Imaging & Detector Industry Report

Nov. 1, 2000
eMagin demonstrates high-resolution color OLED microdisplay; National Science Foundation establishes imaging research center; NanoSciences gets NASA funding to improve microchannel plates ...

eMagin demonstrates high-resolution color OLED microdisplay
eMagin (East Fishkill, NY) unveiled a full-color active-matrix OLED-on-silicon microdisplay at this year's International Display Research Conference (Sept. 25-28; Palm Beach, FL). The display contains 1.3 million 12-µm subpixels in a quadpixel arrangement (four subpixels per color group). The OLED material itself emits white light, with color provided by filters built directly onto the display. The full-color capability is built upon the company's military, medical, and industrial-oriented 1280 x 1024-pixel display demonstrated last year. eMagin plans to apply the technology to a consumer version available for sampling to systems manufacturers in early 2001. Combined with near-eye optical systems, the display will produce large-screen virtual images useful for entertainment and for wearable wireless computers.

National Science Foundation establishes imaging research center
A new engineering research center, the Center for Subsurface Sensing and Imaging Systems (CenSSIS), has been established by the National Science Foundation (NSF) at Northeastern University (Boston, MA). Engineers at the center will develop new technologies to detect and image objects underwater, underground, or embedded within living tissue or man-made structures. Under a five-year, $16.2 million grant, the center will receive $2.6 million from the NSF for the first year, with additional support from industrial and academic partners and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Combined funding for the first year is expected to reach $8 million. Northeastern's existing research includes using optical, electromagnetic, and acoustical sensing to detect land mines. Biomedical researchers at CenSISS will develop better microscopes and other imagers for medical use. A partial list of collaborators includes Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (Troy, NY), Massachusetts General Hospital (Boston, MA), Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (Livermore, CA), and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (Woods Hole, MA).

NanoSciences gets NASA funding to improve microchannel plates
NASA has awarded a Phase II SBIR contract to NanoSciences Corp. (Oxford, CT), a company engaged in micromachining of silicon and other materials, to investigate high-gain, low-noise silicon microchannel-plate technology using diamond layers and high-bias-angle channels. The technology would improve night-vision systems and allow for direct digitization of low-light-level images. Because the devices are silicon-based, electronics could be directly integrated with electro-optics devices, resulting in small, high-performance light sensors for instrumentation. The microchannel plates could also be used in new types of photomultiplier tubes for use as endpoint receivers in telecommunications. Growth, characterization, and device-processing issues associated with the integration of diamond films into the fabrication process will be examined, with close attention paid to treatment of the diamond layer to produce a negative-electron-affinity surface. The aim is to produce microchannel plates of up to 60-mm diameter with uniform optoelectronic properties.

SITe to supply large CCDs for satellite star mapper
Scientific Imaging Technologies (SITe; Tigard, OR) has been awarded a contract to supply 56 CCDs for the Full-sky Astrometric Mapping Explorer (FAME), a satellite that will map 40 million stars and search for extrasolar planets. To be launched in 2004, the $162 million FAME mission is part of the NASA medium-class explorer program and is a collaboration between the US Naval Observatory (Washington, DC), Lockheed Martin Space Systems (Sunnyvale, CA), the Naval Research Laboratory (Washington, DC), and the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory (Cambridge, MA). The CCDs are 4096 x 2048, 15-µm-pixel devices that will be thinned and configured with an antireflective coating at SITe's new 6-in.-wafer thinning facility.

Also in the news . . .
Philips Research Laboratories (Eindhoven, The Netherlands) made a 64 x 64-pixel active-matrix polymer display with potential use as a flexible electronic newspaper. . . . Three-Five Systems (Tempe, AZ) received a multimillion-dollar order from Siemens Mobile Phone Division (Austin, TX) for custom LCDs and another from Samsung (Seoul, Korea) for SXGA liquid-crystal-on-silicon microdisplays.

John Wallace

For more business news, subscribe to Optoelectronics Report. Contact Jayne Sears-Renfer at [email protected].

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