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News Article | December 20, 2016
Site: en.prnasia.com

SINGAPORE, Dec. 20, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- In a global manufacturing outlook report, 49 per cent of manufacturers surveyed were reported to be investing six per cent of their revenues in R&D and innovation, in a push to transform their businesses. Asian manufacturing companies surveyed exhibited the highest investment expectations, with a majority of respondents from China, Japan and India indicating they would spend more than six per cent of their revenues on technology and innovation. 25 per cent of the respondents have already poured investment in avant garde technologies such as 3D printing. Riding on a wave of renaissance in the industry, MTA2017 -- Asia's premier manufacturing technology industry event returning from 4 to 7 April at the Singapore Expo, will kick off a host of new features -- The Optics & Photonics Innovation Hub, The Semiconductor Innovation Centre, and a 3D Printing Seminar. "As manufacturing continues to evolve and value creation has become an integral component of the change process, many traditional manufacturing businesses in the Asian region need to become agile and embrace change. The new features, along with the recurring Capabilities Hub, are designed to serve industry players who are looking to leverage on technology and innovation to maintain their market leadership and stay ahead of the change curve," says Mr. William Lim, Project Director of Machinery Events at Singapore Exhibition Services, organiser of MTA2017. Lim adds, "More importantly, the newfound knowledge and skillsets will ensure that companies and their workforce will be well-positioned for growth opportunities in the new manufacturing era." In collaboration with the Optics and Photonics Society of Singapore (OPSS), LUX Photonics Consortium and The Photonics Institute, the Optics and Photonics Innovation Hub is dedicated to showcasing products and services in the field of optics and photonics. This specialised zone will bring together industry and academic leaders, manufacturers and suppliers to showcase the latest research and innovative products. Soda Vision, Del Mar Photonics / Team Photon Inc, Wavelength Opto-Electronic, Sintec Optronics and PI (Physik Instrumente) Singapore are among some of the confirmed exhibitors in the zone. "MTA is a wonderful platform for both local and international industry players in optical engineering to share knowledge, network and support one another in the region. The Optics and Photonics Society of Singapore (OPSS) is pleased to participate in MTA2017 in the Optics and Photonics Innovation Hub, as well as organise the icOPEN2017 conference. Through these initiatives, we hope to continue building and reinforcing the connections between industry and academia," says Professor Anand Asundi, Chairman of OPSS. "The LUX Photonics Consortium's main objective is to bring industry and academia together to collaborate on photonics research and innovation, and provide access to our member companies to global photonics research and industry network. MTA is one of the most established events that gather companies in various vertical segments of the market which are enabled by photonics technologies. Our participation in setting up the Optics & Photonics Innovation Hub provides a platform for our member companies to showcase their products and services in the optics and photonics sector, and expand their industry and business networks effectively," adds Professor Tjin Swee Chuan, Chairman of LUX Photonics Consortium. Some member companies of LUX Photonics Consortium confirmed to be participating at MTA include Finisar Singapore, Einst Technology, Hylax Technology, II-VI Singapore, D'Optron, Tip Biosystems, Lighthaus Photonics and Hillhouse Technology. According to the World Semiconductor Trade Statistics (WSTS), the worldwide semiconductor market is expected to increase 2 per cent in 2017 and 2.2 per cent in 2018. At MTA2017's Semiconductor Innovation Centre, visitors can get up close and personal with advanced semiconductor manufacturing technologies and solutions made for the evolving global electronics market, and learn how harnessing these technologies and solutions will enable the industry to compete in the global market. Some companies on board include Sandvik South East Asia, ISO-Dynamique Microsystems and Onn Wah Tech. Advances in additive manufacturing, or 3D printing as it is commonly known, have seen the application of more and more materials to the process and the creation of innovative solutions for the manufacturing industry. Besides a 3D Printing Technology Tour, a new 3D Printing Seminar will be held to impart technological updates, opportunities, issues and challenges impacting the industry. The National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Cluster and the Additive Manufacturing Innovation Centre by Nanyang Polytechnic will be featured on the show floor. A centrepiece at MTA, the Capabilities Hub gathers local parts and component manufacturers and service providers to highlight their manufacturing competencies in the high-value sectors of Aerospace, Complex Equipment, Medical Technology and Oil & Gas. Organised in partnership with the Singapore Institute of Manufacturing Technology (SIMTech), this area will see local and overseas players converge to network, exchange knowledge, discuss potential collaborations and forge partnerships. Confirmed exhibitors include CEI Limited, Microcast, Eratech, Solidmicron Technologies, Nano Technology Manufacturing, Onn Wah Precision Machining, Fujicon Engineering, Autec Solutions, ST Kinetics Integrated Engineering, JEP Precision Engineering and Wah Son Engineering, to name a few. Metrology solutions are important to the manufacturing process, from miniature electronics, intricate medical devices and precision components to large aircraft structures and oil & gas parts. MetrologyAsia2017 is dedicated to showcasing cutting-edge metrology and inspection equipment and spotlighting companies specialising in high-end test and measurement apparatuses and systems. Attendees will learn about the latest in metrology solutions from the top technology providers around the world. In a rapidly changing business landscape, having the right information at the right time is essential to business sustainability and success. With knowledge sharing being a vital element, the conferences at MTA2017 are specially formulated to enhance industry professionals' insights in new manufacturing concepts. The Smart Manufacturing Asia conference will have industry thought leaders and experts delving into pertinent topics and offering practical tips in digital manufacturing, Industry 4.0, robotics and industrial automation. The Precision Engineering Centre of Innovation (PE COI) Annual Conference and the International Conference on Optical and Photonic Engineering (icOPEN), both having seen highly successful editions, will return to debate on latest trends and issues facing the precision engineering industry. Singapore Exhibition Services is the organiser of MTA2017.


