Microscopic glass blowing used to make tiny optical lenses

25.06. 2019 Optics & Photonics News - Optics, Photonics, Physics News

Inserting air into hot glass to form a bubble has been used to make glass objects since Roman times. In new work, researchers apply these same glass blowing principles on a microscopic scale to make specialized miniature cone-shaped lenses known as axicons.

Designing light-harvesting organic semiconductor microcrystals with wavelength-tunable lasers

25.06. 2019 Optics & Photonics News - Optics, Photonics, Physics News

Organic solid-state lasers are essential for photonic applications, but current-driven lasers are a great challenge to develop in applied physics and materials science. While it is possible to create charge transfer complexes (i.e. electron-donor-acceptor complexes among two/more molecules or across a large molecule) with p-/n- type organic semiconductors in electrically pumped lasers, the existing difficulties arise from nonradiative loss due to the delocalized states of charge transfer (CT). In a recent report, Kang Wang and a team of researchers in the departments of chemistry, molecular nanostructure and nanotechnology in China demonstrated the enduring action of CT complexes by exciton funneling in p-type organic microcrystals with n-type doping.

Boosting light-based computing

25.06. 2019 Optics & Photonics News - Optics, Photonics, Physics News

University of Twente spinoff company QuiX is currently developing a photonic chip using the quantum properties of light for carrying out complex calculations. The new chip, of which a first version is already operational, calculates using light, photons, and will be an attractive platform for discovering the potential of quantum computing and for experimenting with new ways of calculating. Further development of the photonics processor will be made possible through an investment by Oost NL, University of Twente and some informal investors.

Calibration method improves scientific research performed with smartphone cameras

24.06. 2019 Optics & Photonics News - Optics, Photonics, Physics News

Although smartphones and other consumer cameras are increasingly used for scientific applications, it's difficult to compare and combine data from different devices. A new easy-to-use standardized method makes it possible for almost anyone to calibrate these cameras without any specialized equipment, helping amateurs, science students and professional scientists to acquire useful data with any consumer camera.

Laser method promising for detecting trace chemicals in air

20.06. 2019 Optics & Photonics News - Optics, Photonics, Physics News

Researchers have developed a new laser-based method that can detect electric charges and chemicals of interest with unprecedented sensitivity. The new approach could one day offer a way to scan large areas for radioactive material or hazardous chemicals for safety and security applications.

Researchers improve semiconductor laser on silicon

20.06. 2019 Optics & Photonics News - Optics, Photonics, Physics News

Electrical engineering researchers have boosted the operating temperature of a promising new semiconductor laser on silicon substrate, moving it one step closer to possible commercial application.

A new force for optical tweezers

18.06. 2019 Optics & Photonics News - Optics, Photonics, Physics News

When studying biological cells using optical tweezers, one main issue is the damage caused to the cell by the tool. Giovanni Volpe, University of Gothenburg, has discovered a new type of force that will greatly reduce the amount of light used by optical tweezers—and improve the study of all kinds of cells and particles.

Ring resonators corner light

18.06. 2019 Optics & Photonics News - Optics, Photonics, Physics News

Researchers at the Joint Quantum Institute (JQI) have created the first silicon chip that can reliably constrain light to its four corners. The effect, which arises from interfering optical pathways, isn't altered by small defects during fabrication and could eventually enable the creation of robust sources of quantum light.

Building a better electron gun

17.06. 2019 Optics & Photonics News - Optics, Photonics, Physics News

The successful test of the LCLS-II electron gun (see related article) marks the culmination of an R&D effort spanning more than a decade at the Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab).

Researchers capture microscopic manufacturing flaws via high-speed X-ray movies

17.06. 2019 Optics & Photonics News - Optics, Photonics, Physics News

Microscopic defects that occur in laser-based manufacturing of metal parts can lead to big problems if undetected, and the process of fixing these flaws can increase the time and cost of high-tech manufacturing. But new research into the cause of these flaws could lead to a remedy.

A new method for the generation of intense X-ray and gamma-ray radiation

14.06. 2019 Optics & Photonics News - Optics, Photonics, Physics News

International group of researchers including scientists from Skoltech have invented a new method for the generation of intense X-ray and gamma-ray radiation based on nonlinear Compton scattering. Their results were published in Physical Review Letters.

Laser trick produces high-energy terahertz pulses

14.06. 2019 Optics & Photonics News - Optics, Photonics, Physics News

A team of scientists from DESY and the University of Hamburg has achieved an important milestone in the quest for a new type of compact particle accelerator. Using ultra-powerful pulses of laser light, they were able to produce particularly high-energy flashes of radiation in the terahertz range having a sharply defined wavelength (color). Terahertz radiation is to open the way for a new generation of compact particle accelerators that will find room on a lab bench. The team headed by Andreas Maier and Franz Kärtner from the Hamburg Center for Free-Electron Laser Science (CFEL) is presenting its findings in the journal Nature Communications. CFEL is jointly run by DESY, the University of Hamburg and the Max Planck Society.

Discovery of light-induced ferroelectricity in strontium titanate

14.06. 2019 Optics & Photonics News - Optics, Photonics, Physics News

Light can be used not only to measure materials' properties, but also to change them. Especially interesting are those cases in which the function of a material can be modified, such as its ability to conduct electricity or to store information in its magnetic state. A team led by Andrea Cavalleri from the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter in Hamburg have used terahertz frequency light pulses to transform a non-ferroelectric material into a ferroelectric one.

Inexpensive, simple fabrication method poised to expand microlens applications

12.06. 2019 Optics & Photonics News - Optics, Photonics, Physics News

A growing number of applications, including smartphone cameras, depend on microlenses to boost performance. A newly developed technology, called laser catapulting, could make it much easier and less expensive to fabricate these miniaturized lenses with customized properties, such as shape or focusing power.

Diffusing wave paradox may be used to design micro-robotics

12.06. 2019 Optics & Photonics News - Optics, Photonics, Physics News

Amoeba are unusual creatures that form when a dispersed population of cells spontaneously comes together and reorganizes itself into a multicellular macroscopic organism. To do this, a few leader cells emit chemical pulses that cause the other individual cells to move in the direction opposite to that of the traveling pulses, leading to the formation of dense clusters.