SPIE Urges R&D Funding

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Optifab Highlights Innovation

SPIE traveled to Washington, D.C., this week to request funding support for innovation legislation, science and math education, and federal agencies for fiscal year 2008.

Also this week, a number of innovative technologies are being presented at SPIE's Optifab 2007 optical manufacturing product and supplier exhibition in Rochester, N.Y., through Thursday.

Representing SPIE were Jason Auxier (VA), Bob Breault (AZ), Michael Fiddy (NC), Randall Foster (GA), Alessandro Gandelli (Italy), Groot Gregory (MA), Jim Harrington (NJ), Joseph Howard (DC), Ralph James (NY), Tom Lee (CA), Anastasios Maurudis (CT), Paul McManamon (OH), Jim McNally (NM), David Natelson (FL) and Keri Then (CA). They joined nearly 300 scientists, engineers and business leaders who visited Capitol Hill as part of the 12th annual Congressional Visits Days, an event sponsored by the Science-Engineering-Technology Working Group, comprised of more than 40 companies and organizations representing a science and technology in academia, the government and in private industry.

Congressional Visits Day (CVD) is an annual event during which hundreds of scientists and engineers from around the country visit Washington for two days of briefings and visits to members of Congress.

Natelson, vice president of sales at Vumii Inc., an Atlant-based provider of surveillance technology, said, “Key staff members from both sides of the floor were in tune and supportive of the science and technology challenges that our country's future scientists, mathematicians and engineers are facing. This was evidenced by the Senate’s recent passage of the America Competes Act and House votes in the specific areas of STEM, National Science Foundation, NIST and NIH funding during the past two weeks. As a business person trained in engineering, and as a parent, I was happy to see that our elected officials are taking action in areas that are critical to the next generation of Americans.”

At CVD, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN) were awarded the 2007 George E. Brown Jr. Science, Engineering and Technology Leadership Award for their support of science, engineering and technology research and education.

Optifab News

Among the innovations being disucssed at Optifab 2007 are a microdevice for analyzing biological fluids that is capable of monitoring clinically-relevant parameters and which can sample, dispense and deliver biological fluids to a sensing unit. Marius Andrei Avram and Marioara Avram, researchers at the National Institute for Research and Development in Microtechnology in Bucharest, Romania, have designed and implemented a smart microfluidic control system. It consists of microchannels with strategically-located reservoirs and microvalves, logical microfluidic gates and micropumps, and capillary and rotary microviscosity meters. It features an integrated multiplexer and microdispenser based on a nozzle array, and an integrated biosensor array for simultaneous detection of multiple clinically relevant parameters. Biochip output is inserted into the analyzer unit at the point at which a trigger signal from the electronic controller initiates microfluidic sequencing. Their goal is to obtain an accurate, fast system that is easy to use.

Presenations topics also include antireflection coatings made from nanostructured materials that could open the door to more efficient solar cells and brighter light-emitting diodes ("Thin film coatings that reflect virtually no light," by Jong Kyu Kim, Martin F. Schubert, E. Fred Schubert and Jingqun Xi); a tribut to Theodore Maiman (See also:, who died this month ("Inventing the light fantastic: Ted Maiman and the world's first laser"); and "Bone-building scaffolds become smarter," by Jeong Ho Chang and Kyung Ja Kim. Their paper describes a new material that could be used both to help regenerate damaged bone and as a reservoir for controlled drug release.

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Published: May 2007
An SI prefix meaning one billionth (10-9). Nano can also be used to indicate the study of atoms, molecules and other structures and particles on the nanometer scale. Nano-optics (also referred to as nanophotonics), for example, is the study of how light and light-matter interactions behave on the nanometer scale. See nanophotonics.
The technology of generating and harnessing light and other forms of radiant energy whose quantum unit is the photon. The science includes light emission, transmission, deflection, amplification and detection by optical components and instruments, lasers and other light sources, fiber optics, electro-optical instrumentation, related hardware and electronics, and sophisticated systems. The range of applications of photonics extends from energy generation to detection to communications and...
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