Christopher A. Ebbers
Bonded, Walk-Off Compensated Optical Elements
U.S. Patent 6,544,330 B2
April 8, 2003
A bonded, walk-off compensated crystal, for use with optical equipment
and methods of making optical components.
Joel N. Ullom
U.S. Patent 6,581,387 B1
June 24, 2003
A normal-insulator-superconductor (NIS) microrefrigerator in which
a superconducting single crystal is both the substrate and the
superconducting electrode of the NIS junction. The refrigerator
consists of a large, ultrapure superconducting single crystal and
a normal metal layer on top of the superconducting crystal, separated
by a thin insulating layer. The superconducting crystal can be
either cut from bulk material or grown as a thick epitaxial film.
The large, single superconducting crystal allows quasiparticles
created in the superconducting crystal to easily diffuse away from
the NIS junction through the lattice structure of the crystal to
normal metal traps, preventing the quasiparticles from returning
across the NIS junction. The invention provides orders of magnitude
larger cooling power than thin-film NIS microrefrigerators. The
superconducting crystal can serve as the superconducting electrode
for multiple NIS junctions to provide an array of microrefrigerators.
The normal electrode can be extended, and microsupports provide
support and cooling of sensors or arrays of sensors.
Jeffrey A. Koch
X-Ray Shearing Interferometer
U.S. Patent 6,590,954 B1
July 8, 2003
An x-ray interferometer for analyzing high-density plasmas and
optically opaque materials includes a pointlike x-ray source for
providing a broadband x-ray source. The x rays are directed through
a target material and then are reflected by a high-density, ellipsoidally
bent imaging crystal to a diffraction grating disposed at 1X magnification.
A spherically bent imaging crystal is used when the x rays that
are incident on the crystal surface are normal to that surface.
The diffraction grating produces multiple beams that interfere
with one another to produce an interference pattern, which contains
information about the target. A detector is disposed at the position
of the image of the target produced by the interfering beams.
John Chang, Waleed Haddad, Jan-Ulco Kluiwstra, Dennis Matthews,
Ultrasound Image-Guided Acetabular Implant
Orientation during Total Hip Replacement
U.S. Patent 6,607,487 B2
August 19, 2003
A system for assisting in precise location of the acetabular implant
during total hip replacement. The system uses ultrasound imaging
for guiding the placement and orientation of the implant.
Joe H. Satcher, Jr., Theodore F. Baumann
Metal-Doped Organic Gels and Method Thereof
U.S. Patent 6,613,809 B2
September 2, 2003
A sol-gel polymerization process for synthesizing metal-doped organic
gels. The process polymerizes metal salts of hydroxylated benzenes
or hydroxylated benzene derivatives with alkyl or aryl aldehydes
to form metal-doped, wet, organic gels. The gels can then be dried
by supercritical solvent extraction to form metal-doped aerogels
or by evaporation to form metal-doped xerogels. The aerogels and
xerogels can then be pyrolyzed.
Babak Sadigh, Thomas J. Lenosky, Tomas Diaz de la Rubia, Martin
Giles, Maria-Jose Caturla, Vidvuds Ozolins, Mark Asta, Silva Theiss,
Majeed Foad, Andrew Quong
Semiconductor Material and Method for Enhancing
Solubility of a Dopant Therein
U.S. Patent 6,617,228 B2
September 9, 2003
A method for enhancing the equilibrium solubility of boron and
indium in silicon. The method involves first-principles quantum
mechanical calculations to determine the temperature dependence
of the equilibrium solubility of two important p-type dopants in
silicon, namely boron and indium, under various strain conditions.
The equilibrium thermodynamic solubility of size-mismatched impurities,
such as boron and indium in silicon, can be raised significantly
if the silicon substrate is strained appropriately. For example,
for boron, a 1-percent compressive strain raises the equilibrium
solubility by 100 percent at 1,100°C, and for indium,
a 1-percent tensile strain at 1,100°C enhances solubility
by 200 percent.
