Prism Award 2017 Finalists

The competition honors groundbreaking technology and product inventions based on optics and photonics. Industry leaders will present awards at a gala banquet attended by the who’s who of the photonics industry on 1 February during Photonics West in San Francisco, California.

“The opportunity to watch an idea that has been sparked in discussions in a conference room or on an exhibition floor evolve into a useful and ingenious new photonics-enabled product is both fascinating and inspiring,” said SPIE’s CEO Eugene Arthurs. “We at SPIE have a close-up view, as events such as Photonics West provide the most dynamic and fertile environments for facilitating that creative process. This year’s Prism Awards finalists offer particularly outstanding examples of the imaginative range and innovation reach of photonics R&D. We are grateful to help move the development of laser, illumination, scanning, and other technologies into the applications produced by this year’s finalists, and to provide recognition to these outstanding companies.”

Nominated in the different categories are:

Additive Manufacturing / 3D Printing

The AMBIT multi-task system, developed by Hybrid Manufacturing Technologies, is a patented series of deposition heads and docking systems which allows virtually any CNC machine (or robotic platform) to use non-traditional processing heads in the spindle and conveniently change between them.

LithoProf3D (Source: Multiphoton Optics)

Multiphoton Optics provides a series of high-perfor­mance high-precision 3D printing equipment platforms LithoProf3D especially suited for a broad variety of structuring jobs to enable scalability for products in different markets. Arbitrary three-dimensional (3D) structures can be fast and reliably fabricated on demand within a volume of a material, on a surface of a material, on top or between already existing structures or components.

Tungsten-LAM from PolarOnyx is a powder-bed based additive manufacturing system. Equipped with high power and high energy femtosecond fiber laser, it is capable of manufacturing various materials, especially high melting temperature materials, such as tungsten.

Biomedical Instrumentation

EyeQue (Source: Personal Vision Tracker)

The EyeQue Personal Vision Tracker is the first in-home vision testing solution to combine a cloud-based technology platform, a smartphone application, and a miniature optical scope to form a low-cost, uniquely precise option for people to gather corrective vision measurements whenever and wherever they choose.

The TB Breathalyser developed by Rapid Biosensor Systems is a non-invasive screening solution incorporating a range of technologies that allow for full portability and almost instant results with a simple breath test for TB. It can be assembled without the need for clean room conditions and may be used by non-medical personnel.

Wasatch Photonics’ MicroAngio technology provides a unique way to image micro vascular structures in living tissue. The technique based on OCT, requires no external contrast agents, and develops a three-dimensional map of the blood vessels. Unlike other OCT angiography systems, the system is custom designed for the specific application.

Detectors and Sensors

MIRA gas analyzers from Aeris Technologies utilize simple and robust direct absorption spectroscopy using high resolution tunable lasers, enabling target species to be measured in real-time with sub-ppb sensitivity, ppb-level accuracy, and high specificity.

GoSpectro (Source: Alphanov)

The patented device GoSpectro from Alphanov allows to turn any smartphone into a light spectrometer to measure, record, analyze and export spectral data. This enables to perform material characterization and analysis with an ultra-compact device natively connected to the internet, with applications in gemology (gem identification), food industry (color measurement, allergen detection), water quality (pollution detection), academia/teaching, anti-counterfeiting (fluorescent inks), art, etc.

Hesai Technologies developed the world’s first drone-mounted natural gas surveillance system that enables precise measurement of the concentration of indoor methane.

The main component of Luxmux’s patented system is the Butterfly Package—an integrated, multiple superluminescent diode light source. It provides a compact solution with high optical power and dependable stability. The BeST-SLED provides power up to 50 mW over the spectral band of 1230 to 1730 nm. When combined with our driver, feedback algorithms ensure smooth and consistent operation.

Imaging and Cameras

E2v with its 3D time-of-flight solution with leading state-of-the-art 1.3MP depth resolution dedicated to industrial environments and markets.

TAG Optics is nominated for its TAG Inspector, a 3D digital microscope for high speed & high resolution part inspection.

The TruTag Hyperspectral Imager is a handheld camera that can capture high-resolution images in 400 colors in a matter of seconds. It offers 2.3 mega-pixel spatial resolution in a battery-operated small form-factor instrument. The device, incorporating satellite imaging technologies, can be used in microscopy, medical imaging, minerology and other applications which require high resolution in both the spatial and spectral domains. It displaces instruments which are typically large, expensive and slow and opens up new application areas in true hyperspectral imaging.

Industrial Lasers

Tangor (Source: Amplitude Systèmes)

Amplitude Systèmes’ Tangor is the world’s first industrial 100 W femtosecond laser. This platform offers high flexibility, repetition rates up to 2 MHz and pulse energies > 300 µJ with pulse durations of only 500 fs. It is designed to meet industrial requirements including 24/7 operation, high yield and precision manufacturing.

