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October 2002

The Laboratory
in the News

Commentary by
Hal Graboske

Sending Up Signals for Genetic Variation

SiMM Is Anything But Simple

World's Most Powerful Solid-State Laser

Stepping Up to Extreme Lithography

Relief for Acute and Chronic Pain

Energy and Environment: Understanding Our World





Michael C. Rushford
Optical Monitor for Real Time Thickness Change Measurements Via Lateral-Translation Induced Phase-Stepping Interferometry
U.S. Patent 6,411,389 B1
June 25, 2002
An optical instrument for monitoring etch depth and etch rate to control a wet-etching process. The instrument provides means for viewing through the back side of a thick optic onto a nearly index-matched interface. Optical baffling and the application of a photoresist mask minimize spurious reflections, which allows monitoring with extremely weak signals. A Wollaston prism enables linear translation for phase stepping.

Robert J. Deri, Anthony J. DeGroot, Ronald E. Haigh
High-Performance Parallel Processors Based on Star-Coupled Wavelength Division Multiplexing Optical Interconnects
U.S. Patent 6,411,418 B1
June 25, 2002
As the performance of individual elements within parallel processing systems increases, increased communication between distributed processor and memory elements is required. There is great interest in using fiber optics to improve interconnect communication beyond that attainable with electronic technology. Several groups have considered wavelength-division-multiplexing, star-coupled optical interconnects. The invention has a fiber-optic transceiver to provide low-latency, high-bandwidth channels for such interconnects using a robust, multimode fiber technology. Instruction-level simulation quantifies the bandwidth, latency, and concurrency required for such interconnects to scale to 256 nodes, each operating at 1-gigaops performance. Performance scales have been shown to approximate 100 gigaops for scientific application kernels using a small number of wavelengths (8 to 32), only one wavelength received per node, and achievable optoelectronic bandwidth and latency.

Kenneth L. Blaedel, Pete J. Davis, Charles S. Landram
Method for Maintaining a Cutting Blade Centered in a Kerf
U.S. Patent 6,412,377 B1
July 2, 2002
A saw having a self-pumped hydrodynamic blade guide or bearing for retaining the saw blade in a centered position in the saw kerf (width of cut made by the saw). The hydrodynamic blade guide or bearing uses pockets or grooves incorporated into the sides of the blade. The saw kerf in the workpiece provides the guide or bearing stator surface. Both sides of the blade entrain cutting fluid as the blade enters the kerf in the workpiece, and the trapped fluid provides pressure between the blade and the workpiece as an inverse function of the gap between the blade surface and the workpiece surface. If the blade wanders from the center of the kerf, then one gap will increase and one gap will decrease. The consequent pressure difference between the two sides of the blade will cause the blade to recenter itself in the kerf. Saws using the hydrodynamic blade guide or bearing have particular application in slicing slabs from boules of single-crystal materials, for example, as well as for cutting other difficult-to-saw materials such as ceramics, glass, and brittle composite materials.

Muriel Y. Ishikawa, Lowell L. Wood, E. Michael Campbell, Brent C. Stuart, Michael D. Perry
Composition Analysis by Scanning Femtosecond Laser Ultraprobing (CASFLU)
U.S. Patent 6,414,320 B1
July 2, 2002
The composition analysis by scanning femtosecond ultraprobing (CASFLU) technology scans a focused train of extremely short-duration, very intense laser pulses across a sample. The partially ionized plasma ablated by each pulse is spectrometrically analyzed in real time to determine the ablated material’s composition. The steering of the scanned beam can then be computer-directed to either continue ablative material removal at the same site or to successively remove nearby material for the same type of composition analysis. This invention has utility in high-speed chemical-elemental, molecular-fragment, and isotopic analyses of the microstructure composition of complex objects, for example, the oxygen isotopic compositions of large populations of single osteons in bone.

Anthony F. Bernhardt, Vincent Malba
Three-Dimensional Coil Inductor
U.S. Patent 6,417,754 B1
July 9, 2002
A three-dimensional coil inductor, which includes a substrate, a set of lower electrically conductive traces positioned on the substrate, a core placed over the lower traces, a set of side electrically conductive traces laid on the core and the lower traces, and a set of upper electrically conductive traces attached to the side traces so as to form the inductor. Fabrication of the inductor includes the steps of forming a set of lower traces on a substrate, positioning a core over the lower traces, forming a set of side traces on the core, connecting the side traces to the lower traces, forming a set of upper traces on the core, and connecting the upper traces to the side traces so as to form a coil structure.

Duncan J. Maitland
Light Diffusing Fiber Optic Chamber
U.S. Patent 6,418,252 B1
July 9, 2002
A light-diffusion system for transmitting light to a target area. The light is transmitted in a direction from a proximal end to a distal end by an optical fiber. A diffusing chamber is operatively connected to the optical fiber for transmitting the light from the proximal end to the distal end and transmitting said light to said target area. A plug is operatively connected to the diffusing chamber for increasing the light that is transmitted to the target area.


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