The coiled thread on a screw is among the 'chiral' structures' whose mirror image is different from the original. When reduced to the nanometer scale, these structures could have an important role in nanosensor technology. However, making a screw out of a straight wire is no small task, even in the macroscopic world. Making it on the nanoscale has previously used bottom-up methods that grow or assemble the structure in a gas or solution. But such approaches can be complicated, slow and expensive. Jun Wei from A*STAR's Singapore Institute of Manufacturing Technology and co-workers from the A*STAR Institute of Materials Research and Engineering, Nanyang Technological University and Nanjing Tech University in China, developed a simpler method that uses etching techniques to convert a straight nanowire into a screw. The team created 10-micrometer silver nanowires, 80 nanometers in diameter and with five sides. The structures were attached to a silicon substrate and then placed into a solution of silver nitride in ethylene glycol at 80 degrees Celsius for 20 minutes. The sample was then rinsed clean and the process repeated five times. When the resultant wires were imaged using a scanning transmission electron microscope the team observed smooth ridges and grooves reminiscent of screw threads. Interestingly, such a structure was not evident when a single-step etch was used. Etching usually works along specific crystallographic directions, leading to symmetric structures, so the team wanted to know how equivalent crystal facets could be etched in an anisotropic way. They propose that this unusual etching mode might begin with the creation of pits at the boundaries between the five crystallographic regions that make up the pentagonal nanowire. These pits merge at an angle, driven by the propensity to minimize the surface energy, and thus create ridges and grooves that spiral around the nanowire. "This selective etching is driven by a faster etching rate at some defect locations on the silver nanowire," says Wei. "Thus, we can convert a regular structure into non-symmetrical one." Such chiral nanostructures have a much larger surface area than a straight nanowire of similar size. This makes them potentially useful for sensing applications. "We next hope to use the nanoscrews in the fabrication of sensors and transparent conductors," says Wei. The A*STAR-affiliated researchers contributing to this research are from the Singapore Institute of Manufacturing Technology and the Institute of Materials Research and Engineering. More information: Rachel Lee Siew Tan et al. Nanoscrews: Asymmetrical Etching of Silver Nanowires, Journal of the American Chemical Society (2016). DOI: 10.1021/jacs.6b06250


