This picture shows a schematic of the waveguide
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This picture shows a schematic of the waveguide

June 2, 2010
A schematic of the waveguide, the modulated hollow-core fiber used to efficiently generate shorter wavelength EUV light. The wall of the hollow fiber is modulated--wavelike, with indentations 10-micrometers (µm) deep, periodically spaced every 0.5 mm (in the highest-intensity waveguide). The average inner diameter of the fiber is 150µm. By modulating the diameter of the fiber, the researchers modulate the intensity of the initial laser beam, and therefore also modulate the process that produces the EUV light. The researchers adjusted the period of the wavelike modulations to restrict the EUV emission to regions where the light waves will be in phase--this is how the researchers were able to generate shorter wavelength light more efficiently than was previously possible. [One of 5 related images. See Next Image.]

More about this Image A National Science Foundation (NSF)-supported research team from the University of Colorado's Joint Institute for Laboratory Astrophysics (JILA) have created an extreme-ultraviolet, laser-like beam capable of producing tightly-focused light in a region of the electromagnetic spectrum not previously accessible to scientists. The process combines concepts from electromagnetic radiation research and fiber optics.

EUV wavelengths--between 1 and 100 times shorter than visible light waves--allow researchers to "see" tiny features and carve miniature patterns with applications in such fields as microscopy, lithography and nanotechnology.

The achievement is based on a new structure called a "waveguide," a hollow glass tube with internal humps that coax light waves into traveling along at the same speed and help the waves reinforce each other.

These findings were reported in the January 2, 2003 issue of the journal Nature. The research was principally supported by NSF, with additional funds from the Department of Energy. For further information about the research, see NSF Press Release 03-01. (Year of image: 2002)

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