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Aligning Optical Fibers by Means of Actuated MEMS Wedges

Wedges would be fabricated using gray-scale exposure of photoresist. Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland Microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) of a proposed type would be designed and fabricated to effect lateral and vertical alignment of optical fibers with respect to optical, electro-optical, optoelectronic, and/or photonic devices on integrated circuit chips and similar monolithic device structures. A MEMS device of this type would consist of a pair of oppositely sloped alignment wedges attached to linear actuators that would translate the wedges in the plane of a substrate, causing an optical fiber in contact with the sloping wedge surfaces to undergo various displacements parallel and perpendicular to the plane. In making it possible to accurately align optical fibers individually during the packaging stages of fabrication of the affected devices, this MEMS device would also make it possible to relax tolerances in other stages of fabrication, thereby potentially reducing costs and increasing yields.

Posted in: Tech Briefs, ptb catchall, Photonics, Briefs

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Optical Characterization of Molecular Contaminant Films

A theoretical model is correlated with measured spectral transmittances and VUV exposures of spacecraft optics. Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center, Houston, Texas A semi-empirical method of optical characterization of thin contaminant films on surfaces of optical components has been conceived. The method was originally intended for application to films that become photochemically deposited on such optical components as science windows, lenses, prisms, thin-film radiators, and glass solar-cell covers aboard spacecraft and satellites in orbit. The method should also be applicable, with suitable modifications, to thin optical films (whether deposited deliberately or formed as contaminants) on optical components used on Earth in the computer microchip laser communications and thin-film industries.

Posted in: Tech Briefs, ptb catchall, Photonics, Briefs

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Photonics West Exhibitor Preview

View these and other new products on display by exhibitors at Photonics West, January 23-25, in San Jose, CA. Visit Photonics Tech Briefs at Booth 435. Visit http://spie.org/Conferences/programs/07/pw/ for more information.

Posted in: Products

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Card Provides PCI-Based Multi-Axis Motion Control

Performance Motion Devices (Lincoln, MA) offers the Prodigy™-PCI motion card for multi-axis motion control. Available in 1-, 2-, 3-, and 4-axis versions, the card provides trajectory generation, performance trace, on-the-fly changes, and commutation. Motor type can be software- selected on a per-axis basis, and includes DC brush, brushless DC, step, and microstepping. The card communicates via a PCI bus, CANbus, or serial port. Card features include S-curve, trapezoidal, velocity contouring, electronic gearing, and user-generated profile modes. The card accepts input parameters such as position, velocity, acceleration, and jerk from the host, and generates a corresponding trajectory.

Posted in: Products

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Reactive Additives for Phenylethynyl-Containing Resins

Processability is improved. Phenylethynyl containing reactive additive (PERA) compounds and mixtures have been found to be useful for improving the processability of oligomers, polymers, cooligomers, and copolymers that contain phenylethynyl groups. The additives can be incorporated in different forms:

Posted in: Materials, Briefs

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Multicomponent, Rare-Earth-Doped Thermal-Barrier Coatings

Thermal conductivities are reduced while maximum use temperatures are increased. Multicomponent, rare-earth-doped, perovskite-type thermal-barrier coating materials have been developed in an effort to obtain lower thermal conductivity, greater phase stability, and greater high-temperature capability, relative to those of the prior thermal-barrier coating material of choice, which is yttriapartially stabilized zirconia. As used here, “thermal-barrier coatings” (TBCs) denotes thin ceramic layers used to insulate air-cooled metallic components of heat engines (e.g., gas turbines) from hot gases. These layers are generally fabricated by plasma spraying or physical vapor deposition of the TBC materials onto the metal components.

Posted in: Materials, Briefs

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Development of Carbon-Nanotube/Polymer Composites

A report presents a short discussion of one company’s effort to develop composites of carbon nanotubes in epoxy and other polymer matrices.

Posted in: Materials, Briefs

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