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Design007-Apr2018

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APRIL 2018 I DESIGN007 MAGAZINE 63 3. Mentor Graphics' HyperLynx DRC software and documentation. Barry Olney is managing director of In-Circuit Design Pty Ltd (iCD), Australia, a PCB design service bureau that specializes in board- level simulation. The company developed the iCD Design Integrity software incorporating the iCD Stackup, PDN and CPW Planner. The software can be downloaded from www.icd.com.au. To contact Olney, or read past columns, click here. the novice high-speed designer in control of common SI, PI and EMC issues. Even experi- enced designers can benefit. I will certainly use the software to analyze my future designs and I believe it would be an invaluable addition to any PCB designer's tool box. In this case, you absolutely do get something, extremely useful, for nothing—it's a no brainer. DESIGN007 References 1. Design Rule Checks for High-Speed PCB Design, by Patrick Carrier. 2. A Design Rule Check List, by Eric Bogatin. By taking clever advantage of the interplay between light, electrons on the surface of metals, and heat, researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have for the first time created a plasmo- mechanical oscillator (PMO), so named because it tightly couples plasmons—the collective oscillations of electrons at the surface of a metal nanoparticle—to the mechanical vibrations of the much larger device it's embedded in. The device consists of a gold nanoparticle, about 100 nanometers in diameter, embedded in a tiny cantilever—a miniature diving board—made of silicon nitride. An air gap lies sandwiched between these components and an underlying gold plate; the width of the gap is controlled by an electrostatic actuator—a thin gold film that sits atop the cantilever and bends toward the plate when a voltage is applied. The nanopar- ticle acts as a single plasmonic structure that has a natural, or resonant, frequency that var- ies with the size of the gap, just as tuning a gui- tar string changes the frequency at which the string reverberates. When a light source, in this case laser light, shines on the system, it causes electrons in the resonator to oscillate, raising the tempera- ture of the resonator. This sets the stage for a complex interchange between light, heat and mechanical vibrations in the PMO, endowing the system with several key properties. The team also demonstrated for the first time that if the electrostatic actuator delivers a small mechanical force to the PMO that varies in time while the system undergoes these self-sustaining oscillations, the PMO can lock onto that tiny variable signal and greatly amplify it. The researchers showed that their device can amplify a faint signal from a neighboring system even when that signal's amplitude is as small as ten trillionths of a meter. That ability could translate into vast improve- ments in detecting small oscillating signals. New Device Modulates Light and Amplifies Tiny Signals

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