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‘One thing that is not known in general is this extreme leverage factor that optical materials have on the rest of optics and technology in general. Everything has optics inside; almost everything will be affected.’ The EU Horizon 2020 programme, which will hopefully boost the optics and photonics industry through the availability of €700 million of funding over seven years, could also be hindered by these regulations, Hartmann said. The exemption request is almost complete, with only one more meeting to take place to review the draft. ‘What we anticipate is that our final draft will be available in a month, or definitely before the summer,’ Wenko noted. After that, Spectaris will be pursuing a way

to achieve permanent exemption for lead and cadmium in optical and filter glass. ‘First we want to continue the exemption request, but the middle and long term goal is to come to a solution where we don’t have to keep re-submitting the request again and again − because it is getting costly,’ Wenko said. ‘What we hope we can get to is that optical materials get excluded from the laws. The next window for a change of this sort will open up during the years 2018 through 2020.’

Although things are looking more positive for optical glass and filters containing lead and cadmium, the REACH regulation lists 151 substances as ‘very high concern’, which will require special requirements for photonics companies. These substances include arsenic oxide, which is important for the production of glass and is contained in Zerodur glass ceramic. From 21 May 2015, arsenic oxide will no longer be allowed to be used in production, except in special cases, and must be classified as an ‘intermediate substance’ in the production sequence. However, classification of substances into the ‘intermediate substance’ category carried out by the industry can be contested by third parties under certain circumstances, and thus no legal security can be assured. Spectaris and its members are now trying to assure that clear-cut rules for the classification of materials of intermediate substances are developed, and that tight controls for the handling of arsenic oxide, boric oxide and perhaps other substances used in production of special glass will be turned over to qualified, national realms of responsibility. Wenko believes that not enough people

are aware of the EU legislation. When asked if trade shows such as Optatec help to bring the industry’s attention to the issue, he noted that it is a challenge to raise awareness among companies who deal with just the end | @electrooptics

products: ‘Many companies think that it is not their business, but then if you look deeper into their products it quite easy to realise that it is, because there are specialised glasses in so many applications of companies who do not consider themselves as an optical or photonics company,’ he explained. ‘There is a huge leverage factor for photonics – many optical elements that are affected by these regulations are not visible in the product at the end.

‘What needs to happen is to get all of the companies in the industry on board, as well as the wider public, especially politicians. We still have until December before we submit the request and the EU will decide late in 2015; so we still have one more year left on the more public side to promote the idea,’ Wenko continued. ‘Despite what we have accomplished, we are still more or less at the beginning of the process to raise the awareness.’

New multi-channel scaler for photon counting applications

The MCS-CT3 is a new multi-channel scaler/counter-timer from ET Enterprises Ltd which can be interfaced with a PC or Laptop via a USB port to operate as a cost-effective, high performance pulse counting instrument. When used with a compatible amplifier/discriminator, such as the ET Enterprises AD8, and a suitable detector, it becomes a wide-dynamic-range photon counting system.

Operation and data retrieval are controlled by a PC using Windows XP, or later, operating systems and the open-source software supplied with the MCS-CT3. A LabVIEW virtual instrument program option is also supplied.

Power for the MCS-CT3 is supplied via the PC USB cable and can also power an AD8 amplifier/discriminator for photon counting applications. This socket can even be used to power an ET Enterprises HVBase/photomultiplier combination with the HV level also being controlled by the MCS-CT3.

Using a MCS-CT3 is another example of how we can make photomultipliers easier to use. The features include:

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count rates up to 150MHz

trigger input for synchronous counting two counters from one application channel widths from 200µs to 9999hr number of channels from 1 to 65535, or continuous

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supplied with open-source software compact and cost effective pmt HV control output automatic plateau plotting

can be supplied as a complete system

And, of course, we have a wide range of photomultipliers for your application, whether photon counting or analogue, together with associated hardward such as HV supplies and light-tight housings.

Contact us to learn more about how we can make your photon detection needs easier.

ET Enterprises Limited, Riverside Way, Uxbridge, UB8 2YF, UK Phone: +44 (0)1895 200880 Fax: +44 (0)1895 270873

ADIT Electron Tubes, 300 Crane Street, Sweetwater, Texas 79556, USA Phone: (325) 235 1418 Fax: (325) 235 2872

making photons count

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