News Article | August 22, 2016
Site: news.mit.edu

When an airplane begins to move faster than the speed of sound, it creates a shockwave that produces a well-known “boom” of sound. Now, researchers at MIT and elsewhere have discovered a similar process in a sheet of graphene, in which a flow of electric current can, under certain circumstances, exceed the speed of slowed-down light and produce a kind of optical “boom”: an intense, focused beam of light. This entirely new way of converting electricity into visible radiation is highly controllable, fast, and efficient, the researchers say, and could lead to a wide variety of new applications. The work is reported today in the journal Nature Communications, in a paper by two MIT professors — Marin Soljačić, professor of physics; and John Joannopoulos, the Francis Wright Davis Professor of physics — as well as postdoc Ido Kaminer, and six others in Israel, Croatia, and Singapore. The new finding started from an intriguing observation. The researchers found that when light strikes a sheet of graphene, which is a two-dimensional form of the element carbon, it can slow down by a factor of a few hundred. That dramatic slowdown, they noticed, presented an interesting coincidence. The reduced speed of photons (particles of light) moving through the sheet of graphene happened to be very close to the speed of electrons as they moved through the same material. “Graphene has this ability to trap light, in modes we call surface plasmons,” explains Kaminer, who is the paper’s lead author. Plasmons are a kind of virtual particle that represents the oscillations of electrons on the surface. The speed of these plasmons through the graphene is “a few hundred times slower than light in free space,” he says. This effect dovetailed with another of graphene’s exceptional characteristics: Electrons pass through it at very high speeds, up to a million meters per second, or about 1/300 the speed of light in a vacuum. That meant that the two speeds were similar enough that significant interactions might occur between the two kinds of particles, if the material could be tuned to get the velocities to match. That combination of properties — slowing down light and allowing electrons to move very fast — is “one of the unusual properties of graphene,” says Soljačić. That suggested the possibility of using graphene to produce the opposite effect: to produce light instead of trapping it. “Our theoretical work shows that this can lead to a new way of generating light,” he says. Specifically, he explains, “This conversion is made possible because the electronic speed can approach the light speed in graphene, breaking the ‘light barrier.’” Just as breaking the sound barrier generates a shockwave of sound, he says, “In the case of graphene, this leads to the emission of a shockwave of light, trapped in two dimensions.” The phenomenon the team has harnessed is called the Čerenkov effect, first described 80 years ago by Soviet physicist Pavel Čerenkov. Usually associated with astronomical phenomenon and harnessed as a way of detecting ultrafast cosmic particles as they hurtle through the universe, and also to detect particles resulting from high-energy collisions in particle accelerators, the effect had not been considered relevant to Earthbound technology because it only works when objects are moving close to the speed of light. But the slowing of light inside a graphene sheet provided the opportunity to harness this effect in a practical form, the researchers say. There are many different ways of converting electricity into light — from the heated tungsten filaments that Thomas Edison perfected more than a century ago, to fluorescent tubes, to the light-emitting diodes (LEDs) that power many display screens and are gaining favor for household lighting. But this new plasmon-based approach might eventually be part of more efficient, more compact, faster, and more tunable alternatives for certain applications, the researchers say. Perhaps most significantly, this is a way of efficiently and controllably generating plasmons on a scale that is compatible with current microchip technology. Such graphene-based systems could potentially be key on-chip components for the creation of new, light-based circuits, which are considered a major new direction in the evolution of computing technology toward ever-smaller and more efficient devices. “If you want to do all sorts of signal processing problems on a chip, you want to have a very fast signal, and also to be able to work on very small scales,” Kaminer says. Computer chips have already reduced the scale of electronics to the points that the technology is bumping into some fundamental physical limits, so “you need to go into a different regime of electromagnetism,” he says. Using light instead of flowing electrons as the basis for moving and storing data has the potential to push the operating speeds “six orders of magnitude higher than what is used in electronics,” Kaminer says — in other words, in principle up to a million times faster. One problem faced by researchers trying to develop optically based chips, he says, is that while electricity can be easily confined within wires, light tends to spread out. Inside a layer of graphene, however, under the right conditions, the beams are very well confined. “There’s a lot of excitement about graphene,” says Soljačić, “because it could be easily integrated with other electronics” enabling its potential use as an on-chip light source. So far, the work is theoretical, he says, so the next step will be to create working versions of the system to prove the concept. “I have confidence that it should be doable within one to two years,” he says. The next step would then be to optimize the system for the greatest efficiency. This finding “is a truly innovative concept that has the potential to be the key toward solving the long-standing problem of achieving highly efficient and ultrafast electrical-to-optical signal conversion at the nanoscale,” says Jorge Bravo-Abad, an assistant professor at the Autonomous University of Madrid, in Spain, who was not involved in this work. In addition, Bravo-Abad says, “the novel instance of Čerenkov emission discovered by the authors of this work opens up whole new prospects for the study of the Čerenkov effect in nanoscale systems, without the need of sophisticated experimental set-ups. I look forward to seeing the significant impact and implications that these findings will surely have at the interface between physics and nanotechnology.” The research was supported by the U.S. Army Research Laboratory and the U.S. Army Research Office, through the Institute for Soldier Nanotechnologies at MIT. The team included researchers Yichen Shen, Ognjen Ilic, and Josue Lopez at MIT; Yaniv Katan at Technion, in Haifa, Israel; Hrvoje Buljan at the University of Zagreb in Croatia; and Liang Jie Wong at the Singapore Institute of Manufacturing Technology.


