Photonics - Applications


Applications of photonics are ubiquitous. Included are all areas from everyday life to the most advanced science, e.g. light detection, telecommunications, information processing, lighting, metrology, spectroscopy, holography, medicine (surgery, vision correction, endoscopy, health monitoring), military technology, laser material processing, visual art, biophotonics, agriculture, and robotics.

Just as applications of electronics have expanded dramatically since the first transistor was invented in 1948, the unique applications of photonics continue to emerge. Economically important applications for semiconductor photonic devices include optical data recording, fiber optic telecommunications, laser printing (based on xerography), displays, and optical pumping of high-power lasers. The potential applications of photonics are virtually unlimited and include chemical synthesis, medical diagnostics, on-chip data communication, laser defense, and fusion energy, to name several interesting additional examples.

  • Consumer equipment: barcode scanner, printer, CD/DVD/Blu-ray devices, remote control devices
  • Telecommunications: optical fiber communications, optical down converter to microwave
  • Medicine: correction of poor eyesight, laser surgery, surgical endoscopy, tattoo removal
  • Industrial manufacturing: the use of lasers for welding, drilling, cutting, and various methods of surface modification
  • Construction: laser leveling, laser rangefinding, smart structures
  • Aviation: photonic gyroscopes lacking mobile parts
  • Military: IR sensors, command and control, navigation, search and rescue, mine laying and detection
  • Entertainment: laser shows, beam effects, holographic art
  • Information processing
  • Metrology: time and frequency measurements, rangefinding
  • Photonic computing: clock distribution and communication between computers, printed circuit boards, or within optoelectronic integrated circuits; in the future: quantum computing

Read more about this topic:  Photonics

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