Finisar and LightSmyth at Photonics West 2015

Happy New Year to all our blog readers!

If you hadn’t heard, next week is the annual SPIE Photonics West extravaganza at the Moscone Center in San Francisco. With over 20,000 attendees, 1,250 exhibiting companies, and 4,700 technical papers on a variety of topics from biophotonics, through industrial lasers to display technologies, Photonics West dwarfs the major optical communications conferences like OFC and ECOC. Finisar will be co-exhibiting with LightSmyth, a world leader in diffraction gratings, in booth 4212, February 10th-12th.

This year Finisar will be showcasing its expanding WaveShaper™ product family. The WaveShaper instrument was derived from our line of LCoS-based Wavelength Selective Switches and has achieved great success in research labs and production lines associated with the optical communications industry.

In addition, we found that some of our customers were using these instruments to develop novel designs of short-pulse erbium-doped fibre lasers, where the ability of the WaveShaper to control both the phase and amplitude of the light was used to control the laser pulse shape and duration. Their early feedback (in addition to the fact that this was cool, great technology) was that, for stability, mode-locked fibre lasers are generally built with polarization-maintaining fibre and that the WaveShaper instrument, being polarization-independent, was causing instabilities which affected the laser performance. We therefore re-engineered the optical design of the WaveShaper and developed our WaveShaper 1000/SP model, which was a single-polarization version of the WaveShaper 1000. This overcame the instability problem and has now been adopted by researchers and laser manufacturers to control pulse-shapes at 1.5µm.

Subsequently, we have been approached by other researchers and manufacturers working with Ytterbium and Neodymium fibre lasers around 1µm to see if we can build something similar to work at this shorter wavelength. We have now done this and are launching our new WaveShaper 1000/SP for 1µm at this Photonics West trade show. Providing the same amplitude and phase control capabilities as its 1.5µm older brother, the WaveShaper 1000S/SP pulse shaper for 1µm is a single-polarization, fully-fibered pulse shaper, complete with its own GUI (for ease of use) and programming API (for system integration).

In addition to the pulse control capabilities of the WaveShaper 1000/SP, Finisar also supplies the world’s highest quality pulse-compression gratings through its LightSmyth subsidiary. With > 94% diffraction efficiency optimized for linear p-polarization, LightSmyth gratings provide exceptional power-handling and performance as well as minimizing optical losses in the system, which is especially critical for high energy lasers.

All of these, plus our range of Finisar high-speed detectors, with bandwidths up to 100 GHz, will be on display next week at the Photonics West Trade Show.

See you there!