Award for work on microscope

November 20, 1998

A Heriot-WattUniversity technician has won a Pounds 1,000 innovation award for amicroscope which could monitor the quality of a newgeneration ofsemiconductorsand chips.

Lynn Edwards, aged 25, whoworks in the physics department, developed a time resolved photoluminescence microscope which allows users to check the workings of semiconductors at a microscopic level. She developed it as part of a Pounds 600,000 project funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council in partnership with BT and Hewlett Packard.

The microscope fires beams oflaser light at the chips, and measures the resulting luminescence. Thesemeasurementsallow researchersto determine the quality of individual semiconductors,and monitor theway they work.

This is likelyto help design improvements for gallium arsenide semiconductors, used instead of traditional silicon in, for example, lasers in CD players.

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