Since its invention, the photonics industry has only grown. Laser applications have been a show out like science fiction and now impact our daily lives.

The 60-year old technology is still in the developing stage and engineers are inventing new applications every now and then.

If you are curious about the spiral phase plate, see the current and future trends of photonics.

Laser Brazing

The major uses of direct-diode lasers are actually heat treatment and cladding, and direct-diode lasers are incredibly useful for all of these methods. They let the users selectively heat whatever substance they are working with, provided their specific properties.

With all the benefits of diode lasers, one would ask why they’re not used for sheet metal cutting yet. The reason is that direct-diode lasers are not able to provide the brightness required for cutting operations in almost all situations.

Fighting with COVID

If it is effective sterilization, quick diagnoses, or study to develop a better understanding of pathogens, photonics helps the fight against the pandemic on several sides.

UV-C light reliably destroys the SARS-CoV-2 virus in the wavelength range of about 250 nanometers. The mechanism of action is that the chemical element thymine absorbs the UV-C waves in the virus nuclei, which destroys the virus and stops it from spreading.

The FBH is studying, along with medical research agencies, regarding this matter. It needs to be researched that if the short-wave radiation destroys the genetic material of radiated body cells, in addition to killing viruses.

Energy Transition

Photonics is the quiet enabler behind the push to develop renewable sources of energy no matter where you look: from constructing wind-energy projects and wind farms to photovoltaic production.

The relation of photonics to shifting energy is not limited to wind power alone. Laser and optic developments continue to accelerate advances in photovoltaics, a technology that is basically photonic. Solar cells structure, cut, insulate, dope, solder, and drill lasers.

Photonics also makes important, but neglected, contributions to the improvement of sustainable energy production and thereby to the progress of energy reform.

The Future of 5G

Currently, 5G antenna systems are being added to cell towers. There are 64 working antennas within these modules whose radiation overlaps to ensure maximum spatial coverage.

Any shape of the antenna, conducting paths, or insulation channels may be directly connected to three-dimensional plastic components at resolutions up to 25 micrometers (mm) with the laser direct structuring technique.

Regardless of whether the future of 5G lies in direct laser structuring, one thing is certain: photonics will definitely play a vital role.

Domestic Aids

In current washing machines and dishwashers, optical sensors can be mounted inside. These turbidity sensors will measure the rinsing water and determine if to apply more freshwater based on the turbidity or even whether an additional rinsing cycle is required.

Optical devices are also capable of taking more care of food preparation in smart homes. For example, it is possible to incorporate a camera device in the new generation of ovens that sends true-color images to cooks in HD quality to their smartphone or tablet. Vortex lenses are used in such kind of camera devices.

As we said earlier, engineers are inventing new applications of photonics every now and then. So, consider this only a glimpse into the future. The possibilities are truly endless.

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