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Optoelectronics and Optics in the news



A New Technology Sees Through Walls — and May Save Your Life Someday
A hyper spectral camera could let smartphones find counterfeit money or spot the ripest peach.
2 November 2016 | The Fiscal Times
by Jacqueline Leo

I met Alex Hegyi, one of MIT Technology Review's 2016 “Innovators Under 35,” at EmTech, a conference held at MIT’s Media Lab. He said his goal was to make hyperspectral technology “cheaper than anything that's out there and also small enough to fit inside a cellphone. That could dramatically change the way just about anyone looks at the world.”


For Compactness and Ruggedness, Linear Variable Filters Fit the Bill
Innovations in design and scalable manufacturing have led to the development of linear variable filters that cover a broader wavelength range than ever before
9 September 2016 | Photonics.com (Photonics Spectra)
by Trey Turner, Eric Baltz and Roger Kirschner, Research Electro-Optics, Inc.

Peter Kiesel, principal scientist at Palo Alto Research Center Inc. (PARC), a Xerox company, has invented a technology that can measure wavelength variations with sub-picometer resolution. It combines photodetector position sensors with a linear variable bandpass filter that converts spectral wavelength into an intensity distribution on the position sensor. A centroid calculation of the intensity distribution provides the very accurate wavelength information.


A new type of camera could let smartphones find counterfeit drugs or spot the ripest peach.
23 August 2016 | MIT Technology Review
by Rachel Metz

No matter how good your smartphone camera is, it can show you only a fraction of the detail Alex Hegyi can with the one he’s built at Xerox’s PARC in Palo Alto, California. That’s because Hegyi’s camera also records parts of the spectrum of light that you can’t see.

(MIT Technology Review named Alex Hegyi as one of 2016's "Innovators Under 35.")


Most Impressive Young Innovators to Watch
Check out the people who are spinning the science and tech fields forward.
23 August 2016 | Inc.
by Kevin J. Ryan

Meet the next generation of world changers.

MIT Tech Review revealed its 35 Innovators Under 35 today, highlighting disruptors and advanced thinkers in a variety of fields. The science- and tech-focused list included several winners in the health and medicine fields, plus a few people innovating in rapidly expanding fields like drones and artificial intelligence.  ...winners include (PARC's) Alex Hegyi, who invented an invented an advanced consumer camera that detects things like counterfeit drugs and spoiled food.


Seven Current and Former UC Berkeley Engineers Named Top Innovators Under 35
23 August 2016 | UC Berkeley News
by Robert Sanders

A UC Berkeley postdoctoral fellow hoping to develop wearable sweat sensors for better health monitoring and a young assistant professor who helped pioneer “deep learning” to create more dextrous robots are among this year’s top innovators under 35, a list compiled each year by MIT Technology ReviewTwo electrical engineering and computer science Ph.D. alumni — Alex Hegyi, 29, now at Xerox’s PARC, and Oriol Vinyals, 33, now at Google DeepMind — also graced the list.


An Affordable Approach to Hyperspectral Imaging
2 August 2016 | Novus Light
by Dave Wilson

Many different types of hyperspectral imaging systems are currently deployed in a range of applications including remote sensing, machine vision, surveillance and security, and defense. However, despite their novel abilities, they have found a limited market due to the size and expense.
Now, researchers at PARC, led by Dr. Alex Hegyi, have developed a new novel hyperspectral imaging system that could be added at minimal cost to existing camera sensors, such as those commonly found in cell phones and other consumer electronic devices.


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

The technology giant that’s synonymous with photocopied documents has set its sights on highly efficient solar panels.
Researchers at PARC, an R&D-focused subsidiary of Xerox, say they’re developing a new digital printing process that could make it much cheaper to mass-produce concentrated solar photovoltaic systems. Such systems can dramatically increase the efficiency of solar cells by using lenses to concentrate and focus the sunlight onto small cells.


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.


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."