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8731 results about "Microscope" patented technology

A microscope (from the Ancient Greek: μικρός, mikrós, "small" and σκοπεῖν, skopeîn, "to look" or "see") is an instrument used to see objects that are too small to be seen by the naked eye. Microscopy is the science of investigating small objects and structures using such an instrument. Microscopic means invisible to the eye unless aided by a microscope.

Apparatus and method for the generation of high-power femtosecond pulses from a fiber amplifier

An apparatus generates femtosecond pulses from laser amplifiers by nonlinear frequency conversion. The implementation of nonlinear frequency-conversion allows the design of highly nonlinear amplifiers at a signal wavelength (SW), while still preserving a high-quality pulse at an approximately frequency-doubled wavelength (FDW). Nonlinear frequency-conversion also allows for limited wavelength tuning of the FDW. As an example, the output from a nonlinear fiber amplifier is frequency-converted. By controlling the polarization state in the nonlinear fiber amplifier and by operating in the soliton-supporting dispersion regime of the host glass, an efficient nonlinear pulse compression for the SW is obtained. The generated pulse width is optimized by utilizing soliton compression in the presence of the Raman-self-frequency shift in the nonlinear fiber amplifier at the SW. High-power pulses are obtained by employing fiber amplifiers with large core-diameters. The efficiency of the nonlinear fiber amplifier is optimized by using a double clad fiber (i.e., a fiber with a double-step refractive index profile) and by pumping light directly into the inner core of this fiber. Periodically poled LiNbO3 (PPLN) is used for efficient conversion of the SW to a FDW. The quality of the pulses at the FDW can further be improved by nonlinear frequency conversion of the compressed and Raman-shifted signal pulses at the SW. The use of Raman-shifting further increases the tuning range at the FDW. For applications in confocal microscopy, a special linear fiber amplifier is used.

Camera Adapter Based Optical Imaging Apparatus

The invention describes several embodiments of an adapter which can make use of the devices in any commercially available digital cameras to accomplish different functions, such as a fundus camera, as a microscope or as an en-face optical coherence tomography (OCT) to produce constant depth OCT images or as a Fourier domain (channelled spectrum) optical coherence tomography to produce a reflectivity profile in the depth of an object or cross section OCT images, or depth resolved volumes. The invention admits addition of confocal detection and provides simultaneous measurements or imaging in at least two channels, confocal and OCT, where the confocal channel provides an en-face image simultaneous with the acquisition of OCT cross sections, to guide the acquisition as well as to be used subsequently in the visualisation of OCT images. Different technical solutions are provided for the assembly of one or two digital cameras which together with such adapters lead to modular and portable high resolution imaging systems which can accomplish various functions with a minimum of extra components while adapting the elements in the digital camera. The cost of such adapters is comparable with that of commercial digital cameras, i.e. the total cost of such assemblies of commercially digital cameras and dedicated adapters to accomplish high resolution imaging are at a fraction of the cost of dedicated stand alone instruments. Embodiments and methods are presented to employ colour cameras and their associated optical sources to deliver simultaneous signals using their colour sensor parts to provide spectroscopic information, phase shifting inferometry in one step, depth range extension, polarisation, angular measurements and spectroscopic Fourier domain (channelled spectrum) optical coherence tomography in as many spectral bands simultaneously as the number of colour parts of the photodetector sensor in the digital camera. In conjunction with simultaneous acquistion of a confocal image, at least 4 channels can simultaneously be provided using the three color parts of conventional color cameras to deliver three OCT images in addition to the confocal image.

Visual inspection and verification system

A method and apparatus for inspecting a photolithography mask for defects is provided. The inspection method comprises providing a defect area image to an image simulator wherein the defect area image is an image of a portion of a photolithography mask, and providing a set of lithography parameters as a second input to the image simulator. The defect area image may be provided by an inspection tool which scans the photolithography mask for defects using a high resolution microscope and captures images of areas of the mask around identified potential defects. The image simulator generates a first simulated image in response to the defect area image and the set of lithography parameters. The first simulated image is a simulation of an image which would be printed on a wafer if the wafer were to be exposed to an illumination source directed through the portion of the mask. The method may also include providing a second simulated image which is a simulation of the wafer print of the portion of the design mask which corresponds to the portion represented by the defect area image. The method also provides for the comparison of the first and second simulated images in order to determine the printability of any identified potential defects on the photolithography mask. A method of determining the process window effect of any identified potential defects is also provided for.

Wave Front Sensing Method and Apparatus

A new way of mixing instrumental and digital means is described for the general field of wave front sensing. The present invention describes the use, the definition and the utility of digital operators, called digital wave front operators (DWFO) or digital lenses (DL), specifically designed for the digital processing of wave fronts defined in amplitude and phase. DWFO are of particular interest for correcting undesired wave front deformations induced by instrumental defects or experimental errors. DWFO may be defined using a mathematical model, e.g. a polynomial function, which involves coefficients. The present invention describes automated and semi-automated procedures for calibrating or adjusting the values of these coefficients. These procedures are based on the fitting of mathematical models on reference data extracted from specific regions of a wave front called reference areas, which are characterized by the fact that specimen contributions are a priori known in reference areas. For example, reference areas can be defined in regions where flat surfaces of a specimen produce a constant phase function. The present invention describes also how DWFO can be defined by extracting reference data along one-dimensional (1D) profiles. DWFO can also be defined in order to obtain a flattened representation of non-flat area of a specimen. Several DWFO or DL can be combined, possibly in addition with procedures for calculating numerically the propagation of wave fronts. A DWFO may also be defined experimentally, e.g. by calibration procedures using reference specimens. A method for generating a DWFO by filtering in the Fourier plane is also described. All wave front sensing techniques may benefit from the present invention. The case of a wave front sensor based on digital holography, e.g. a digital holographic microscope (DHM), is described in more details. The use of DWFO improves the performance, in particular speed and precision, and the ease of use of instruments for wave front sensing. The use of DWFO results in instrumental simplifications, costs reductions, and enlarged the field of applications. The present invention defines a new technique for imaging and metrology with a large field of applications in material and life sciences, for research and industrial applications.

Embedded interferometer for reference-mirror calibration of interferometric microscope

InactiveUS6545761B1Implemented easily and economicallyAccurately determineInterferometersUsing optical meansClosed loopOptoelectronics
A laser interferometer is embedded into an interference microscope to precisely determine the in-focus position of the microscope objective's reference mirror. A collimated laser beam is introduced into the microscope system and split into two beams directed toward a calibration reference surface and the interference objective. The light reflected from the calibration reference surface is returned to the camera. The light into the interference objective is focused onto the reference mirror and returned to the camera. For the purpose of calibration, the two beams are combined at the camera to produce interference fringes. When the reference mirror is in focus, the returned beam is collimated; if the mirror is on either side of focus, the beam is either converging or diverging. Accordingly, the interferogram produced at the camera reflects the in-focus or out-of-focus condition of the reference mirror. The curvature of the wavefront returned from the reference mirror is determined electronically by analyzing the interference fringes produced with the beam returned from the calibration reference surface. By minimizing the curvature of the reference-mirror wavefront as the mirror is translated along the optical path, the reference mirror can be focused with an accuracy greater than possible by visual observation. Furthermore, by automating the focusing system with a precise translation mechanism driven by closed-loop control, operator-to-operator variations are completely eliminated.
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