A team of researchers led by Margaret Murnane and Henry Kapteyn at the University of Colorado developed a sharply focused, ultraviolet or extreme-ultraviolet (EUV) light source that can be used to measure and manipulate objects at the nano-scale. Size has been a major hurdle to developing, or even seeing, the tiny components because the objects can be smaller than the waves of light illuminating them. EUV light, which has a wavelength of only tens of nanometers, can pulse in shorter bursts than any other system currently available. To create this short-wavelength light, Kapteyn and associates use a laser at visible wavelengths, and then convert the light to much shorter wavelengths using high harmonic generation (HHG)–combining photons to generate much higher-energy photons with a correspondingly shorter wavelength. Kapteyn expects the light source to be used for developing and testing EUV lithography equipment. For more information, contact: Josh Chamot from the National Science Foundation at jchamot@ nsf.gov or phone, (703) 292-8070.
For industrial control applications, or even a simple assembly line, that machine can go almost 24/7 without a break. But what happens when the task is a little more complex? That’s where the “smart” machine would come in. The smart machine is one that has some simple (or complex in some cases) processing capability to be able to adapt to changing conditions. Such machines are suited for a host of applications, including automotive, aerospace, defense, medical, computers and electronics, telecommunications, consumer goods, and so on. This discussion will examine what’s possible with smart machines, and what tradeoffs need to be made to implement such a solution.