Nanotechnology Spotlight – Latest Articles

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Showing Spotlights 1 - 8 of 24 in category All (newest first):


Nanophotonics and nanofabrication combine to achieve 3D color prints

color-spotsWith a new approach, that brings us closer to the commercial application of 3D color holograms, scientists have developed the concept of a virtual 3D color object consisting of colorful focal spots at discrete heights in the out-of-plane dimension above the surface of a print - something they dubbed 'optical fireworks'. Unlike previous 3D color holograms, this color-filtering microlens-based displays realize multicolor and multifocal simultaneously in the form of bright colorful focal spots floating above the prints.

Jun 2nd, 2021

An inverse-designed metalens 3D-printed on an optical fiber tip

metalensA new generation of lenses - metalenses - is starting to replace bulky curved lenses with simple, flat surfaces that use nanostructures to focus light. These flat surfaces - meatsurfaces - have enabled the design of diffraction-based flat devices to replicate the functionalities of conventional lenses with sub-wavelength or few-wavelength thicknesses. Researchers have now successfully designed and experimentally demonstrated an inverse-designed metalens to operate at a near-infrared wavelength.

Apr 8th, 2021

Tunable chiral optics suitable for on-chip devices

nanowire-and-nanoparticlesInspired by chiral molecular structures, scientists are developing strategies to build artificial chiral materials by mimicking natural molecular structures using functional materials. Specifically, metal nanomaterials exhibit tailorable optical properties upon excitation of surface plasmons and become one of the most promising components to realize chiral optical metamaterials. Researchers now demonstrate all-solid-phase reconfigurable chiral nanostructures, where the geometry and chiroptical properties can be dynamically tailored and fully controlled on a solid substrate without liquid media.

Feb 1st, 2021

Printable nanocomposite overcomes the manufacturing limitations of metalenses

metalensResearchers have developed a high-throughput, scalable nanocomposite printing method to manufacture metalenses at low cost, paving the way to commercializing them. The nanocomposite material, which is also suitable for high-efficiency metasurfaces, can be molded into metalenses just by one step of printing without any secondary operations such as thin-film deposition or plasma etching. The researchers synthesized their nanocomposite by dispersing silicon nanoparticles in the matrix of UV-curable resin to achieve a high-refractive index to increase the efficiency of the metalenses. The printing mold is reusable, so the large-scale metalenses can be printed rapidly and repeatedly.

Jan 12th, 2021

Applying machine learning to nanophotonic design efforts

data-modellingA major challenge for nanophotonics engineers is the wide range of optical responses that metamaterials and other nanoplasmonic structures can generate. In the past few years, machine learning has emerged as a powerful tool for sifting through this vast universe of possible design parameters to aid the design of nanophotonic devices tailored for specific applications. A novel approach uses a type of neural network called a mixture density network to solve the non-uniqueness problem of machine learning algorithms, while also improving accuracy.

Sep 17th, 2020

Highly sensitive plasmonic metasensors based on atomically thin perovskite

sensorResearchers have designed and fabricated an ultrasensitive plasmonic biosensor with the integration of atomically thin perovskite nanomaterials on metasurfaces. For that purpose, they used an atomically thin perovskite nanomaterial with high absorption rate, sandwiched between hexagonal boron nitride and graphene layers, which enables the precise tuning of the depth of the plasmonic resonance dip. This biosensor can reach an ultra-high plasmonic sensitivity for detecting small-molecule, low-concentration analytes.

Jul 10th, 2020

Morphable metamaterials made with hierarchical kirigami

kirigamiResearchers have identified kirigami as an intriguing tool to create programmable mechanical metamaterials with unconventional mechanical and morphological responses. These reconfigurable metamaterials offer a new material platform to achieve dramatic changes of mechanical and optical properties, which are arising from dynamically tunable geometrical structures. A key feature of kirigami metamaterials is that they are conveniently cut when flat and then exploit local elastic instabilities to transform into complex 3D configurations upon stretching.

Dec 12th, 2019

Perfectly-absorbing photoconductive metasurface significantly improves THz detection

THz-detectorTerahertz (THz) frequencies, which occupy a middle ground between microwaves and infrared light, are seen as the future of wireless communications because they offer a higher bandwidth capacity for data transmission than currently used microwave radiation. Researchers have improved the photoconductive switch, a key optoelectronic element in THz technology, with a perfectly-absorbing photoconductive metasurface. The perfect absorption within this metasurface allows to make the active region of THz wave detectors significantly thinner in comparison to conventional detectors. Apart from reducing the size of THz detectors, it also improves their efficiency.

Apr 24th, 2019