Vol 48, No 19, 13 September 2012

  • Left: The simple piezoelectric unimorph diaphragm used costs just €0.70. Right: The diaphragm is exposed to both an alternating (Hac) and a constant (Hdc) magnetic field

    Fields ripe for harvest

    Low-cost magnetic energy harvesting.

  • A specially designed piece of photonic crystal fibre (left) is joined to a SMF to form the hydrostatic pressure sensor (right)

    Under pressure

    Fibre-based hydrostatic pressure sensors look set to become dramatically smaller thanks to a new fibre design.

  • Xiarong Hu

    Interview with Xiarong Hu

    Dr Xiarong Hu from the University of Electronic Science and Technology of China talks about the research behind his Letter SOI LDMOS with variable-k dielectric trench.

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Material backing
Researchers from Belgium, the Netherlands, France and the US have demonstrated how telecom equipment designers can significantly increase the capacity of their electrical backplanes. Their unique backplane materials result in a transmission rate of 42.8 Gbit/s, which is almost twice the rate previously recorded.

Thinning power
To provide high optical power and high beam quality at the same time, researchers in Poland have applied similar concepts used in nitride lasers to tapered semiconductor laser devices. The design will be significant for medical instruments such as endoscopes, colour display systems, and printing applications.

Efficiently folded
Researchers in Japan have proposed a folded waveguide and suspended ridge structure to improve the performance of a thermo-optic switch. The switch achieves a 1/3 power reduction with this simple design change, increasing the efficiency of WDM optical networks, as well as reducing their size.

Cellular breakdown
An antenna system for microwave non-invasive hyperthermia lipolysis is presented in work from Korea. The design incorporates a cooling system and waveguide antenna using a high-order mode, and is able to heat the subcutaneous fat layer without damage to the surrounding skin and muscle. The researchers believe the proposed antenna could also be applied to treatment of superficial cancers and breast cancer.

Link speed
20 Gbit/s error-free operation of 850 nm VCSELs beyond 1 km of multimode fibre is reported by researchers in Sweden. The result is the highest bit rate distance product for a link employing a directly modulated VCSEL and multimode fibre, useful for applications such as data centres, which require high bit rate data links over significant distances on a large site.

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