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Laser Components has revealed how silicon carbide (SiC) UV photodiodes from IFW Optronics are being used on the Curiosity Mars rover to help gather data about Martian UV content.

The SiC UV photodiodes are arranged in a hexagon pattern on top of Curiosity.

SiC is suitable for harsh UV environments as it is proven to withstand the punishing effects of denaturing that many materials suffer after 15 minutes in the sun without sunblock.

Further information

  • Other applications for the SiC UV photodiodes include UV light sterilisation equipment for water treatment, food preparation, scientific instruments measuring UV content and processing equipment reliant on UV light exposure.
  • Harnessed in the correct way, UV light has beneficial effects when treating Legionella and Legionnaire’s disease in water tanks in schools and hospitals as well as curing optical adhesive used in the optical industry.

Laser Components

The Laser Components Group was formed in 1986 and is located at six locations in Germany, France, UK, Canada and USA, employing more than 120 people worldwide. In-house production accounts for approximately half its turnover, with partner suppliers accounting for all other business.

Laser Components manufactures and supplies components, OEM modules, sources, optics and detectors, spanning the UV to the FIR. 

Products include:  

  • Photodiodes, including avalanche photodiodes, position sensitive detectors and PIN diodes
  • IR components, including IR detectors, IR emitters and optical components for IR
  • Single photon-counting modules, including accessories and silicon avalanche photodiodes for photon counting
  • Lasers, including laser diodes, laser modules and emitters for telecommunication
  • Measurement devices, including amplifiers, laser power detectors, and measurement instruments
  • Fibre optics, including optical fibres, assembled fibres, active and passive components and accessories
  • Optics, including laser optics, optical filters, optomechanical components, optical components and polarisers
  • Laser accessories, including laser safety products and spare parts and accessories
  • E-beam (physical vapour deposition) ion-assisted deposition and sputtering coating capabilities to the standard catalogue or customer-specific specifications.  

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