In recent years, technology has completely revolutionised how we interact and engage with the world around us. Communicating with loved ones and colleagues across the globe has never been easier, while a quick google search can unlock the entire wealth of human knowledge.

As technology continues to evolve and develop, the possibilities for the future appear almost endless, and the use of photonics is going to play a vital part in the innovation of many fields. From optical data and communication to healthcare and security, photonics is helping to transform every aspect of our life; but what does the future have in store?

Image credit: Photonics Media.

What is photonics?

In its simplest form, photonics is the science of light. This innovative technology examines how to generate, control, and detect waves of light and particles of light (known as photons). The technology first came into use during the 1960s, but it was not until the 1980s when fibre optics were invented that the term began to be used more commonly.

Since then, photonics has been used extensively in industries across the globe. Whether it is LED lighting, revolutionary healthcare devices that utilise light to detect diseases, powerful biometric security systems, or transforming manufacturing, photonics significantly enhanced the world we live in.

The Covid-19 outbreak expanded the scope of photonic devices. In 2020, the Global Photonics Market was valued at $589.82 billion (USD), and it is expected to reach $1019.77 billion by 2026.

Why photonics is so important today

Photonics plays such an essential role in our day-to-day lives that their usage likely now passes us by. The technology offers an incredible opportunity for the design and manufacturing industry, helping to create faster, more accurate results while also transforming the telecommunications industry.

Photonic devices are able to transmit vast amounts of data in an instant, and the technology plays a crucial role in how we access the internet and connect with people. The technology also helps with printing, playing computer games, taking pictures, and scanning products at checkout.

This ground-breaking technology is everywhere, and the modern world that we know would not exist without it. However, we are still just at the start of the photonic revolution, and the potential it offers for the future is incredibly exciting.

The future of photonics

Photonics research is ongoing, and experts admit that it has an incredibly bright and exciting future, and a decade from now, we could see a vastly different landscape. Right now, research is ongoing in new sectors, such as neuromorphic photonics, biodegradable photonics, and AI design.

Together, these new developments will help further revolutionise the world we live in, from an all-optical internet to quantum communications. A recent study by UCL’s Photonics and Optical Networks research group alongside several leading experts identified 70 exciting research topics that will significantly impact both social and economic standings in the future. These include the future of mobility, communications, food production, manufacturing, and even defence.

Photonics and Stensborg

Here at Stensborg, photonics plays a vital role in our products and technology. As experts in nanoimprinting lithography, our team has utilised this innovative tech to deliver the best optical designs and volume production solutions for over 20 years.

From universities and research facilities to private and government organisations, we have provided our unique technology and tools to them all. We pride ourselves on delivering the most ground-breaking solutions, and we are continuously working to develop exciting new ways to control and interact with light, pushing our technology to the next level.

Want to find out more about Stensborg? Check out our range of products on our website.