Optical wafer defect inspection at the 10 nm technology node and beyond

Diverse optical wafer defect inspection systems including (a) Brightfield/darkfield imaging system, (b) Dark-field imaging with null ellipsometry, (c) Through-focus scanning imaging microscopy, (d) Epi-diffraction phase microscopy, (e) Patterned wafer containing logic dies and 3D NAND memory dies, (f) X-ray ptychography, (g) THz wave-based defect inspection system, and (h) Coherent Fourier scatterometry techniques using different OAM … Read more

Study finds ultimate limits of spaceplates in optical systems

Conceptual image of a spaceplate reducing the distance at which light is focused over a broad range of wavelengths. Credit: Monticone Research Group Engineers working to miniaturize optical systems for modern electronics have seen great success when it comes to the most familiar components, the lenses and optical sensors. It’s been more challenging to reduce … Read more

An interchange for optical data superhighways

Nature Photonics (2022). DOI: 10.1038/s41566-022-01020-z” width=”800″ height=”530″/> Conceptual diagram of the self-calibrating integrated broadband PIC. Credit: Xingyuan Xu et al, Nature Photonics (2022). DOI: 10.1038/s41566-022-01020-z Research led by Monash and RMIT Universities in Melbourne has found a way to create an advanced photonic integrated circuit that builds bridges between data superhighways, revolutionizing the connectivity of … Read more

Are the sun’s magnetic arches an optical illusion?

Coronal loops on the Sun are captured in ultraviolet light using the 171 ångström channel of the Atmospheric Imaging Assembly (AIA) instrument on NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory. Credit: NASA/SDO From afar, the Sun appears blank and featureless in visible light. But through a solar telescope in different wavelength, it is revealed to be much, much … Read more

A novel all-optical switching method makes optical computing and communication systems more power-efficient

All-optical switch demo. Credit: Tampere University A group of photonics researchers at Tampere University have introduced a novel method to control a light beam with another beam through a unique plasmonic metasurface in a linear medium at ultra-low power. This simple linear switching method makes nanophotonic devices such as optical and communication systems more sustainable, … Read more

Self-cleaning optical fiber can help in monitoring environment and diagnosing cancer

Utilizing two glasses with a different refractive index and stacked with a specific arrangement has allowed researchers to develop for the first time a multimodal fiber with a parabolic refractive index with transmission up to the mid-infrared and high nonlinearity. The spectrum of short pulses of light injected into the fiber massively broadens to span … Read more

Unexpected light behavior may be harnessed to improve optical communications and sensors

The NIST team directed light into an ultrathin layer of silicon nitride etched with grooves to create a diffraction grating. If the separation between the grooves and the wavelength of light is carefully chosen, the intensity of light declines much more slowly, linearly rather than exponentially. Credit: S. Kelley/NIST Shine a flashlight into a murky … Read more