are underway, such as holographic storage media.
  • Health Care and the Life Sciences – Bio-photonics:

  • The properties of light in general and of laser light in particular, make light a tool uniquely suited for all these classes of applications.

Imaging Technologies:

  • Imaging is a first priority for medicine..
  • Increased digital cameras resolution is made possible by advances in photonic and optoelectronic materials and devices.
  • Endoscopy makes use of optical fibers and digital cameras to enable minimally invasive surgery (laparoscopy) reducing the risks for the patient.
  • Miniaturization of photonic devices has resulted even in the development of a “pill cam”. Swallowed by the patient, the pill cam travels through the entire alimentary canal, recording pictures and transmitting them to a receiver.
  • Digital imaging of skin lesions and wounds allows a rigorous assessment and monitoring of lesion evolution and healing.
  • Precursors of cancers can be identified by optical methods ranging from fluorescence, reflectance, Raman spectroscopy, to holography to optical coherence tomography.
  • 3D organ image reconstruction.
  • 3-dimensional optical microscopy.
  • Non-linear optical microscopy such as photon absorption.
  • Optical technology can be used for ''needleless" glucose monitoring for people with diabetes.
  • Scattering infrared light in the joints for the early detection of arthritis.

Light as a therapy/intervention tool:

  • Laser surgery: there is no doubt that laser light is the cleanest possible tool for a surgical intervention, wherever possible. Laser eye surgery and heart surgery are common practices in our days.
  • Photodynamic therapy: an alternative to chemotherapy, by use of photosensitive substances that accumulate selectively in the tumors. Irradiated with light precisely delivered through optical fibers at the tumor site only, they become a poison that destroys the tumor without affecting healthy cells.
  • Endoscopy makes use of optical fibers and digital cameras to enable minimally invasive surgery (laparoscopy) reducing the risks for the patient.

Lighting, Optical Sensing and Energy

  • Lighting Applications and Displays
  • Backlighting for Liquid Crystal Displays (LCDs).
  • Optical Sensing.
  • Infrared lasers with wavelength suitable for detecting various molecular species.
  • Infrared detectors and cameras.

Solar Energy

  • Solar Energy
  • High-efficiency solar panels for industrial and domestic applications.
  • Scattering infrared light in the joints for the early detection of arthritis.

Optics in Manufacturing

  • Laser-assisted manufacturing: welding, cutting, micromachining, ablation.
  • Machine (computer) vision for process automation.
  • Optical metrology – light as a measuring tool.
  • Photolithography for semiconductor chip manufacturing.
  • Analysis and diagnostic tool in the chemical industry.

National Defense

  • Laser warning systems.
  • Laser guided missiles and projectiles.
  • Night vision systems.
  • Detection of bio-threats.
  • Surveillance.

  • Advanced imaging and display technology..
  • Advanced simulators.
  • Laser radar, fiber lasers for laser detection and range finding.

Manufacturing of Optical Systems and Components

  • Optical materials: glasses, polymers, semiconductors.
  • Non-linear optical materials and nano-optics.
  • Optical components: lenses, mirrors, prisms, beam-splitters, filters, polarization optics.
  • Micro-optics.
  • High-precision opto-mechanics: vibration control systems, optical mounts, motion stages, motion control.
  • Integrated automated opto-mechanical systems for manufacturing.
  • Ray tracing and non–tracing software for optical simulations and prototyping.
  • Micro-optics.
  • High-precision opto-mechanics: vibration control systems, optical mounts, motion stages, motion control.

It is clear that eco-efficient products and technologies will offer huge opportunities for us. Globally, it will be the forefront of providing technological solutions to the major societal challenges faced by countries across the world. This will result in improved global competitiveness, with resulting major economic benefits and the need for a highly skilled workforce.

Education and research continue to lead to extraordinary discoveries. Although the field of optics and photonics is growing rapidly and its impact is both pervasive and far-reaching, it remains multidiscipline with components in many university departments, industries, and government programs. The presence of optics and photonics in these diverse programs reflects its pervasiveness.