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Surface Plasmon-Enhanced Si:Er Infrared Light-Emitting Diodes

Plasmons are collective oscillations of the free electrons in a metal or an ionized gas. Plasmons dominate the optical properties of noble-metal nanoparticles, which enables a variety of applications including electromagnetic energy transport at nanoscale dimensions, single-molecule Raman spectroscopy, and photothermal cancer therapy. Plasmons also affect the spontaneous emission dynamics of optical emitters positioned in the vicinity of metal nanoparticles. The luminescence intensity can either be enhanced or quenched, depending on the geometry. Since the associated enhancements can potentially be several orders of magnitude, plasmon-enhanced luminescence is the subject of intense research. This project focused on plasmon-enhanced luminescence of silicon quantum dots (Si QDs) and optically active erbium ions. Both these emitters are compatible with silicon processing technology, and are therefore of great technological interest.

Posted in: Briefs, Photonics, Light emitting diodes (LEDs), Gases, Materials properties, Nanomaterials
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ARM-Based 32-Bit MCUs

STMicroelectronics (Geneva, Switzerland) has announced that the roadmap for its breakthrough STM32 family of 32-bit MCUs based on ARM® Cortex-MT processor cores will include new devices centered on the Cortex-M4 and the Cortex-M0 cores from ARM. In addition, ST also announced the availability of its new STM32 F-2 series MCUs that unleash the performance of the Cortex-M3 core. The Cortex-M4 from ARM is an upwardly compatible version of the Cortex-M3, offering DSP instructions and a Floating Point Unit (FPU). The core will be used in new high-performance variants of STM32 products to be sampled in 2011. ST's new STM32 F-2 microcontroller series combines ST's advanced 90nm process technology with the company's innovative Adaptive Real-Time memory accelerator (ART AcceleratorT) to unleash the Cortex-M3 core's maximum processing performance.

Posted in: Products, Products, Electronics & Computers
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3-Axis Acceleration Sensor

Saelig Company, Inc. (Pittsford, NY) has introduced JoyWarrior24F14, a high-resolution USB-connected 3-axis acceleration sensor with 125μg sensitivity. The new USB-powered JoyWarrior24F14 offers acceleration resolution down to 125μg. JoyWarrior24F14 modules are based on a MEMS sensor and measure with 14-bit resolution in the ranges ±1g, ±1.5g, ±2g, ±3g, ±4g, ±8g, or ±16g, delivering 125 results per second. Because JoyWarrior24F14 enumerates and works as a joystick, accessing the data can be easily done via the operating system's joystick API without installing any specific drivers. The included software operates on Windows and MacOS X platforms and contains a configuration tool to set the sensor parameters, with tilt angle measuring, a calibration tool, and a simple data recorder. Small size (30 x 33 x 5mm) and a low mass (

Posted in: Products, Products, Electronics & Computers
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PCIe/104 Single Board Computer

Kontron (Poway, CA) has introduced the world’s first PCIe/104™ embedded single board computer (SBC) based on the Intel® Atom™ E600C processor series, pairing an Intel Atom E600 series processor with an Altera Field Programmable Gate Array (FPGA) in a single package. The Kontron PCIe/104 MICROSPACE(R) MSMST is equipped with the Intel Atom E600C processor series ranging up to 1.3 GHz with up to 2 GB onboard DRAM system memory. All components are validated for the extended temperature range from -40 °C to +85 °C. The power optimized Intel Graphics Media Accelerator (Intel GMA 600) with up to 128 MByte, 18/24 Bit LVDS and SDVO interface is integrated in the processor. Video signals are carried out by optional media boards for VGA or DVI. Optional SPDIF (out) and two analog stereo connections for line-out and mic-in take care of the high-definition audio signals.

