Tunable Filter Market and its key opportunities and challenges

The Tunable Filter Market was valued at USD 108.5 Million in 2016 and is expected to reach USD 203.1 Million by 2023, at a CAGR of 8.86% during the forecast period, as per a report by MarketsandMarkets.

The Tunable Filter Market was valued at USD 108.5 Million in 2016 and is expected to reach USD 203.1 Million by 2023, at a CAGR of 8.86% during the forecast period, as per a report by MarketsandMarkets. 

How use of fluorescence imaging and spectroscopy as tools for nondestructive analysis of works of art present an opportunity?

The nondestructive analysis is critical for restoration, maintenance, and preservation of works of art. There are a number of analytical methods, spectroscopic tools, and techniques that are currently available to art historians, conservators, museum curators, and private collectors. These multispectral-detection techniques including Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy, polarized-light microscopy, x-ray diffraction, x-ray fluorescence, gas chromatography, high-performance liquid chromatography, infrared (IR) spectroscopy, and ultraviolet radiation vary in nature and function.

Scientists are experimenting to design an instrument for mapping a broad distribution of pigments on both paintings and manuscripts. The main objective behind designing the instrument is not only to gather a sample of roughly 300 discrete spectral elements across an extremely broad operating range but also to ensure that the instrument is able to image paintings as large as 1 square meter, with a minimum signal-to-noise ratio of 200:1. Liquid crystal tunable filters or acousto-optic tunable filters are expected to be adopted at a high rate for the analysis of valuable works of art.

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Why improving product quality remains a challenge?

Improving the quality of tunable filters is a constant challenge for its manufacturers. The quality of tunable filters depends on several parameters, namely transmission frequency, edge steepness, out-of-band blocking, fixed or adjustable bandwidth, low laser damage threshold (LDT), small apertures, tuning speed, and polarization. Designers and manufacturers are constantly working on improving the above-mentioned parameters while keeping the selling price reasonable. Advanced tunable filters are used in satellite communication, LiDAR, hyperspectral imaging, and missile tracking applications, among many others. Vendors are making a significant investment in R&D to innovate faster tunable filters through a change in architecture and constituent materials used to manufacture different kinds of tunable filters.

Implementation of liquid crystal tunable filters for highly demanding machine vision applications

Machine vision is one of the most prime application areas of liquid crystal tunable filters (LCTFs). LCTFs primarily help in reducing specular reflections to improve the performance of the imaging algorithm, which, in turn, is increasing its use in machine vision systems. Liquid crystal tunable filters, with dynamic range and large output, are used to improve the performance of optical imaging systems for biomedical applications. Liquid crystal tunable filters with high throughput as well as a high dynamic range are primarily designed for spectral domain optical coherence tomography, along with hyperspectral imaging. Thus, rising technological advancements demand LCFTs for a wide array of applications across different systems, which, in turn, is increasing the growth of the liquid crystal tunable filter market across different regions in the world.


Poor spectral performance of tunable filters

Poor spectral performance (edge steepness) of tunable filters is due to the variation of spectral properties across a non-zero width optical beam. The limited spectral performance is usually optimized for a particular system by trading off lower transmission or spatial resolution from a smaller beam against the higher spectral resolution. However, the tradeoff is very high for most systems. It is estimated that new wavelength filtering technologies are expected to address this issue.

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