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NEC unveils 'smallest' fiber-optic field probe

Posted: 24 Feb 2006 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:NEC? fiber-optic electric field probe?

NEC Corp. announced the successful development of what it touts as the world's smallest fiber-optic electric field probe, enabled through the adoption of a nanotechnology process.

According to the press release, this newly developed probe consists of an optical fiber and an electro-optical film that is formed at its edge, which acts as a field sensor. As its lateral size of approximately 125?m is equivalent to that of the diameter of an optical fiber, the probe can be inserted into narrow spaces such as the crevice between a BGA LSI package and a PCB, enabling evaluation of the electrical characteristics of high-density packaged electronic circuits on PCBs. It can be utilized to create electrical designs for high-density electronic packages toward the realization of low-noise/low-EMI level circuits.

The main features of the new probe include detection of electrical signals in devices being tested achieved by converting an electrical signal to an optical signal in the electro-optical film. Since the signal is sent by an optical fiber, a wave guide that does not contain metallic parts, the electromagnetic field surrounding the device being test is undisturbed, resulting in the improvement of measurement accuracy.

Additionally, it features a development of a highly-sensitive probe owing to the formation of an electro-optical film, PZT film, on the edge of the fiber. This structure consists of the dense agglomeration of small particles, whose size is at a level of that of several tens of nanometers, resulting in both high transparency and large electro-optical conversion efficiency, NEC explained.

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