Posted in: Products, Products, Electronics & Computers
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Programmable Logic Controller

The new Vision1040™ PLC and integrated HMI from Unitronics (Quincy, MA) allows machine manufacturers and system integrators to add both a brilliant 10.4” color touch-screen equipped with 9 programmable function key display, and full PLC functionality to their systems. The memory holds 2MB of application logic, plus 1MB for fonts and 80MB for images. Features include Micro SD card memory storage for data logging and backup, complete PLC cloning and more. The controller can scan 1K of a typical application in 9μsec. Communication options include TCP/IP Ethernet, cellular, and industrial protocols such as MODBUS, DF1 slave, J1939, and CANopen.

Posted in: Products, Products, Electronics & Computers
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Video Camera

Goodrich Corp.’s ISR Systems Princeton (Princeton, NJ) has introduced the SU640HSX mil-hardened, indium gallium arsenide (InGaAs) shortwave infrared (SWIR) uncooled video camera for military imaging systems and covert surveillance. The camera features a 640 × 512 pixel format with a 25-micron pitch, dynamic range enhancements, expanded configuration memory, and an operating temperature range from -40 to 70 °C. The camera can image through atmospheric obscurants such as fog, haze, and smoke.

Posted in: Products
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Development of an Electrochemical Biosensor for Organophosphate Chemicals

Detection of organophosphate (OP) compounds has attracted much attention in terms of safeguarding human health, owing to their frequent use as pesticides in agriculture and their potential use as chemical warfare agents. Among a variety of biological methods based on the biocatalytic activity of organophosphorus hydrolase (OPH), amperometric, potentiometric, and optical biosensing devices have been developed for detecting OPs. Electrochemical biosensors in particular have been widely investigated to monitor various pesticides including OP compounds such as paraoxon, parathion, sarin, and soman via an enzyme-catalyzed hydrolysis reaction by OPH due to their fast speed, high efficiency, low cost, and small sample size.

Posted in: Briefs, Physical Sciences, Sensors and actuators, Volatile organic compounds, Medical, health, and wellness
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Novel Active Transient Cooling Systems

Energy-efficient cooling technology is extremely important in today’s society, considering the need for energy conservation and the urgent need to mitigate global warming. Near-room-temperature magnetic refrigeration is an emerging cooling technology that has several advantages compared to conventional gas-compression technology. It utilizes the magnetocaloric effect (MCE) in which heating and cooling of a magnetocaloric material (MCM) is induced by a varying external magnetic field. The magnetocaloric effect (the temperature change of a magnetic material due to the application of an external magnetic field) is the cornerstone of magnetic cooling.

Posted in: Briefs, Physical Sciences, Energy conservation, Cooling, Magnetic materials
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Diode Laser Sensor for Scramjet Inlets

The supersonic combustion ramjet (scramjet) engine is one of the more promising high-speed flight propulsion technologies. One of the reasons for this is the simplicity of the engine design, having no moving parts and requiring no external ignition source, and the fact that scramjets do not need to provide their own oxidizer. Despite this simplicity, several obstacles to the use of scramjet propulsion systems have become apparent, including the ability to produce sufficient fuel-air mixing at high speed, large total pressure losses, reduction in specific impulse with increasing flight Mach number, and the sensitivity of combustion to inlet temperature. This last problem can be very significant.

Posted in: Briefs, Physical Sciences, Lasers, Sensors and actuators, Combustion and combustion processes, Scramjet engines
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MALDI-MSI Imaging of Latent Fingerprints

For years, forensic scientists have been seeking new methods to improve existing techniques for the visualization of latent fingerprints. The structured combination of optical methods (diffused reflection, luminescence, UV absorption and reflection), physical methods (powdering, vacuum metal deposition, small particle reagent), physico-chemical methods (physical developer, multi-metal-deposition, iodine, cyanoacrylate), and chemical methods (ninhydrin and its analogues, DFO, etc.), permits a highly efficient processing of the secretions deposited by the fingers on a great variety of substrates. To visualize these developed fingerprints, alternative light sources or laser-based detection methods are commonly used. However, like all other existing techniques, these optical methods do not work in all possible cases, and certain types of latent fingerprints or object surfaces with unique characteristics may be problematic.

Posted in: Briefs, Physical Sciences, Imaging, Lasers, Optics, Spectroscopy, Identification
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