First direct view of an electron’s short, speedy trip across a border

11.02. 2019 Optics & Photonics News - Optics, Photonics, Physics News

Electrons flowing across the boundary between two materials are the foundation of many key technologies, from flash memories to batteries and solar cells. Now researchers have directly observed and clocked these tiny cross-border movements for the first time, watching as electrons raced seven-tenths of a nanometer – about the width of seven hydrogen atoms – in 100 millionths of a billionth of a second.

Ceramic holds promise for greener optical devices

04.02. 2019 Optics & Photonics News - Optics, Photonics, Physics News

A lead-free ceramic that could be used in applications ranging from optical sensors and switches to creams for protecting against ultraviolet (UV) light has been developed by A*STAR researchers.

Einstein–de Haas effect offers new insight into a puzzling magnetic phenomenon

15.01. 2019 Optics & Photonics News - Optics, Photonics, Physics News

More than 100 years ago, Albert Einstein and Wander Johannes de Haas discovered that when they used a magnetic field to flip the magnetic state of an iron bar dangling from a thread, the bar began to rotate.

Scientists realize a three-dimensional ‘topological’ medium for electromagnetic waves

09.01. 2019 Optics & Photonics News - Optics, Photonics, Physics News

Topological insulators are exotic states of matter that physicists have been intensely studying for the past decade. Their most intriguing feature is that they can be rigorously distinguished from all other materials using a mathematical concept known as "topology." This mathematical property grants topological insulators the ability to transport electric signals without dissipation, via special quantum states called "topological surface states."

New way of switching exotic properties on and off in topological material

08.01. 2019 Optics & Photonics News - Optics, Photonics, Physics News

A weird feature of certain exotic materials allows electrons to travel from one surface of the material to another as if there were nothing in between. Now, researchers have shown that they can switch this feature on and off by toggling a material in and out of a stable topological state with pulses of light. The method could provide a new way of manipulating materials that could be used in future quantum computers and devices that carry electric current with no loss.

Blasting molecules with extreme X-rays

07.12. 2018 Optics & Photonics News - Optics, Photonics, Physics News

Reading these words, your eyes let you see each letter and the spaces between them. But if you need reading glasses, the letters may be fuzzy or incomprehensible. Scientists face a similar challenge. Gathering the right data depends on having tools that can provide accurate, comprehensive measurements. After all, scientists want to have the clearest sight possible.

Scientists obtain a hexagonal modification of silicon

28.11. 2018 Optics & Photonics News - Optics, Photonics, Physics News

A team of scientists from Lobachevsky University (Nizhny Novgorod, Russia) has obtained a material with a new structure for applications in next-generation optoelectronics and photonics. This material is one of the hexagonal modifications of silicon, which have better radiative properties compared to conventional cubic silicon, which is traditionally used in microelectronics.

New scientific concept for a Star Wars-like tractor beam

27.11. 2018 Optics & Photonics News - Optics, Photonics, Physics News

Physicists from ITMO University have developed a model of an optical tractor beam to capture particles based on new artificial materials. Such a beam is capable of moving particles or cells towards the radiation source. The study showed that hyperbolic metasurfaces are promising for experiments on creating the tractor beam, as well as for its practical applications. The results are published in ACS Photonics.

Paving the way: An accelerator on a microchip

26.11. 2018 Optics & Photonics News - Optics, Photonics, Physics News

Electrical engineers in the accelerator physics group at TU Darmstadt have developed a design for a laser-driven electron accelerator so small it could be produced on a silicon chip. It would be inexpensive and with multiple applications. The design, which has been published in Physical Review Letters, is now being realised as part of an international collaboration.

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.

Electronic activity previously invisible to electron microscopes revealed

30.10. 2018 Optics & Photonics News - Optics, Photonics, Physics News

The chips that drive everyday electronic gadgets such as personal computers and smartphones are made in semiconductor fabrication plants. These plants employ powerful transmission electron microscopes. While they can see physical structures smaller than a billionth of a meter, these microscopes have no way of seeing the electronic activity that makes the devices function.

Electronic activity previously invisible to electron microscopes revealed

30.10. 2018 Optics & Photonics News - Optics, Photonics, Physics News

The chips that drive everyday electronic gadgets such as personal computers and smartphones are made in semiconductor fabrication plants. These plants employ powerful transmission electron microscopes. While they can see physical structures smaller than a billionth of a meter, these microscopes have no way of seeing the electronic activity that makes the devices function.

Ancient pigment can boost energy efficiency

10.10. 2018 Optics & Photonics News - Optics, Photonics, Physics News

A color developed by Egyptians thousands of years ago has a modern-day application as well – the pigment can boost energy efficiency by cooling rooftops and walls, and could also enable solar generation of electricity via windows.

Nobel-winning physics key to ultra-fast laser research

04.10. 2018 Optics & Photonics News - Optics, Photonics, Physics News

The technique for generating high-intensity, ultra-short optical pulses developed by the 2018 Nobel Prize for Physics winners, Professor Gérard Mourou and Dr. Donna Strickland, provides the basis for important scientific approaches used in Swinburne's research.

Transition metal dichalcogenides could increase computer speed, memory

02.10. 2018 Optics & Photonics News - Optics, Photonics, Physics News

Transition metal dichalcogenides (TMDCs) possess optical properties that could be used to make computers run a million times faster and store information a million times more energy-efficiently, according to a study led by Georgia State University.