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© Copyright UCD 2010/2011 Images of Research Tríona Nicholl
A broken rotary quern at the Irish National Heritage Park, Co. Wexford. Experimental archaeological use of reconstructed tools and structures - and the recording and analysis of their weak points and failures - can greatly develop our understanding of past subsistence strategies and technologies. The break in the quern may signify the endpoint for that particular stone, but the information it has imparted generates a new and unique avenue for further research.
© Copyright UCD 2010/2011 Images of Research Dr Kenneth Fahy
Liquid metal reflections
Soft X-ray light will be used by the semiconductor industry to inspect various components used in the manufacture of the next generation of silicon microchips in 2013. This light must be collected and focused to the sample under inspection, requiring a collector optic placed in close proximity to the light source. However, by necessity, the soft X-ray light source is an extremely hot, dense fireball of gas and produces significant amounts of debris. Current state-of-the-art solutions employ highly polished solid mirrors to collect this light, but these are quickly damaged by the intense light source. Our solution uses a thin film of liquid metal on a rotating solid substrate as the reflecting surface. The liquid is made from the same material as the plasma fuel and absorbs any debris emitted from the light source. The rotating liquid optic is self-healing and maintains a reflectivity sufficient to function as a soft X-ray light reflector. In parallel, we are developing soft X-ray light sources with Enterprise Ireland, SFI, FP7 and industrial support; together with the liquid optic this will form the basis of a campus company in 2011.
Dr Kenneth Fahy
© Copyright UCD 2010/2011 Images of Research Connell Vaughan
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