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Nanotechnology Spotlight

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Showing Spotlights 1 - 8 of 83 in category Nano-optics, -Photonics (newest first):


Optical nanostructures inspired by architecture

optical_catenariesResearchers have demonstrated that perfect orbital angular momentum could be generated in optical nanostructures inspired by catenaries - the curve that a free-hanging chain assumes under its own weight. They used optical catenary-shaped structures to convert circularly polarized light to helically-phased beam carrying orbital angular momentum. Similar to the 'catenary of equal strength', the phase gradient of the optical catenary is equal everywhere, which is a direct result of its special geometric shape.

Posted: Oct 2nd, 2015

Design of ultra-strong and ultra-pure red upconversion materials for biomedical applications

upconversionUpconversion luminesce materials are promising for widespread application ranging from optical devices to biodetection and cancer therapy, the near-infrared light excited upconversion materials are attracting much research attention. Researchers have achieved an ultra-strong and ultra-pure red upconversion in erbium and ytterbium co-doped lutetium oxyfluorides through size and morphology control. These nanoparticles, with extremely strong and pure upconversion are promising candidates as novel luminescent reagents for high-contrast bio-imaging and bio-labeling.

Posted: May 4th, 2015

Real-time tunable plasmon laser

laserPlasmon lasers are promising nanoscale coherent sources of optical fields because they support ultra-small sizes and show ultra-fast dynamics. They can make possible single-molecule biodetectors, photonic circuits and high-speed optical communication systems. In new work, researchers have found a way to integrate liquid gain materials with gold nanoparticle arrays to achieve nanoscale plasmon lasing that can be tuned dynamical, reversibly, and in real time.

Posted: Apr 21st, 2015

Nanoparticle shape can drastically enhance MRI signals

nanostarsTypically, in clinical formulations of Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) contrast agents, gram quantities of Gd(III) are needed to achieve sufficiently high contrast for examination. That's why the research imaging community is interested in developing new formulations of contrast agents able to bridge the gap between high contrast imaging of contrast agents dosed at low concentrations. In new work, researchers report a new class of gold nanoconjugates that exhibit exceptionally high relaxivities at both low and high field strengths.

Posted: Mar 23rd, 2015

Chemically enhanced 2D material makes excellent tunable nanoscale light source

microdisk_light_emissionMolybdenum disulfide's (MoS2) semiconducting ability, strong light-matter interaction and similarity to the carbon-based graphene makes it of interest to scientists as a viable alternative to graphene in the manufacture of electronics, particularly photoelectronics. In particular, MoS2 has excellent optical properties when deposited as a single, atom-thick layer - unlike graphene, it emits light when excited; albeit relatively poorly. In order to realize the potential of atomically thin MoS2 as a nanoscale active material in a light source, a considerable enhancement of its emission efficiency is necessary.

Posted: Mar 12th, 2015

Liquid crystalline polymer dispersed liquid crystals

LCPDLC_filmPolymer Dispersed Liquid Crystals (PDLCs) are micrometer-sized birefringent Liquid Crystal domains dispersed in an optically transparent continuous polymer matrix. The peculiarity of a PDLC system is that of scattering different amounts of an impinging light beam intensity, depending on the strength of an external electric field that is, eventually, applied to the system. A new generation of polymer-dispersed liquid crystals is based on a room temperature, polymerizable, nematic LC host.

Posted: Jan 13th, 2015

2D molybdenum disulfide: a promising new optical material for ultra-fast photonics

MoS2Molybdenum disulfide's (MoS2) semiconducting ability, strong light-matter interaction and similarity to graphene makes it of interest to scientists as a viable alternative in the manufacture of electronics, particularly photoelectronics. In pushing towards practical optical applications of two-dimensional (2D) MoS2, an essential gap on understanding the nonlinear optical response of 2D MoS2 and how it interacts with light, must be filled.

Posted: Oct 30th, 2014

An all-carbon optical diode for photonic computing

doped_grapheneResearchers have demonstrated the experimental realization of the first all-carbon optical diode that is ready for scalable integration along with being inherently broadband in operation with no restrictions on polarization or phase-matching criteria. As they show, harnessing the optical properties of graphene-based materials offers an opportunity to create the all-photonic analogs of diodes, transistors, and photonic logic gates that will one day enable construction of the first all-photonic computer.

Posted: Sep 1st, 2014