News Article | April 7, 2016
Site: www.rdmag.com

A more accurate method of modeling heat generation and transfer in electromagnetic machines could lead to more efficient electric motors An improved method to track and control heat generation in electric motors for cars, or power generators, such as those in wind turbines, has been developed by A*STAR researchers in collaboration with colleagues from the UK. The scientists devised a numerical model that can predict the thermal properties of these energy conversion machines, which includes heat transfer across multiple device components (see image). For permanent magnet electric machines, a precise knowledge of the temperature distribution is important, as excessively high temperatures can degrade their magnets and electrical windings, and can even lead to a complete failure of the machine. A detailed understanding of heat creation and distribution is crucial for their design, says Jonathan Hey, from the A*STAR Singapore Institute of Manufacturing Technology (SIMTech) who conducted the study along with colleagues from the Imperial College, London. “These machines are often constructed from an assembly of multiple components, and complex heat transfer mechanisms between the components make it difficult to model the process accurately.” Previous models either have modeled heat conduction within individual components, or studied heat convection on a larger device scale, but failed to consider the specifics of heat transfer across individual component parts. To solve the issue of simulating the heat transfer between components, the model added a virtual thin material between the simulated parts. A mathematical optimization process was used to determine the thermal properties of the virtual thin material such that it best describes the heat transfer across the interface. Other components of the machines, such as the heat generated by the permanent magnet, are modeled using a similar inverse modeling method. The computations reveal that the imperfect contacts between components contribute considerably to the thermal properties of the entire machine. However, by including the modeled interfaces into the simulation, and by using experimentally determined parameters, the numerical modeling technique achieves a realistic model of the heat distribution. The model is so accurate that it differs to the measured one by a mere 2.4 percent. In future research, the goal is to apply this model to machines of different size and configuration, adds Hey. “Part of the development is to translate the modeling technique into a software tool that can be used by a machine designer. Such a software tool could improve the power density and reliability of next-generation high-performance electric machines.” Using these computer models, the software tool could reliably model the properties of a broad range of devices, and therefore help develop prototypes of more efficient energy generation machines. The A*STAR-affiliated researchers contributing to this research are from the Singapore Institute of Manufacturing Technology Citation: Hey, J., Malloy, A.C, Martinez-Botas, R. & Lamperth, M. Conjugate heat transfer analysis of an energy conversion device with an updated numerical model obtained through inverse identification. Energy Conversion and Management 94, 198–209 (2015).| Article


