Tech Exchange

Flat-Plate Lens Achieves Negative Refraction at 100-nm Resolution

AIST InnovationsExperiments with holograms have led to a thin-film flat-plate lens that has a periodic (layered) structure and that is capable of a resolution of 100 nm or finer. The flat lens provides excellent image-forming characteristics by the incidence of light having a wavelength slightly shorter than the wavelength corresponding to the frequency period of the thin film. The structure can exhibit a negative refractive index at high angles of incidence. This lens technology exhibits uniform performance in image formation all over the lens surface. The thin film of the periodic structure is formed by alternate laminations (and pluralities of laminations) of two materials having different refractive indices.

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PicoEndo Tethered Endoscope

Stevrin & PartnersThe PicoEndo endoscope is the smallest tethered endoscope in the world (4.5mm × 12.0mm). It is also inexpensive enough to use and discard. The PicoEndo system is applicable to medical tasks such as photographing the surface of the esophagus, and to applications in any industry that needs to place a tiny electronic camera eye in a location that is difficult to view. It can be adapted to optical biopsy by changing its lighting mix. Because of its tether, which also acts as an electronic connection and steering cable, the body does not have to contain batteries, memory, or processing electronics.

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Super Bulk Production of Single-Walled Carbon Nanotubes

Japan Industrial Technology Association Highly pure, single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWNTs) are mass-produced in bulk forms such as vertically aligned “forests” through a process called Super CVD, a supercharged chemical vapor deposition (CVD) process. Structures of carbon SWNT are patterned and their growth controlled using specialized methods and furnaces.

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Ruggedized Micro Spectrometer Module

Mutoh America Inc. Developed originally for color-matching inks on digital printers, Mutoh’s spectrometer modules offer a plug-in solution that carries its own ADC, MCU, and memory onboard. These devices employ an optical system different from most other spectrometers sold today: Mutoh’s patent-pending DP1 “digital prism” spectral sensor. This sensor replaces the traditional slit/grating/imager design with a single spectral imaging chip in a 1 × 9-mm footprint. Current designs can deliver 3-nanometer resolution with >4000:1 dynamic range and low signal-to-noise ratio. Deconvolution of the raw sensor data is handled by the integrated logic, delivering calibrated spectral data without the need for a back-end processor. These modules are rugged, highly customizable, low-cost even in small volumes, and offer a high degree of design versatility.

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Low-Cost “Green” Coatings Modify Metal Surfaces

GreenKote Greenkote coating technology is a coating method for steel and other metals that can replace a range of existing coating methods. The coating is environmentally friendly, and it is applicable to a range of base materials. In the process, parts are introduced to a rotating oven, along with powder. The powder content and the thermal cycle define the characteristics of the coating and surface. Atoms of the desired metal diffuse into the surface of the part, growing the coating from within the surface. The Greenkote technology has the following advantages over regular diffusion coatings: uses 90% less powder, uses 50% less energy and thermal cycle time, and there is a virtually infinite number of possible coatings.

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Positive-Locking Fastener

Phil-Lok Fastener Most locking fastener systems use some sort of vibrationresistant method to prevent fastener loosening. The most common method is the lock washer, in use for over 100 years. Although lock washers will inhibit rotation of the nut by increasing friction, they do not provide a positive rotation stopping force. Similarly, nylon inserts can increase frictional forces.

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Xyloy™ Injection-Molded Zinc/Aluminum Alloy

Cool Polymers Xyloy™ is an injection-molded zinc/aluminum alloy processed in conventional plastic injection-molding equipment and molds. The Xyloy technology enables 3D netshaped metal parts right from the mold. Xyloy requires no carriers or binders, and — unlike die-cast metal parts — imposes no secondary processing steps for out-of-the-mold finished parts. Strong, lightweight parts with walls as thin as 0.010" are obtainable, with no porosity, and are dimensionally stable to machined tolerances. The Xyloy technology enables existing plastic injection molding businesses to build new metal-based business within their existing injection-molding infrastructure.

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