Special Issue "Photonic Devices Instrumentation and Applications"

A special issue of Instruments (ISSN 2410-390X).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 June 2020).

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Christos Riziotis
Website
Guest Editor
Theoretical and Physical Chemistry Institute, National Hellenic Research Foundation, 11635 Athens, Greece
Interests: Optical Materials; Nanocomposites; Nanomaterials; Photonics; Optoelectronics; Devices; Sensors; Biosensing; Industrial applications
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

It is our pleasure to announce this Special Issue devoted to instruments based on photonics technology and devices. Photonics has been widely recognized as a Key Enabling Technology (KET) and is expected to drive the development of a new class of advanced instruments in a wide area of challenging applications, as it can provide new disruptive approaches in current established technological solutions, with the anticipated high global market impact.

The purpose of this Special Issue is to identify diverse and promising photonic technologies at a high enough maturity level that enables the development of advanced instruments. The versatility of photonics technology allows its adaptation in many different application areas like telecommunications, sensing, aeronautics, biomedical, defence and security, demonstrating the advantages of photonic implementation and also unique capabilities over other competitive technologies.

Photonics technology and industry is rapidly developing in an interdisciplinary field combining active research in a number of fields ranging from novel materials, metamaterials, nanotechnology, advanced processing techniques, environmental control & packaging, to specialty electronic or even all-optical instrumentation. This mixture has a direct effect on the operational requirements and associated complexity of instrumentation, setting consequently certain restrictions to the wide deployment of photonics as there is not yet also available an adequate standardization level  in several cases.

Therefore, despite photonics' versatility and unique capabilities the development of instruments is still at the initial stage for several cases, leaving thus an area of open issues for further fundamental and applied research that, we seek to indicatively cover in this thematic issue.

We invite contributions in the form of expert comprehensive reviews, or research articles dealing with photonics technology focused on instrumentation in connection to current or emerging applications. The scope is to create a well-balanced collection of papers that will help to map the penetration of photonics instruments in various application areas and identify also the perspectives and open challenges for future development.

Contributions are expected to deal with, but are not limited to, the following areas:

  • Photonic active and passive devices
  • Fiber and waveguide photonic devices and instruments
  • Photonic Sensors
  • Remote photonic instruments
  • Instrumentation in Optical Communication systems
  • Photonic devices as instruments for Quantum computation and Quantum sensing
  • Applications of Laser based instruments
  • Laser based manufacturing systems
  • Photonic instruments in industrial manufacturing processes
  • Applications in industrial monitoring and Condition Based Maintenance (CBM)
  • Instruments for Structural Health Monitoring—SHM
  • Photonic instruments for environmental monitoring
  • Applications in smart agriculture
  • Biological and medical applications
  • Photonic diagnostic instruments
  • Imaging systems, multispectral imaging and applications
  • Energy and photovoltaic applications
  • Lighting instruments
  • Instrumentation in automotive and aerospace industry
  • Space Applications
  • Security applications
  • Air, Land & Sea defence applications
  • Homeland security applications
  • Airborne and missile applications
  • Photonic instruments in ICT applications: Wireless Sensor Networks, Internet of Things IoT
  • Interrogation techniques and electronic instrumentation
  • Low complexity interrogation schemes for autonomous photonic sensors
  • Standardization issues of photonic instruments
  • Technoeconomic and SWOT analysis for photonic instruments' market penetration
  • Entrepreneurial approaches and viability perspectives of photonic instruments

Dr. Christos Riziotis
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Instruments is an international peer-reviewed open access quarterly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Photonics
  • Devices
  • Instruments
  • Applications