News Article | November 2, 2016
Site: phys.org

The team developed an all-fiber laser, constructed similarly to a fiber-optic cable. The key component is a glass tube, whose core is doped with atoms that act as a gain medium—a material from which energy is transferred to boost the output power of the laser—through which light particles, or 'photons', travel. The doping atoms are selected according to the specific wavelengths of light that they will absorb, store and then release, creating an efficient, controllable output beam. "To date, most tunable all-fiber pulsed lasers achieve a maximum tuning range of about 50 nanometers," says Xia Yu from the A*STAR Singapore Institute of Manufacturing Technology, who worked on the project with her team and her collaborator Qijie Wang from Nanyang Technological University. "We have achieved a widely-tunable laser in the mid-infrared wavelength band, with a range of 136 nanometers (from 1,842 to 1,978 nanometers). We used thulium as the doping atom; this generates a laser that operates in the eye-safe range, meaning it could have medical and military applications." The researchers combined two techniques to create their laser and ensure the output was tunable. They used nonlinear polarization evolution, a filtering effect that picks out pulses of light at the desired wavelength and channels them into the output beam. This simultaneously ensures that the output can be adjusted to a specific wavelength while generating ultrafast pulsed light. They also used bidirectional pumping—injecting energy into the gain medium from both ends of the fiber—to ensure a high optical power for as wide a range of wavelengths as possible. The gain occurs when thulium ions are excited to higher-energy states; they then release more photons when they return to lower-energy states. "This is the state-of-the-art, widely-tunable all-fiber laser with pulsed output at this wavelength," says Yu. "We have shown that every parameter, from the pumping scheme to the use of nonlinear polarization evolution, is critical to the final output." Yu's team believe that their simple, inexpensive and compact laser could one day be used in combination with high power amplifiers to generate other forms of laser, including extreme ultraviolet and soft X-ray beams. Explore further: Researchers nearly double the continuous output power of a type of terahertz laser


Genevet P.,Harvard University | Genevet P.,Singapore Institute of Manufacturing Technology | Capasso F.,Harvard University
Reports on Progress in Physics | Year: 2015

In this article, we review recent developments in the field of surface electromagnetic wave holography. The holography principle is used as a tool to solve an inverse engineering problem consisting of designing novel plasmonic interfaces to excite either surface waves or free-space beams with any desirable field distributions. Leveraging on the new nanotechnologies to carve subwavelength features within the large diffracting apertures of conventional holograms, it is now possible to create binary holographic interfaces to shape both amplitude phase and polarization of light. The ability of the new generation of ultrathin and compact holographic optical devices to fully address light properties could find widespread applications in photonics. © 2015 IOP Publishing Ltd.


Zhang X.,Singapore Institute of Manufacturing Technology
Journal of Luminescence | Year: 2010

In this paper, ligand effect of several bi-dental oxygen (O) and nitrogen (N) ligands on the red luminescence properties of europium ion (Eu3+) was studied comprehensively. Absorption, emission, and excitation spectral properties of ternary europium complexes with different combinations of ligands including thenoyl trifluoroacetone (TTA), naphthyl trifluoroacetone (NTA), 2,2′-bipyridyl (bpy) and phenanthroline (Phen) were investigated. Efficient Eu3+ red emission was observed with all the combinations of the above mentioned ligands. The most intense emission was found with the all nitrogen coordinated complex Eu(bpy)2(Phen)2 while the longest wavelength excitation band was recorded with oxygen-nitrogen mixed NTA-bpy complex Eu(NTA)1(bpy)3. With change of the ligands combination and ratio, the Eu3+ emission peak changes slightly from 612 to 618 nm. The absorption and excitation spectra of the europium complexes were compared and analyzed referring to the individual absorption spectral properties of the ligands. The relation between ligand-to-metal charge transfer states and luminescence intensities for different complexes was studied. © 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


Ko J.H.,Singapore Institute of Manufacturing Technology
International Journal of Machine Tools and Manufacture | Year: 2015

