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Technique Measures Material Properties

Applied Materials Developed for quality control and wafer metrology in the semiconductor manufacturing market, this non-destructive technology may be highly adaptable to measuring material properties such as a coating’s thickness, thermal and electrical conductivity, and material imperfections. The technology uses two overlapping lasers to measure the thickness of metal on a substrate using the metal’s known heat conductivity and reflectivity. Depending on the metal, thicknesses from 5 μm down to 100 Angstroms can be measured. The technology is sensitive to residues and extremely fine contaminants. Voids, breaks, bridges, or connections between fine metal lines can be detected. If there is a known differential in thermal conductivity between the surface metal deposition and its substrate, metal thickness can be deduced. The nominal laser spot size is 3 μm; measurements may be made to within approximately 20 μm from the edge of a work piece.

Posted in: Techs for License

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Diagnostic and Sorting Technologies

Agrotechnology & Food Innovations BV This non-invasive technology enables accurate plant quality assessments before any physiological change is perceived by the naked eye. Plants, and plant parts, can be assessed at any stage of growth. The technology is based on chlorophyll fluorescence, highly correlated to desired plant qualities. Stems, leaves, fruits, berries, and ears may be assessed — the technology is useful in the hothouse, field, or grocery store. Any plant with chlorophyll can be tested for seed vigor, germination, good growth, and freshness. Impacts from drought, herbicides, and insects are easily detectable long before becoming visible. Screening spot measurements can be done, or more general measurements performed, with an imaging detector on an area roughly 1 x 1.5 m.

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Building the Financials to Get Investors Interested

In our last article, we planned out the business chronologically; that is, what we expected to happen and when we thought it would happen. Now, we need to assign costs to the steps in that series of events and roll it up into a standard financial picture that investors, members of your board, employees, and others will understand.

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USB-3101 analog data output device

NMeasurement Computing, Norton, MA, has released the USB-3101 analog data output device that is fully compatible with USB 1.1 and 2.0 ports. The full-speed device is supported under Microsoft(r) Windows(r) operating systems and provides four channels of analog voltage output, eight digital I/O connectors, and one 32-bit event counter. Analog output ranges are ±10V and 0-10V. It is powered by the 5V USB supply from a computer, with no external power required. All I/O connections are made to the screw terminals located along each side of the device. Software support includes InstaCal installation, calibration, and test software; universal programming libraries for LabVIEW and other programming languages; SoftWIRE graphical programming system; DASYLab for data acquisition and control; and MATLAB's Data Acquisition Toolbox for control and communication.

Posted in: Products

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CCDs Find Applications in Diverse Space MissionsCCDs Find Applications in Diverse Space Missions

ESA’s Mars Express obtained this view of an unnamed 35-kilometerwide impact crater located on the far northern area of Mars. (European Space Agency)Charge coupled device (CCD) image sensors e2v Technologies Elmsford, NY 914-593-6841 www.e2v.com

Posted in: Application Briefs

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Aging Computer System to be Replaced by Supercomputer

Linux Supersystem supercomputers Linux Networx Bluffdale, UT 877-505-5694 www.linuxnetworx.com

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AC Drives Provide Precise Control Critical to Next-Generation Test Stands

Direct Torque Control (DTC) is widely used as a method for controlling AC motors in many demanding applications. It is a unique method for controlling AC motors. In pulse-width modulation (PWM) drives, the output frequency and voltage are the primary control reference signals for the power switches, rather than the desired torque in/of the motor shaft. For those who are not familiar with inverter technology, the DTC principle can be illustrated most accurately via this mechanical analogy: the continuous calculation of the best angle at which to rotate a shaft, with a given arm length and the forces available. These electrical “force vectors” are generated with the help of semiconductor switches called Integrated Gate Bipolar Transistors (IGBT).

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