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Optoelectronics and Optics in the news
A Xerox Machine for Super Solar Panels
Researchers at PARC are working on a way to cheaply print efficient solar cells at a large scale
25 March 2016 | MIT Technology Review
by Mike Orcutt
Hyperspectral Cameras See Better Than You Can
If PARC comes through, your cell phone will see things as humans never could
6 November 2015 | INVERSE
by Ian Stark
Imagine a phone that can tell which apple of a bunch is the ripest, or if that steak being sold at a discount is so cheap because it’s not so fresh — hyperspectral cameras can see these kinds of things, realities of the physical world but only visible in wavelengths of light invisible to the naked human eye.
The PARC plan is to make such cameras happen by adding a tiny layer of liquid crystal (about the thickness of a human hair) to image sensors already at work in current devices, providing hyperspectral ability. If all goes as planned, the phone in your pocket may soon have the capability to receive new truths about your personal world that had previously flourished right in front of you, unnoticed.
The Future of Work Show, Episode 7: Inside PARC (video)
28 October 2015 | Forbes.com
by Jacob Morgan, Contributor
In this episode of "The Future of Work Show," Jacob Morgan sits down with PARC CEO Stephen Hoover and some other PARC employees to talk about everything from robots and artificial intelligence to batteries and fuel cells, to water and lasers, to printed/large area electronics and optics, to the freelancer economy, millennials and, of course, innovation.
PARC Develops Hyperspectral Imager
27 October 2015 | Image Sensors World
by Vladimir Koifman
PARC has prototyped its HSI technology by integrating a liquid crystal cell inside a commercial monochrome CMOS camera. The prototype offers the following performance:
- 640 x 480 spatial resolution
- Up to 80 degree field of view
- Acquires 30 independent spectral bands in 0.4 seconds
- Wavelength range 400 nm to 1100 nm
- F/1.8 max aperture
An open-access PARC paper "Hyperspectral imaging with a liquid crystal polarization interferometer" by Alex Hegyi and Joerg Martini is published in Optics Express, Issue 22, Vol 23.
Sensors Could Make Electric-Car Batteries Smaller and Cheaper
ARPA-E says better sensors and controls could allow automakers to cut battery size by 20 to 50 percent.
30 August 2013 | MIT Technology Review
by Kevin Bullis
"Electric-vehicle battery packs could shrink 20 to 30 percent, and make electric vehicles more affordable, if new sensors were developed to monitor the cells in a pack, according to the U.S. government’s Advanced Research Projects Agency for Energy (ARPA-E). The agency says such sensors could have an even greater effect on hybrid gas-electric vehicle batteries, causing them to shrink by half.
Better sensors could tell what’s happening inside each of the hundreds of cells that make up an electric vehicle’s battery pack, allowing automakers to safely store more energy in them. A $30 million ARPA-E program that’s been underway for about a year is seeking to develop the necessary technology."
Sensors Are Key to Better EV Batteries
ARPA-E wants to get more out of lithium-ion batteries
7 September 2012 | IEEE Spectrum
by Prachi Patel
ARPA-E has awarded more than $4 million to PARC.
"The PARC team has developed a wavelength-shift detector about the size of a quarter. A single detector could handle optical fibers from many battery cells, and it should cost only a few hundred dollars, as opposed to $10 000-plus for conventional detectors, which require lasers and charge-coupled device arrays...
One of the project’s goals is to figure out the best set of internal variables to monitor in a battery, says Raghavan. The researchers are also developing intelligent algorithms that would read the raw data from the sensors and translate it into relevant numbers for a car’s battery-management system...Battery maker LG Chem Power, a partner on the project, will test the fiber-optic sensors in real batteries."
