Photonics research at the National Institute of Physics (NIP), University of the Philippines in Diliman (UP Diliman), Quezon City, has been selected by the Optical Society of America (www.osa.org) as one of the most exciting to emerge in the area of optical imaging in 2006. The research concerns the detection, tracking and classification of microscopic defects in integrated circuits.
OSA with headquarters in Washington, DC, was first organized in 1916 to increase and diffuse the knowledge of pure and applied optics and to promote the common interests of investigators on optical problems, as well as designers and users of optical apparatus of all kinds. OSA publishes some of the most influential scientific journals in the world like Optics Letters, Optics Express and Applied Optics.
Every year OSA selects the most exciting optics research to emerge in the preceding 12 months. The selections are highlighted in the December issue of its monthly magazine, Optics & Photonics News (OPN). The areas covered in 2006 include array detectors, Bloch oscillations, coherent imaging, diffractive optics, imaging, metamaterials, nonlinear optics, optical beams, opto-mechanics, polarization, Raman spectroscopy, soft X-rays and ultrafast science.
The December 2006 issue of OPN (www.osa-opn.org) features 30 summaries that represent the work of 185 authors. They were selected from 74 submissions from 374 authors representing 16 countries. The summary entitled, “Localizing defects on circuits using high resolution optical feedback thermography,” by Dr. Carlo Mar Blanca, Vernon Julius Cemine, Bernardino Buenaobra and Dr. Caesar Saloma, was one of the three chosen in the area of imaging. The other two were done by researchers from the US and the United Kingdom.
According to Professor Caesar Saloma, a member of the research group and the current Dean of the College of Science where NIP is affiliated, the research aims to develop an inexpensive and accurate method of predicting the occurrence of a defect in an integrated circuit. “Aside from its role in the global economy,” says Professor Saloma, “the electronics and semiconductor industry is a major growth factor for the gross domestic product of our country and for jobs in the local economy.”
Of the 30 featured research works, only two were performed by groups that are based entirely in Asia, that of the National Institute of Physics, UP Diliman and the other by researchers from India.
“To be included in the OPN list is a significant development. It affirms the capability of Philippine-based researchers in photonics to compete with the best in the world at the highest level,” explains Professor Saloma.
The research on defect detection in integrated circuits is the winner of the 2006 Advanced Technology Award of the UP System. On-going research efforts in photonics at NIP have been supported by grants from the Philippine Council for Advanced Science and Technology Research and Development of the Department of Science and Technology, Intel Technology Philippines, University of the Philippines Diliman and the University of the Philippines System.