Published Papers (7 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle
Characterization of Raman Spectroscopy System Transfer Functions in Intensity, Wavelength, and Time
Instruments 2020, 4(3), 22; https://doi.org/10.3390/instruments4030022 - 05 Aug 2020
Abstract
The emergence of a wide variety of relatively low-cost compact spectrometers has led to an increase in the use of spectroscopic techniques by researchers in a broad array of fields beyond those that have traditionally employed these analytical methods. While the fundamental elements [...] Read more.
The emergence of a wide variety of relatively low-cost compact spectrometers has led to an increase in the use of spectroscopic techniques by researchers in a broad array of fields beyond those that have traditionally employed these analytical methods. While the fundamental elements and functions of Raman systems are generally consistent, the specific components that compose a system may vary in number, design, and configuration, and researchers often modify off-the-shelf spectrometers for unique applications. Understanding the effect of instrument design and components on acquired information is thus crucial and provides the prospect to optimize the system to individual needs and to properly compare results obtained with different systems while also reducing the potential for unintended misinterpretation of data. This paper provides a practical treatment of the influences in a typical compact spectroscopy system that can impact the extent to which the output of the system is representative of the observed environment, a relationship that in measurement science is classically termed the system transfer function. For clarity, the transfer function is developed in terms of traditional Raman output parameters, namely intensity, wavelength, and time. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Photonic Devices Instrumentation and Applications)
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Open AccessArticle
A Low-Cost Phase-OTDR System for Structural Health Monitoring: Design and Instrumentation
Instruments 2019, 3(3), 46; https://doi.org/10.3390/instruments3030046 - 28 Aug 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
The design, development, and testing of a low-cost phase optical time-domain reflectometry (Phase-OTDR) system, intended for use in structural health monitoring (SHM) applications, are presented. Phase-OTDR is a technology that is growing and evolving at an impressive rate. Systems based on this principle [...] Read more.
The design, development, and testing of a low-cost phase optical time-domain reflectometry (Phase-OTDR) system, intended for use in structural health monitoring (SHM) applications, are presented. Phase-OTDR is a technology that is growing and evolving at an impressive rate. Systems based on this principle are becoming very sensitive and elaborate and can perform very accurate condition monitoring, but at the same time, they are critically alignment-dependent and prohibitively costly to be considered as viable options in real field applications. Certain Phase-OTDR systems have been applied in real field studies, but these examples are mostly a proof-of-concept. The system presented here is the result of a compromise between performance and cost, using commercial components, specifically combined and tuned for SHM applications. The design and implementation of all the electronic and optoelectronic steps are presented, and the operation of the system is demonstrated, achieving a spatial resolution of ~6 m over 5 km. This work provides useful engineering guidelines for the low-cost implementation of Phase-OTDR systems. It is anticipated that the affordable development of such interrogation systems will promote their use in a wide range of SHM applications with moderate monitoring requirements and will assist the penetration of Phase-OTDR technology in the industry. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Photonic Devices Instrumentation and Applications)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
A Dual-Wavelength Pulsed Laser Processing Platform for a-Si Thin Film Crystallization
Instruments 2019, 3(2), 31; https://doi.org/10.3390/instruments3020031 - 05 Jun 2019
Abstract
Interest in laser crystallization (LC) of silicon (Si) thin films has been on the rise in fabrication of polycrystalline silicon (pc-Si) based thin/ultrathin photovoltaic solar cells and Si based thin film transistors (TFT). Laser based fabrication of device quality pc-Si thin films at [...] Read more.
Interest in laser crystallization (LC) of silicon (Si) thin films has been on the rise in fabrication of polycrystalline silicon (pc-Si) based thin/ultrathin photovoltaic solar cells and Si based thin film transistors (TFT). Laser based fabrication of device quality pc-Si thin films at room temperature is expected to be a key enabling technology because of its low energy, material and process time budget. Fabrication of high-quality pc-Si thin films without pre-/post-treatment at large is a disruptive technology which has the potential to revolutionize the Si thin film industry. We hereby describe in detail a multi-wavelength laser processing platform specially developed for crystallization of amorphous silicon (a-Si) thin films into pc-Si thin films. The platform has three main stages. The first stage consists of a nanosecond pulsed ytterbium (Yt3+) doped fibre-laser with a master oscillator power amplifier architecture, operating at a wavelength of 1064 nm with an adjustable repetition rate between 80 kHz–300 kHz. The output beam has a maximum power of 18 W with a pulse energy of 90 µJ. The pulse durations can be set to values between 15 ns–40 ns. The second stage has free-space optical elements for second harmonic generation (SHG) which produces an emission at a wavelength of 532 nm. Conversion efficiency of the SHG is 25% with an output pulse energy of 20 µJ. The platform provides two wavelengths at either 1064 nm or 532 nm in crystallization of a-Si films for different crystallization regimes. The last stage of the platform has a sample processing assembly with a line-focus, which has an x-y motorized stage on a vibration isolated table. Speed of the motorized stage can be set between 1 mm/s–100 mm/s. Stage speed and repetition rate adjustments help to adjust overlap of successive pulses between 97.22–99.99%. Our platform has variety of tune parameters that make it a uniquely flexible system for delicate Si thin film crystallization. A large selection of operational parameter combinations, the wavelength selection and simultaneous x-y scanning capability allow users to crystallize Si films on various substrates optimally. The operation wavelength choice can be done by considering optical absorption and thickness of a-Si films on different types of substrates. Hence, delivering precise amount of absorbed energy in the line-focus irradiation is useful in increasing the average size of crystalline domains; moreover, nucleation of crystallites can be initiated either from the top or bottom interface of the film. Continuous and simultaneous motion of the stage in two dimensions allows to process arbitrary continuous pc-Si geometries in a-Si film. In summary, our multi-wavelength laser processing platform offers all-in-one LC utility for intricate LC-Si processing. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Photonic Devices Instrumentation and Applications)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Insights of the Qualified ExoMars Laser and Mechanical Considerations of Its Assembly Process
Instruments 2019, 3(2), 25; https://doi.org/10.3390/instruments3020025 - 19 Apr 2019
Cited by 5
Abstract
1960 is the birth year of both the laser and the Mars exploration missions. Eleven years passed before the first successful landing on Mars, and another six before the first rover could explore the planet’s surface. In 2011, both technologies were reunited with [...] Read more.
1960 is the birth year of both the laser and the Mars exploration missions. Eleven years passed before the first successful landing on Mars, and another six before the first rover could explore the planet’s surface. In 2011, both technologies were reunited with the first laser landing on Mars as part of the ChemCam instrument, integrated inside the Curiosity Rover. In 2020, two more rovers with integrated lasers are expected to land on Mars: one through the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Mars 2020 mission and another through the European Space Agency (ESA) ExoMars mission. The ExoMars mission laser is one of the components of the Raman Spectrometer instrument, which the Aerospace Technology National Institute of Spain (INTA) is responsible for. It uses as its excitation source a laser designed by Monocrom and manufactured in collaboration with the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Optics and Precision Engineering (IOF). In this paper, we present for the first time the final flight module laser that has been installed in the rover’s onboard laboratory and validated to be shipped to Mars in 2020. Particular emphasis is given to mechanical considerations and assembly procedures, as the ExoMars laser assembly has required soldering techniques in contrast to the standard adhesive technologies used for most laser assembly processes in order to fulfill the environmental and optical requirements of the mission. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Photonic Devices Instrumentation and Applications)
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Open AccessArticle
Instrumentation for Simultaneous Non-Destructive Profiling of Refractive Index and Rare-Earth-Ion Distributions in Optical Fiber Preforms
Instruments 2018, 2(4), 23; https://doi.org/10.3390/instruments2040023 - 07 Nov 2018
Cited by 1
Abstract
We present a non-destructive technique for a combined evaluation of refractive index and active-dopant distribution in the same position along a rare-earth-doped optical fiber preform. The method relies on luminescence measurements, analyzed through an optical tomography technique, to define the active dopant distribution [...] Read more.
We present a non-destructive technique for a combined evaluation of refractive index and active-dopant distribution in the same position along a rare-earth-doped optical fiber preform. The method relies on luminescence measurements, analyzed through an optical tomography technique, to define the active dopant distribution and ray-deflection measurements to calculate the refractive index profile. The concurrent evaluation of both the preform refractive index and the active dopant profiles allows for an accurate establishment of the dopant distribution within the optical core region. This combined information is important for the optimization and development of a range of advanced fibers, used, for example, in a high-power fiber lasers and modern spatial-division-multiplexing optical communication systems. In addition, the non-destructive nature allows the technique to be used to identify the most appropriate preform segment, thus increasing fiber yield and reducing development cycles. We demonstrate the technique on an Yb3+-doped aluminosilicate fiber preform and compare it with independent refractive index and active-dopant measurements. This technique will be useful for quality evaluation and optimization of optical fiber preforms and lends itself to advanced instrumentation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Photonic Devices Instrumentation and Applications)
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Review

