Free Newsletters - Space - Defense - Environment - Energy - Solar - Nuclear
..
. Space Industry and Business News .




CHIP TECH
NIST shows how to make a compact frequency comb in minutes
by Staff Writers
Washington DC (SPX) Jul 15, 2013


NIST physicists have developed a one-minute process for creating optical microcavities made of fused quartz. The photo shows four cavities with diameters (top to bottom) of 0.36 millimeters (mm), 0.71 mm, 1.2 mm, and 1.5 mm. When excited with laser light, the cavities can be used for many applications, including the generation of frequency combs used to precisely measure different colors of light. Smaller cavities produce wider spacing between the comb "teeth" (specific colors). Credit: Del'Haye/NIST.

Laser frequency combs-high-precision tools for measuring different colors of light in an ever-growing range of applications such as advanced atomic clocks, medical diagnostics and astronomy-are not only getting smaller but also much easier to make.

Physicists at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) can now make the core of a miniature frequency comb in one minute.* Conventional microfabrication techniques, by contrast, may require hours, days or even weeks.

The NIST technique involves laser machining of a quartz rod (a common type of glass) to shape and polish a small, smooth disk within which light can circulate (see video clip). The user controls the size and shape of this optical cavity, or resonator.

Its diameter can be varied from about one-fifth of a millimeter to 8 millimeters, and its thickness and curvature can be shaped as well. The quality factor-Q factor, which is a measure of the length of time light circulates inside the cavity without leaking out-equals or exceeds that of cavities made by other methods.

After machining the quartz, NIST scientists use a small, low-power infrared laser to pump light into it. A primary benefit of the high Q factor is that only a few milliwatts of laser light are required to generate a comb.

"We make a resonator in one minute, and one minute after that we are making a frequency comb," NIST researcher Scott Papp says.

View a brief video of the laser machining technique with Scott Papp.

NIST's one-minute method is simple and far less expensive than conventional microfabrication. The system for the NIST process costs about $10,000-most of that for purchase of a carbon dioxide laser used for cutting-compared to between $1 million and $10 million for a microfabrication system that must be used in a cleanroom.

A full-size frequency comb uses high-power, ultrafast lasers and is generally the size of a small table. NIST researchers have been making compact frequency combs for several years and often make cavities out of bulk fused quartz, an inexpensive glass material.**

By confining light in a small space, the optical cavity-which, confusingly enough, is solid-enhances optical intensity and interactions. The comb itself is the light, which starts out as a single color or frequency that through optical processes is transformed to a set of additional shades, each sharply defined and equally spaced on the spectrum.

A typical NIST microcomb might have 300 "teeth," or ticks on the ruler, each a slightly different color. A key advantage of microcombs is the ability to tune the spacing between the teeth, as needed, for applications such as calibrating astronomical instruments. The spacing is determined by the size of the cavity; a smaller cavity results in wider spacing between the comb teeth.

Scientists plan to apply for a patent on the machining technique, which could be applied to a variety of other glassy materials. Future NIST research will focus on continuing improvements in comb performance and use of the resonators in other compact applications such as optical frequency standards and low-noise microwave oscillators.

The research is supported, in part, by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency and National Aeronautics and Space Administration. * S.B. Papp, P. Del'Haye and S.A. Diddams. 2013. Mechanical control of a microrod-resonator optical frequency comb. Physical Review X. 3, 031003 (2013). DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevX.3.031003. Published online July 8, 2013.; P. Del'Haye, S.A. Diddams and S.B. Papp. 2013. Laser-Machined Ultra-High-Q Microrod Resonators for Nonlinear Optics. Applied Physics Letters. Posted online June 7, 2013.; ** See 2011 NIST Tech Beat article, "Future 'Comb on a Chip': NIST's Compact Frequency Comb Could Go Places,"

.


Related Links
National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)
Computer Chip Architecture, Technology and Manufacture
Nano Technology News From SpaceMart.com






Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle




Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News





CHIP TECH
New analytical methodology can guide electrode optimization
Chicago IL (SPX) Jul 11, 2013
Using a new analytical methodology--a coupled micro-computed X-ray tomography (MicroCT) and microfluidic-based electrochemical analysis--researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign are gaining new insights into electrode structure-performance relationships for energy conversion and storage devices. "Electrodes play a vital role in all devices based on heterogeneous electr ... read more


CHIP TECH
Cool it, quick: Rapid cooling leads to stronger alloys

Bioengineers Use Adhesion to Combine Silicones and Organic Materials

NASA's OPALS to Beam Data From Space Via Laser

Experts row over 'earliest' Chinese inscriptions find

CHIP TECH
Northrop Grumman Moves New B-2 Satellite Communications Concept to the High Ground

Canada links up on secure U.S. military telecoms network

Lockheed Martin-Built MUOS Satellite Encapsulated In Launch Vehicle Payload Fairing

Northrop Grumman, MILSATCOM Conduct Preliminary Design Review of Enhanced Polar System Control and Planning Segment

CHIP TECH
Special group to be set up for inspecting production of Proton-M carrier rockets

Two Rockets Launched From Wallops

Specialists unrelated to Khrunichev to check Proton-M rocket production

Proton Rocket to Stay in Demand Despite Accidents

CHIP TECH
GPS System Improved as New Boeing Satellite Enters Service

Tests advance U.S. program for new GPS satellites

Russia to launch 2 Glonass satellites

GPS maker Garmin unveils heads-up traffic display for cars

CHIP TECH
Tests clear Czech army's faulty Spain-made military planes

US set to deliver F-16s to Egypt: officials

China suffers world's worst flight delays: report

F-35 Pilot Cadre Grows to 100 as Training Ramps Up at Eglin AFB

CHIP TECH
NIST shows how to make a compact frequency comb in minutes

New analytical methodology can guide electrode optimization

TU Vienna develops light transistor

Solving electron transfer

CHIP TECH
Research reveals Earth's core affects length of day

Google ditches location-sharing feature in map apps

Google updates Map app with new traffic, exploration functions

Long-lived oceanography satellite decommissioned after equipment fails

CHIP TECH
S.Korea court orders US firms to pay up over Agent Orange

Less haze in Singapore as the cause becomes clearer and more complex

Harvard researchers warn of legacy mercury in the environment

Noise and the city - Hong Kong's struggle for quiet




The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement