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Methods of Single-Source Illumination for High Throughput Parallel Birefringence Measurements on Arrays of Materials

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000126954D
Publication Date: 2005-Aug-15
Document File: 3 page(s) / 94K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Abstract

This is a method for illuminating an m x n array of materials using a single light source split into m x n beams. One specific application example for this method is measurement of the melting point of an array of materials by monitoring the change in transmissive birefringence while ramping the temperature of the block containing the array.

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Methods of Single-Source Illumination for High Throughput Parallel Birefringence Measurements on Arrays of Materials

This is a method for illuminating an m x n array of materials using a single light source split into m x n beams.  One specific application example for this method is measurement of the melting point of an array of materials by monitoring the change in transmissive birefringence while ramping the temperature of the block containing the array.

This method would allow the use of a high quality input laser, which can be monitored by one or more reference channels.  The baseline signal of the reference channels can be subtracted from each of the m x n measurement channels, thereby greatly reducing noise.

The beam splitting method in the preferred embodiment utilizes a custom diffractive holographic optical element to split a single incoming laser beam into an array of 96 diverging output beams.  These diverging beams are re-collimated by a suitable lens.  The use of a diffractive element allows precise beam alignment with minimal manual intervention, and low-cost replication. 

Alternative embodiments could include physical beam splitters such as prisms or mirrors, transmissive beam splitters, and fiber-optic bundles.  Preservation of polarization with these methods would require difficult manual alignment.  Another embodiment could use one or more scanning mirrors to direct the beam serially.

Currently known designs use 96 individual laser diodes to illuminate a sample array.  These low-cost lasers have two major disadvantages.  The first is that alignment is difficult and labor intensive.  Each beam must be aligned in position (X-Y) and rotation (theta).  The rotational alignment...