Nanotechnology Spotlight – Latest Articles

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Showing Spotlights 1 - 8 of 131 in category All (newest first):

 

Opto-refrigerative tweezers can dynamically manipulate objects at a laser-generated cold spot

optical-tweezerOptical tweezers used to trap nanoscale objects usually require a tightly focused laser beam with high optical intensity. The problem with all conventional laser-based optical manipulation techniques is that the laser light could cause photodamages and photothermal degradation to nanoparticles and biological samples. A novel solution to this problem creates a low-temperature spot in the solution and trap particles and molecules at the cold spot. This new technique can effectively avoid photothermal damages.

Jun 29th, 2021

A new fabrication route for blackbody-sensitive room-temperature infrared photodetectors

photodetector-imageRelying on the quantum confinement effect, the strong light-matter interaction in low-dimensional materials enables them to exhibit excellent photodetection. The unique out-of-plane van der Waals force in low-dimensional layered materials makes them free from the surface dangling bonds compared to traditional bulk materials, which reduces the dark current of the devices by eliminating surface recombination. These unique advantages make low-dimensional materials have the potential to achieve breakthroughs in the field of low-cost high-performance room-temperature infrared detection.

Jun 7th, 2021

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

Steering waves deep into a forbidden gap

photonic-crystalThe propagation of light can be radically controlled with tailor-made nanostructures, called photonic crystals. The main feature of such crystals is a forbidden gap: waves with colors within a forbidden range travel only a limited distance - called Bragg length - before being reflected due to Bragg interference. Scientists have discovered a method to tunably steer light deep into photonic crystals, to depths well beyond the Bragg length. By spatially shaping the incident waves, the energy density of the light is enhanced at tunable distances deep inside the crystals.

Apr 22nd, 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

A disposable living laser printed on chip for drug screening

laserScientists have created a new way to monitor subtle drug interactions between bacteria and antibiotics. By using a common office inkjet printer, researchers developed a disposable living laser on chip by encapsulating living bacteria inside. Strong laser emissions generated from bacteria inside the droplet will be dramatically enhanced during drug interactions. This breakthrough could enable more sensitive and high-throughput testing using micro-nano laser technology in the near future.

Mar 25th, 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