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Open AccessReview
Laser Technology in Photonic Applications for Space
Instruments 2019, 3(3), 50; https://doi.org/10.3390/instruments3030050 - 11 Sep 2019
Cited by 4
Abstract
The registered history of laser technologies for space application starts with the first laser echoes reflected off the Moon in 1962. Since then, photonic technologies have become very prominent in most technical development. Their presence has also dramatically increased in space applications thanks [...] Read more.
The registered history of laser technologies for space application starts with the first laser echoes reflected off the Moon in 1962. Since then, photonic technologies have become very prominent in most technical development. Their presence has also dramatically increased in space applications thanks to the many advantages they present over traditional equivalent devices, such as the immunity against electromagnetic interference, as well as their efficiency and low power consumption. Lasers are one of the key components in most of those applications. In this review, we present an overview of the main technologies involving lasers that are currently deployed in space, before reviewing the requirements for lasers to be reliable in that environment before discussing the advantages and drawbacks of replacing standard technologies by newly developed photonic laser-based devices. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Photonic Devices Instrumentation and Applications)
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Other

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Open AccessTechnical Note
Critical-Angle Differential Refractometry of Lossy Media: A Theoretical Study and Practical Design Issues
Instruments 2019, 3(3), 36; https://doi.org/10.3390/instruments3030036 - 31 Jul 2019
Abstract
At a critical angle of incidence, Fresnel reflectance at an interface between a front transparent and a rear lossy medium exhibits sensitive dependencies on the complex refractive index of the latter. This effect facilitates the design of optical sensors exploiting single (or multiple) [...] Read more.
At a critical angle of incidence, Fresnel reflectance at an interface between a front transparent and a rear lossy medium exhibits sensitive dependencies on the complex refractive index of the latter. This effect facilitates the design of optical sensors exploiting single (or multiple) reflections inside a prism (or a parallel plate). We determine an empirical framework that captures performance specifications of this sensing scheme, including sensitivity, detection limit, range of linearity and—what we define here as—angular acceptance bandwidth. Subsequently, we develop an optimization protocol that accounts for all relevant optical or geometrical variables and that can be utilized in any application. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Photonic Devices Instrumentation and Applications)
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