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Visualization Software Helps Assess Thin-Film Semiconductor Systems

As thin-film technology advances, it’s increasingly important to monitor the film’s characteristics. That’s because eliminating irregularities in thin films — used primarily to create computer chips — enhances their performance. k-Space Associates (kSA, Ann Arbor, MI) specializes in accurate, precise monitoring methods that allow physicists and engineers to create high-performance thin-film products and improve their research and development workflow.

Posted in: Imaging, Application Briefs

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ID Readers Accurately Identify and Trace Printed Circuit Boards

New MP3 players from a global electronics manufacturer like Sony are destined for a demanding consumer market and cannot be compromised in any way. In Malaysia, the company sought a code-reading and traceability solution for the printed circuit boards (PCBs) for these MP3 players.

Posted in: Imaging, Application Briefs

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Mosaic-Detector-Based Fluorescence Spectral Imager

This portable instrument would perform comparably to larger laboratory instruments. NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California A battery-powered, pen-sized, portable instrument for measuring molecular fluorescence spectra of chemical and biological samples in the field has been proposed. Molecular fluorescence spectroscopy is among the techniques used most frequently in laboratories to analyze compositions of chemical and biological samples. Heretofore, it has been possible to measure fluorescence spectra of molecular species at relative concentrations as low as parts per billion (ppb), with a few nm spectral resolution. The proposed instrument would include a planar array (mosaic) of detectors, onto which a fluorescence spectrum would be spatially mapped. Unlike in the larger laboratory-type molecular fluorescence spectrometers, mapping of wavelengths to spatial positions would be accomplished without use of relatively bulky optical parts. The proposed instrument is expected to be sensitive enough to enable measurement of spectra of chemical species at relative concentrations

Posted in: Photonics, Imaging, Briefs, TSP

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Design and Fabrication of High-Efficiency CMOS/CCD Imagers

Economical production of back-illuminated CMOS/CCD imagers should soon become possible. NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California An architecture for back-illuminated complementary metal oxide/semiconductor (CMOS) and charge-coupled-device (CCD) ultraviolet/visible/near infrared-light image sensors, and a method of fabrication to implement the architecture, are undergoing development. The architecture and method are expected to enable realization of the full potential of back-illuminated CMOS/CCD imagers to perform with high efficiency, high sensitivity, excellent angular response, and in-pixel signal processing. The architecture and method are compatible with next-generation CMOS dielectric-forming and metallization techniques, and the process flow of the method is compatible with process flows typical of the manufacture of very-large-scale integrated (VLSI) circuits.

Posted in: Photonics, Imaging, Briefs, TSP

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Improved Underwater Excitation-Emission Matrix Fluorometer

This is a higher-resolution, smaller, more-capable successor to a prior instrument. Stennis Space Center, Mississippi A compact, high-resolution, two-dimensional excitation-emission matrix fluorometer (EEMF) has been designed and built specifically for use in identifying and measuring the concentrations of organic compounds, including polluting hydrocarbons, in natural underwater settings. Heretofore, most EEMFs have been designed and built for installation in laboratories, where they are used to analyze the contents of samples collected in the field and brought to the laboratories. Because the present EEMF can be operated in the field, it is better suited to measurement of spatially and temporally varying concentrations of substances of interest.

Posted in: Photonics, Imaging, Briefs

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Metrology Camera System Using Two-Color Interferometry

3D locations of multiple targets are determined without mechanical scanning. NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California A metrology system that contains no moving parts simultaneously measures the bearings and ranges of multiple reflective targets in its vicinity, enabling determination of the three-dimensional (3D) positions of the targets with submillimeter accuracy. The system combines a direction-measuring metrology camera and an interferometric range-finding subsystem. Because the system is based partly on a prior instrument denoted the Modulation Sideband Technology for Absolute Ranging (MSTAR) sensor and because of its 3D capability, the system is denoted the MSTAR3D. Developed for use in measuring the shape (for the purpose of compensating for distortion) of large structures like radar antennas, it can also be used to measure positions of multiple targets in the course of conventional terrestrial surveying.

Posted in: Photonics, Imaging, Briefs, TSP

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Microscope Camera

JENOPTIK Laser, Jena, Germany, offers the ProgRes® CT2 microscope camera with CMOS sensor technology. The ProgRes CT3 is dedicated to bright field and reflective light microscopy, but is also suitable for other contrast methods. Providing a resolution of up to 3 megapixels, the camera captures high-quality digital images especially when contrast methods with high light intensities are applied. The fast live image is available in several resolutions and the integrated CMOS sensor is resistant to blooming.

Posted in: Imaging, Products

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