Charles S. Vann
Miniature Laser Tracker
U.S. Patent 6,618,132 B1
September 9, 2003
This small, inexpensive, noncontact laser sensor can detect the location of a
retroreflective target in a relatively large volume and up to 6 degrees of position.
The tracker’s laser beam is formed into a plane of light, which is swept
across the space of interest. When the beam illuminates the retroreflector, some
of the light returns to the tracker. The intensity, angle, and time of the return
beam is measured to calculate the three-dimensional location of the target. With
three retroreflectors on the target, the locations of three points on the target
are measured, enabling the calculation of all 6 degrees of target position.
now, devices for three-dimensional tracking of objects in a large volume have
been heavy, large, and expensive. Because of the simplicity and unique characteristics
of this tracker, it is capable of three-dimensional tracking of one to several
objects in a large volume; yet, it is compact, lightweight, and relatively
inexpensive. Alternatively, a tracker produces a diverging laser
beam that is directed toward
a fixed position and senses when a retroreflective target enters the fixed
field of view. An optically bar-coded target can be read by the
tracker to provide
information about the target. The target can be formed from a ball lens with
a bar code on one end. As the target moves through the field, the ball lens
causes the laser beam to scan across the bar code.
Raymond M. Brusasco, Bernardino M. Penetrante, James A. Butler,
Walter Grundler, George K. Governo
CO2 Laser and Plasma Microjet Process for
Improving Laser Optics
U.S. Patent 6,620,333 B2
September 16, 2003
An optic is produced for operation at the fundamental neodymium-doped yttrium–aluminum–garnet
(Nd:YAG) laser wavelength of 1.06 micrometers through the tripled Nd:YAG
laser wavelength of 355 nanometers using a method to reduce or eliminate
the growth of laser damage sites in the optics. The optics are processed to stop
the damage from growing to a predetermined critical size. A system is provided
for mitigating the growth of laser-induced damage in optics by virtue of localized
removal of glass and absorbing material.
John F. Poco, Lawrence W. Hrubesh
Method to Produce Alumina Aerogels Having
Porosities Greater Than 80 Percent
U.S. Patent 6,620,458 B2
September 16, 2003
A two-step method for producing monolithic alumina aerogels having porosities
of greater than 80 percent. Strong, low-density alumina aerogel monoliths are
prepared using the two-step sol-gel process. The method of preparing pure alumina
aerogel modifies the previously known sol method by combining the use of substoichiometric
water for hydrolysis, acetic acid to control hydrolysis and condensation, and
high-temperature supercritical drying, all of which contribute to the formation
of a polycrystalline aerogel microstructure. This structure gives the alumina
aerogel exceptional mechanical properties as well as enhanced thermal resistance
and high-temperature stability.
Michael D. Perry, Brent C. Stuart
Ultrashort-Pulse Laser Machining of Metals
U.S. Patent 6,621,040 B1
September 16, 2003
A method for high-precision machining (cutting, drilling, sculpting) of metals
and alloys. Pulses in the 10-femtosecond to 100-picosecond range allow for extremely
precise machining essentially without producing any heat- or shock-affected zones.
Because the pulses are so short, negligible thermal conduction exists beyond
the region removed. This results in negligible thermal stress or shock to the
material beyond approximately 0.1 to 1 micrometer (dependent upon the particular
material) from the laser-machined surface. Because of the short duration, the
high intensity associated with the interaction converts the material directly
from the solid state into an ionized plasma. Hydrodynamic expansion of the plasma
eliminates the need for ancillary techniques to remove material and produces
extremely high-quality machined surfaces with negligible redeposition either
within the kerf or on the surface. Because heating is negligible beyond the depth
of material removed, the composition of the remaining material is unaffected
by the laser machining process. Thus, alloys and even pure metals can be machined
with high precision with no change in the material’s grain structure.