The RGH Series lasers from Photonics Industries International are compact industrial grade picosecond (ps) lasers with total pulse control (e.g., individually triggered pulses on demand) and burst mode operation at output powers up to 70W @ 1064 nm. With an adjustable repetition rate from single shot to 8 MHz, the user can change the operating PRF and change the operating power or pulse energy through PEC (power or pulse energy control) function on the fly to maximize process flexibility. The RGH Series are the only industrial picosecond lasers with these maximal flexibilities on the market.

QD Laser delivers high-performance semiconductor lasers and high quality epitaxial wafers on GaAs substrates based on the state-of-the-art nanotechnologies and developed the 1064nm-DFB laser module suitable for the seeder for high-performance fiber laser.

Materials and Coatings

Crystalline Mirror Solutions’ xtal mir is a crystalline supermirror solution for applications in the mid-infrared spectral range, with center wavelength spanning 2 to 4 µm. These high-performance reflectors are ideal for cavity ringdown spectroscopy systems operating in the fingerprint region and find use in novel long-wavelength laser and optical parametric amplifier based light sources.

Single crystal synthetic diamond (Source: Element Six)

Element Six single crystal synthetic diamond products are produced by chemical vapor deposition or high pressure, high temperature synthesis. Both manufacturing processes use tightly controlled growth conditions.

QuantumFilm is a photosensitive layer that relies on InVisage’s newly invented class of materials to absorb light Across the visible spectrum, QuantumFilm absorbs the same amount of light as silicon in a layer ten times thinner. The new material is made up of quantum dots, nanoparticles that can be dispersed to form a grid once they are synthesized. Just like paint, this dispersion of solid materials can be coated onto a substrate and allowed to dry.


The 4D InSpect Surface Gauge developed by 4D Technology is the first handheld, precision instrument for non-contact measurement of surface features and defects. With micrometer-level resolution, portability, affordability and ease-of-use, the 4D InSpec puts high resolution measurement on the factory floor, in machine shops and deployed environments. Measure pits, scratches, nicks, dents, bumps, rivet depth, dot peen depth, etc., from 0.1 to 100 mils deep. The 4D InSpec is far more repeatable and accurate than visual comparison techniques typically used for surface defect measurement. Unlike high-end metrology systems it is rugged, flexible and affordable, to measure features on a wide range of part geometries, in the most challenging environments.

dentCHECK (Source: 8tree)

8trees dentCHECK is a 3D surface inspection system from that delivers dent and protrusion analysis. Real-time visualization of the results in made possible via patent-pending augmented reality, which projects measurement results directly onto the measurement surface.

Leica Geosystem’s BLK360, is a miniaturized black 3D imaging laser scanner. The BLK360 captures full-color panoramic images overlaid on a high accuracy point cloud. The one-button Leica BLK360 is not only the smallest and lightest of its kind, but also offers a simple user experience.

Optics and Optical Components

With patented methods for Nano-level detection and analysis of vibrations associated with movement of internal organs and of molecules Opto-phone from ContinUse Biometrics can monitor at a distance a wide range of bio parameters, including heart & respiratory rate, blood flow dynamics, and muscle activity.

NuBeam (Source: Nufern)

Nufern’s NuBEAM Flat-Top fibers are specially designed to scramble the mode content propagating in its core, tailoring the mode power distribution to achieve flat-top beams. In addition, these fibers have been carefully engineered to allow precise control of the output beam parameter product (BPP) or beam divergence.

SoraaLaser, the maker of blue LEDs and lasers co-founded by Nobel laureate Shuji Nakamura, is nominated for the LaserLight SMD. It is based on semi-polar GaN laser technology, enabling industry-leading performance and reliability.

Scientific Lasers

MatchBox2 Series (Source: Integrated Optics )

Integrated Optics developed the MatchBox2 Series. It is a powerful platform, encompassing cw lasers, 4-wavelength diode combiners and Q-switch nanosecond lasers and offers simplicity of integration and selection of more than 150 products within the series.

Thorlabs’ mid-infrared supercontinuum laser with emission centered at 1.95 µm. With < 100 fs pulse widths, > 500 mW average output power, and a repetition rate of 50 MHz, the FSL1950F enables a wide range of applications, including seeding of thulium-doped amplifier systems, nonlinear optics, and mid-IR supercontinuum generation (see the Application Example to the right). This ultrafast laser is based upon an oscillator-amplifier combination that uses only polarization-maintaining fiber, yielding reliable turn-key operation and exceptional long-term reliability. The pulses are delivered through a pigtailed FC/APC-terminated fiber with a nominal length of 12″ (30 cm).

The lasers of Trumpf Scintific Laser’s Dira series deliver pulses of under 2 ps duration with more than 200 mJ pulse energy – the highest pulse energy rate available today. The product portfolio covers the repetition range from 1 kHz to 800 kHz. The flexible design of the Dira series allows for the customization of systems per user requirements. Due to highest long-term stability, these lasers are the ideal pump lasers for parametric amplification stages for high-power few-cycle femtosecond pulse generation. (Source: SPIE)

Link: Prism Awards for Photonics Innovation, SPIE, Bellingham, WA, USA

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