Tech Briefs

Improved Photon-Emission-Microscope System

An advanced photon-emission microscope is combined with the latest image-processing software. NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California An improved photon-emission-microscope (PEM) instrumentation system has been developed for use in diagnosing failure conditions in semiconductor devices, including complex integrated circuits. This system is designed primarily to image areas that emit photons, at wavelengths from 400 to 1,100 nm, associated with device failures caused by leakage of electric current through SiO2 and other dielectric materials used in multilayer semiconductor structures. In addition, the system is sensitive enough to image areas that emit photons during normal operation. This system supplants a prior PEM system based on a photon-intensified, gated, charge-coupled-device (CCD) camera.

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

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Production of Tuber-Inducing Factor

This substance regulates the growth of potatoes and some other plants. A process for making a substance that regulates the growth of potatoes and some other economically important plants has been developed. The process also yields an economically important by-product: potatoes.

Posted in: Medical, Briefs

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Vacuum-Assisted, Constant- Force Exercise Device

An important advantage over other exercise machines would be light weight.

Posted in: Medical, Briefs

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Silicon Modulator Brings Optical Computing A Step Closer

This electrically driven, compact silicon modulator is based on a photonic crystal design. University of Texas at Austin and Omega Optics, Austin, Texas For decades, silicon has not been considered a favorable material for manipulating light. Electrical Engineering Professor Ray Chen at the University of Texas at Austin and Wei Jiang at Omega Optics in Austin recently developed an electrically driven, compact silicon modulator based on a photonic crystal design that offers significant performance improvements over existing Mach-Zehnder Interferometer (MZI)-based silicon modulators.

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

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Simulation Keeps Optical Transceiver Signals in Place

Electromagnetic analysis software helps designers avoid FCC and CE compliance pitfalls. Flomerics, Inc., Marlborough, Massachusetts Problems emerge when electromagnetically “hot” optical transceivers are placed into systems that are bound by emissions limits. Because radiating transceivers are mounted externally or couple to inherent features of systems such as air vents, seams, and holes, they break the integrity of the enclosure shield and cause these systems to behave like antennas, amplifying energy generated inside systems and then transmitting to the outside world.

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

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Quantum-Dot Laser for Wavelengths of 1.8 to 2.3 μm

Process conditions must be controlled to form quantum dots at sufficient density. NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California The figure depicts a proposed semiconductor laser, based on In(As)Sb quantum dots on a (001) InP substrate, that would operate in the wavelength range between 1.8 and 2.3 μm. InSb and InAsSb are the smallest-bandgap conventional III-V semiconductor materials, and the present proposal is an attempt to exploit the small bandgaps by using InSb and InAsSb nanostructures as mid-infrared emitters.

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

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Tunable Filter Made From Three Coupled WGM Resonators

This is a prototype of high-performance filters for photonic applications. NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California A tunable third-order band-pass optical filter has been constructed as an assembly of three coupled, tunable, whispering-gallery-mode resonators similar to the one described in “Whispering-Gallery-Mode Tunable Narrow-Band-Pass Filter” (NPO-30896), NASA Tech Briefs, Vol. 28, No. 4 (April 2004), page 5a. This filter offers a combination of four characteristics that are desirable for potential applications in photonics: (1) wide real-time tunability accompanied by a high-order filter function, (2) narrowness of the passband, (3) relatively low loss between input and output coupling optical fibers, and (4) a sparse spectrum. In contrast, prior tunable band-pass optical filters have exhibited, at most, two of these four characteristics.

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

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