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Measuring displacements on the scale of nanometers



June 18, 2012 – Comments (4)

Very cool and useful sensor technology development


Measuring displacements on the scale of nanometers
June 18, 2012

European researchers are developing novel optical methods of detecting displacements on the scale of nanometres. Project results could have widespread application in areas as diverse as nanomanufacturing and the design of new touch screens.

Optical waveguides such as standard optical fibers are structures that ‘guide’ the flow of electromagnetic (EM) waves, transmitting light from one end to the other.

They are widely used in fibre optic displacement sensors to measure changes in distances related to movement of device components during perturbations. Such applications include aerospace turbine engines, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) systems and even rocket sections during firing.

Advances in fiber-optic techniques have led to development of new devices capable of measuring very small displacements (microdisplacements) or vibrations. One such technique recently reported is based on physical contact of suspended silicon nanowire waveguides capable of precisely detecting in-plane displacements on the sub-nanometer scale.

European researchers initiated the NANO-DISP project to investigate theoretically and experimentally the technical parameters of the aforementioned setup with respect to effects on optical characteristics such as sensitivity and measurement range. .... [read more]

4 Comments – Post Your Own

#1) On June 18, 2012 at 1:32 PM, tdonb (24.25) wrote:

I have been reading your articles. Do you follow Harris and Harris, TINY?

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#2) On June 18, 2012 at 3:42 PM, portefeuille (98.82) wrote:

SU researchers use nanotechnology to harness power of fireflies

Designing Quantum Rods for Optimized Energy Transfer with Firefly Luciferase Enzymes

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#3) On June 20, 2012 at 11:35 AM, lemoneater (57.13) wrote:

Would this help in predicting earthquakes even earlier?

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#4) On June 21, 2012 at 11:19 AM, binve (< 20) wrote:

tdonb ,

Thanks. Actually, no I have not followed Harris and Harris much. They have scouted out some very interesting companies in the past, and I do think they have an interesting strategy though.


Cool stuff, thanks!


Interesting idea! Some of the more sophisticated eathquake monitoring involves distributed sensors with GPS and accelerometers. Combining the GPS portion to get distributed/large-scale displacements with a sensor like this to measure local small-scale displacements might be a good combo!..

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