Features

High-Contrast Stereo Microscope

Carl Zeiss MicroImaging (Thornwood, NY) has introduced the SteREO Discovery.V12 stereomicroscope with improved stability and image quality. The new microscope obtains more image information through an optical design that offers high-contrast images with attention to color reproduction, depth of field, high resolution, and 3D brilliance. The system comes with a SyCoP (System Control Panel) that combines all of the major control functions of the stereomicroscope such as zoom, focus, contrast, and illumination. It also supplies current data on object field, resolution, and depth of focus. A new stand design allows the instrument to focus in steps of up to 350 nm across a range of 340 nm. The SteREO Discovery.V12 also includes a new LED illumination and contrasting system, Ergo-phototube, specimen protection, 3-position nosepiece, and a light and focus speed manager. By adding AxioVision 4.3 software, the SteREO Discovery.V12 can also record, process, analyze, and archive images.

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Multilayer Coating Capability

Edmund Optics (Barrington, NJ) has increased the company’s capacity to make complex coatings with more than 100 layers by adding a new 45-in. diameter Vacuum Process Technology coating chamber. The coatings can be applied to many categories of catalog parts, including polarizers, laser mirrors, short wave pass and long wave pass filters, beamsplitters, and dichroic color filters, as well as custom optics that require specialized multilayer coatings. The VPT coating chamber is equipped with two electron guns (E-guns) and planetary rotation. It also has a high-output ion gun, which produces shift-free coatings with tolerances of less than ±1 percent. The chamber can predict and execute layer termination using either quartz-crystal numbers or transmission values calculated from curve-fitting algorithms matched to the measured optical monitor values.

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Low-Light CCD

e2v Technology’s (Chelmsford, England) CCD201 is a large-format 1-k × 1-k, 13-μm pixel image sensor designed for low-light, high-resolution scientific applications. The sensor claims a quantum efficiency of 95 percent with minimal induced noise. Designed for bio-science applications such as drug discovery, bio-luminescence, and fluorescence microscopy, as well as astronomy, the CCD201 is available in front- and back-illuminated formats, both of which offer sub-electron noise and a choice of electron-multiplying or traditional output. Each is capable of operating at an equivalent output noise of less than one electron at pixel rates of over 15 MHz.

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X-ray Inspection

Designed as a yield enhancement system for electronics manufacture, YESTech (San Clemente, CA) has released the YTX-3000 HXR x-ray inspection system for extremely high-resolution applications. Featuring an open-tube transmission target x-ray source with an integral high-voltage power supply and computer-controlled operation, the HXR system resolves sub-micron features with zoom magnifications up to 2400×. The x-ray source is designed for minimum maintenance with an easily replaceable filament and target assembly. The 3000 HXR is available with a 4- or 5-axis sample manipulator and a 15 × 20-in. (380 x 500 mm) X-Y travel stage for samples up to 5 lbs. in weight. Full 360° rotation and 30° of tilt are available. A computer-controlled motor drive provides a wide rage of motion from ultra-slow use at high magnifications, to high speed for travel over large distances. All systems come with a control module and programmable motion for automated inspection.

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Tunable Laser

Santec (Komaki, Japan) has released the TSL-510 tunable laser. Designed with many of the same features as the TSL-210V external cavity tunable laser, the TSL-510 offers a new front-panel interface and a number of improved features. The TSL-510 is a bench-top type that offers a 120-nm mode-hop-free tuning range selectable within the 1260-nm to 1680-nm wavelength region. Average optical output power is 10 mW. The laser has a 100-nm/s rapid wavelength sweep function that is particularly suitable for fiber optic component testing and material characterization. The instrument has USB and GPIB interfaces and comes with a standard LabVIEW driver. The TSL-510 is designed to meet the needs of a variety of applications, including telecom, gas sensing, spectroscopy, and material characterization.

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Software and Hardware Automate Cylindrical Coordinate Measurement Machine Control System

The Mechanical Engineering School at the Georgia Institute of Technology needed to reduce the set-up time involved in centering a bearing ring on a rotating spindle in a cylindrical coordinate measurement machine.

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Analysis Software Used to Test Solar Car Steering and Stability

The Toronto, Canada-based Power of One solar car was built to set world distance records and promote the use of sustainable energy, unlike most solar cars that are built for racing. Most solar cars are designed only for controlled conditions on a track, but the Power of One project’s focus is practical solar technology that manufacturers can adapt into future mass-produced vehicles.

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