Manufacturing & Prototyping

Next-Generation Microshutter Arrays for Large-Format Imaging and Spectroscopy

A next-generation microshutter array, LArge Microshutter Array (LAMA), was developed as a multi-object field selector. LAMA consists of small-scaled microshutter arrays that can be combined to form large-scale microshutter array mosaics. Microshutter actuation is accomplished via electrostatic attraction between the shutter and a counter electrode, and 2D addressing can be accomplished by applying an electrostatic potential between a row of shutters and a column, orthogonal to the row, of counter electrodes. Microelectromechanical system (MEMS) technology is used to fabricate the microshutter arrays.

Posted in: Manufacturing & Prototyping, Briefs, TSP

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Graphene Transparent Conductive Electrodes for Next- Generation Microshutter Arrays

Graphene is a single atomic layer of graphite. It is optically transparent and has high electron mobility, and thus has great potential to make transparent conductive electrodes. This invention contributes towards the development of graphene transparent conductive electrodes for next-generation microshutter arrays.

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Fabrication of a Cryogenic Terahertz Emitter for Bolometer Focal Plane Calibrations

The methods used produce an emitter that features greater precision. A fabrication process is reported for prototype emitters of THz radiation, which operate cryogenically, and should provide a fast, stable blackbody source suitable for characterization of THz devices. The fabrication has been demonstrated and, at the time of this reporting, testing was underway. The emitter is similar to a monolithic silicon bolometer in design, using both a lownoise thermometer and a heater element on a thermally isolated stage. An impedance-matched, high-emissivity coating is also integrated to tune the blackbody properties.

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Fabrication of an Absorber-Coupled MKID Detector

This allows for multiplexed microwave readout and, consequently, good spatial discrimination between pixels in the array. Absorber-coupled microwave kinetic inductance detector (MKID) arrays were developed for submillimeter and farinfrared astronomy. These sensors comprise arrays of lambda/2 stepped microwave impedance resonators patterned on a 1.5-mm-thick silicon membrane, which is optimized for optical coupling. The detector elements are supported on a 380-mm-thick micromachined silicon wafer. The resonators consist of parallel plate aluminum transmission lines coupled to low-impedance Nb microstrip traces of variable length, which set the resonant frequency of each resonator. This allows for multiplexed microwave readout and, consequently, good spatial discrimination between pixels in the array. The transmission lines simultaneously act to absorb optical power and employ an appropriate surface impedance and effective filling fraction. The fabrication techniques demonstrate high-fabrication yield of MKID arrays on large, single- crystal membranes and sub-micron front-to-back alignment of the microstrip circuit.

Posted in: Manufacturing & Prototyping, Semiconductors & ICs, Briefs, TSP

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Techniques for Solution-Assisted Optical Contacting

A document discusses a “solutionassisted contacting” technique for optical contacting. An optic of surface flatness Lambda/20 was successfully contacted with one of “moderate” surface quality, or Lambda/4. Optics used were both ultra-low expansion (ULE) glass (Lambda/4 and Lambda/20) and fused silica (Lambda/20).  

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Processing of Nanosensors Using a Sacrificial Template Approach

This technique can be applied to a variety of applications, including leak detection, personal health monitoring, and environmental monitoring. A new microsensor fabrication approach has been demonstrated based upon the use of nanostructures as templates. The fundamental idea is that existing nanostructures, such as carbon nanotubes or biological structures, have a material structure that can be used advantageously in order to provide new sensor systems but lack the advantages of some materials to, for example, operate at high temperatures.

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Fabrication of a Cryogenic Bias Filter for Ultrasensitive Focal Plane

A fabrication process has been developed for cryogenic in-line filtering for the bias and readout of ultrasensitive cryogenic bolometers for millimeter and submillimeter wavelengths. The design is a microstripline filter that cuts out, or strongly attenuates, frequencies (10–50 GHz) that can be carried by wiring staged at cryogenic temperatures. The filter must have 100-percent transmission at DC and low frequencies where the bias and readout lines will carry signal. The fabrication requires the encapsulation of superconducting wiring in a dielectric-metal envelope with precise electrical characteristics. Sufficiently thick insulation layers with high-conductivity metal layers fully surrounding a patterned superconducting wire in arrayable formats have been demonstrated.

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