$43 Million for Transformational Storage Projects to Advance Electric Vehicle and Grid Technologies
2 August 2012 | announcement
"The Department of Energy today announced that 19 transformative new projects will receive a total of $43 million in funding from the Department’s Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) to leverage the nation’s brightest scientists, engineers and entrepreneurs to develop breakthrough energy storage technologies and support promising small businesses..." [download full list]
Advanced Management And Protection Of Energy-Storage Devices (AMPED)
- Lead organization: PARC
- Description: Smart Embedded Network of Sensors with Optical Readout (SENSOR). Palo Alto Research Center will develop new fiber optic sensors that are inserted into battery packs to monitor and measure batteries during charge and discharge cycles. These compact fiber optical sensors will measure the battery’s health while in use to avoid degradation and failure.
- Funding: $4,018,960
ARPA-E awards $43M to 19 energy storage projects to advance electric vehicle and grid technologies
2 August 2012 | Green Car Congress
"The US Department of Energy’s Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) has selected 19 new projects to receive a total of $43 million to develop breakthrough energy storage technologies and support promising small businesses...
Unlike other Department of Energy efforts to push the frontiers of battery chemistry, AMPED is focused on maximizing the potential of existing battery chemistries. These innovations are intended to help reduce costs and improve the performance of next generation storage technologies, which could be applied in both plug-in electric and hybrid-electric vehicles."
Materials Research Society Announces 2012 MRS Fellows
Twenty-eight honored for distinguished research accomplishments and contributions to the advancement of materials research
19 March 2012 | release
"The Materials Research Society (MRS) will recognize the following 28 members as Fellows of the Materials Research Society at the 2012 MRS Spring Meeting in San Francisco. This recognition honors MRS members who are notable for their distinguished accomplishments and their outstanding contributions to the advancement of materials research, worldwide... "
John Northrup, PARC, a Xerox company -- "For guiding insights based on first-principles calculations of total energies and band structures related to atomic arrangements in semiconductor materials, particularly on surfaces, heterointerfaces, dislocations, and chemical defects"
Reinventing energy at ARPA-E: Plastic light concentrator [photos]
28 February 2012 | CNET
by Martin La Monica
"The ARPA-E Energy Innovation Summit brings a number of startups but a large portion of the exhibitors are from national labs, universities, and research organizations. PARC, which is a Xerox company, has an energy research arm and is displaying this solar concentrator. It reflects light with dies in a sheet of plastic and then directs it up through the Fresnel lens on the top. The idea is to manufacture this at very small scale so that you could use sheets of plastic with this design embedded in it to reflect light cheaply."
PARC Orders Aixtron MOCVD System For Lasers and LEDs
After delivery in the second quarter of 2011, the system will be used for the epitaxial growth of InGaAlN LEDs, laser diodes, and electronic devices.
31 March 2011 | Compound Semiconductor
by company release
"...the system will be used for the epitaxial growth of InGaAlN LEDs, laser diodes, and electronic devices. A local Aixtron support team will commission the new reactor within a specially dedicated facility in PARC's electronic materials and devices research division...
'We will be able to develop new processes in a commercial reactor that are compatible with a prospective scale-up to full production scale in due course. Working closely with the experienced Aixtron support team, our group expects to, for example, quickly optimize conditions for growth of GaN alloys with a high percentage of Al as required for deep-UV optical emitting devices.'"
LEDs on Ostendo/TDI’s semi-polar GaN 2.5x brighter than c-plane LEDs
16 December 2010 | Semiconductor Today
"Ostendo Technologies Inc of Carlsbad, CA, USA (which develops solid-state lighting-based display technologies and products for commercial and consumer markets) and Technologies and Devices International Inc (TDI, part of the UK’s Oxford Instruments Group) say that LED structures grown on their semi-polar (11-22) gallium nitride wafers have resulted in more than 2.5x the emission intensity of c-plane GaN-based LED structures...
In 2008, Ostendo and TDI entered into an Information Exchange Agreement with PARC to make semi-polar GaN wafers available on which PARC could grow LED and laser diode structures, and to independently validate and report the results achieved."