This article proposes a time domain model for predicting an end milling stability considering process damping caused by a variety of cross edge radiuses and flank profiles. The time domain model of calculating indentation areas, as well as regenerative dynamic uncut chips, is formulated for the prediction of the stabilizing effect induced by interference areas between the edge profiles and undulation left on a workpiece. The interference area generates forces against the vibration motion, which acts as a damping effect. In the model, the present and previous angular position of cross radiuses and flank edge profiles are located to calculate the dynamic uncut chip as well as indentation area based on a time history of the dynamic cutter center position. The phenomenon that chatter is damped according to cross edge radiuses and flank edge profiles is successfully simulated with the proposed dynamic model and validated through the extensive experimental tests. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


Liu T.,Singapore Institute of Manufacturing Technology
NDT and E International | Year: 2012

All traditional CT reconstruction algorithms define the reconstruction slices as perpendicular to the axis of rotation. This leads to a significant inefficiency when reconstructing and visualizing multilayered planar objects such as stacked IC and MEMS devices. This paper reports an alternative solution to the planar CT reconstruction technologies that are published previously, based on a modified version of the widely used FDK cone-beam reconstruction algorithm. The present method distinguishes itself to the existing planar CT technologies and all other traditional CT reconstructions by defining the reconstruction slices along the exact orientation of the planar object in the scan. This new method still possesses the advantages of the previous planar CT technologies such as efficient reconstruction in terms of computation time and resources saving, higher reconstruction resolution in preferred direction, easy visualization, and so on. But it also has better performance than the existing ones by providing an analytical solution to the low-efficiency problem of the traditional FDK algorithm, further reducing the reconstruction volume, and eliminating the interpolation error induced by an image rotation process that is required by the previous planar CT methods. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


News Article | February 22, 2017
Site: phys.org

Hyperlens devices—composed of thin stacks of alternate metal and plastic layers—have raised prospects for capturing living biological processes in action with high-speed optics. Key to their operation are oscillating electrons, known as surface plasmons, that resonate with and enhance evanescent waves that appear when photons strike a solid object. The narrow wavelengths of evanescent beams give nanoscale resolution to images when the hyperlens propagates the images to a standard microscope. Mass-production of current hyperlenses has stalled however because of their intricate fabrication— up to 18 different layer depositions may be required, each with stringent requirements to avoid signal degradation. "For perfect imaging, these layers need precisely controlled thickness and purity," says Linda Wu, from the A*STAR Singapore Institute of Manufacturing Technology. "Otherwise, it's hard to magnify the object sufficiently for a conventional microscope to pick up." Wu and her co-workers proposed a different type of hyperlens that eliminates the need for multiple interfaces in the light propagation direction—a major source of energy loss and image distortion. The team's concept embeds a hemispherical array of nanorods into a central insulating core, giving the hyperlens a shape similar to a thorny sea urchin. This geometry enables more efficient harvesting of evanescent waves, as well as improved image projection. "For the sea urchin geometry, the nano-sized metallic structures align in the same direction of the light propagation direction, and they are much smaller than the wavelength of applied infrared light," explains Wu. "Therefore the light doesn't 'see' any obstacles, and propagates effectively and naturally, without loss." The researchers' simulations revealed the spiky hyperlens could separate the complex wave information into its component frequencies, and then transmit this data to the microscope as an intense, easy-to-spot band. This approach was also efficient – it proved capable of resolving intricate objects, 50 to 100 nanometers wide, without the need for image post-processing. Wu notes that fabricating sea urchin hyperlenses should be much simpler than multi-layered structures. "The nano-sized metallic structures could be formed using pores and templates into flexible lenses, with no real size limitations," she says. "This hyperlens could be an important tool for real-time bio-molecular imaging." Explore further: Goal of nanoscale optical imaging gets boost with new hyperlens More information: Ankit Bisht et al. Hyperlensing at NIR frequencies using a hemispherical metallic nanowire lens in a sea-urchin geometry, Nanoscale (2016). DOI: 10.1039/c5nr09135g

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