Scientists produce 3-D chemical maps of single bacteria

16.11. 2018 Optics & Photonics News - Optics, Photonics, Physics News

Scientists at the National Synchrotron Light Source II (NSLS-II)—a U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Science User Facility at DOE's Brookhaven National Laboratory—have used ultrabright x-rays to image single bacteria with higher spatial resolution than ever before. Their work, published in Scientific Reports, demonstrates an X-ray imaging technique, called X-ray fluorescence microscopy (XRF), as an effective approach to produce 3-D images of small biological samples.

Terahertz laser pulses amplify optical phonons in solids

15.11. 2018 Optics & Photonics News - Optics, Photonics, Physics News

A study led by scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg/Germany presents evidence of the amplification of optical phonons in a solid by intense terahertz laser pulses. These light bursts excite atomic vibrations to very large amplitudes, where their response to the driving electric field becomes nonlinear and conventional description fails to predict their behavior.

Physicists discover new way of resonance tuning for nonlinear optics

14.11. 2018 Optics & Photonics News - Optics, Photonics, Physics News

A research team from ITMO University and the Australian National University has discovered that different metasurfaces exhibit the same behavior provided a symmetry breaking is introduced to their unit cells "meta-atoms." Asymmetry of meta-atoms results in high-quality (high Q) resonances in the transmittance spectra of metasurfaces. Such resonances are capable of multiple amplification of external signals. By manipulating the asymmetry, scientists were able to control the resonances and thus an optical response, which is highly desirable for practical applications. The results of this research were published in Physical Review Letters.

Increasing CD and microchip storage capacity 100-fold

13.11. 2018 Optics & Photonics News - Optics, Photonics, Physics News

Research by Pierre Lucas could lead to computer memories that work more like human memories.

Next-generation technology is coming to a self-driving car near you

07.11. 2018 Optics & Photonics News - Optics, Photonics, Physics News

Typically, navigation systems for autonomous cars use visible light to identify foreign objects. This works most of the time. But in misty, foggy, or rainy conditions, self-driving cars become a deer in headlights, largely unaware of upcoming obstacles. Scattered light confuses the car's system, thus blurring the distinction between real objects and reflections from the scattered light itself. Under these conditions, autonomous cars cannot recognize upcoming obstacles that would be easily identifiable to the human eye.

Making steps toward improved data storage

07.11. 2018 Optics & Photonics News - Optics, Photonics, Physics News

A team of scientists has created the world's most powerful electromagnetic pulses in the terahertz range to control in fine detail how a data-storage material switches physical form. This discovery could contribute to scaled-down memory devices, eventually revolutionizing how computers handle information.

New mobile device identifies airborne allergens using deep learning

06.11. 2018 Optics & Photonics News - Optics, Photonics, Physics News

UCLA researchers invented a portable device that uses holograms and machine learning to identify and measure airborne biological particles, or bioaerosols, that originate from living organisms such as plants or fungi. Trained to recognize five common allergens—pollen from Bermuda grass, oak, ragweed and spores from two types of mold—the system classified samples with an accuracy of 94 percent using deep learning.

Laser architecture can create complex structures to probe, control matter

05.11. 2018 Optics & Photonics News - Optics, Photonics, Physics News

Lasers have a unique ability to precisely drive, manipulate, control, and probe matter utilizing an incredible variety of methods. While they often operate behind the scenes, lasers are the backbone of revolutionary science and technology—including research advances that were the basis for the 2018 Nobel Prize in Physics.

New efficiency record set for perovskite LEDs

05.11. 2018 Optics & Photonics News - Optics, Photonics, Physics News

Researchers have set a new efficiency record for LEDs based on perovskite semiconductors, rivalling that of the best organic LEDs (OLEDs).

Flying focus: Controlling lasers through time and space

05.11. 2018 Optics & Photonics News - Optics, Photonics, Physics News

Scientists have produced an extremely bright spot of light that can travel at any speed—including faster than the speed of light. Researchers have found a way to use this concept, called "flying focus," to move an intense laser focal point over long distances at any speed. Their technique includes capturing some of the fastest movies ever recorded.

Physicists upgrade cheap diode laser for use in precise measurements

02.11. 2018 Optics & Photonics News - Optics, Photonics, Physics News

Russian physicists have developed a method for drastically narrowing the emission spectrum of an ordinary diode laser, like that in a laser pointer. This makes their device a useful replacement for the more complex and expensive single-frequency lasers, enabling the creation of compact chemical analyzers that can fit into smartphones, cheap lidars for self-driving cars, as well as security and structural health monitoring systems on bridges, gas pipelines and elsewhere. The study was published Oct. 26 in Nature Photonicsand was co-authored by researchers from the Russian Quantum Center (RQC), the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology (MIPT), Lomonosov Moscow State University (MSU), and Samsung R&D Institute Russia.

New photonic devices are said to be poised to enable the next leap in deep space exploration

01.11. 2018 Optics & Photonics News - Optics, Photonics, Physics News

New directed energy propulsion systems may enable the first interstellar missions, with small, robotic spacecraft exploring neighboring solar systems, according to experimental cosmologist Philip Lubin. He will present these and other advances at The Optical Society's (OSA) Laser Congress, Light the Future Speaker Series, 4-8 Nov. in Boston.

NASA team investigates ultrafast laser machining for multiple spaceflight applications

01.11. 2018 Optics & Photonics News - Optics, Photonics, Physics News

An ultrafast laser that fires pulses of light just 100 millionths of a nanosecond in duration could potentially revolutionize the way that NASA technicians manufacture and ultimately assemble instrument components made of dissimilar materials.

Using a crystal to link visible light to infrared opens a window on infrared sensing

01.11. 2018 Optics & Photonics News - Optics, Photonics, Physics News

A cheap, compact technique for analyzing samples at infrared wavelengths using visible-wavelength components could revolutionize medical and material testing.

Important biomedical microscopy technique can now image deeper into tissue

31.10. 2018 Optics & Photonics News - Optics, Photonics, Physics News

A recently developed technique known as light-sheet fluorescence microscopy has led to many biological discoveries by allowing researchers to create 3-D images of tissue, even live animal embryos, using fluorescent tags. Now, researchers report the ability to increase the imaging depth of light-sheet fluorescence microscopy with the use of an optical phenomenon known as three-photon absorption.