Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors

Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button

Home > Press > Pushing light beyond its known limits

A researcher is testing an optical fiber system in the Institute for Photonics & Advanced Sensing, University of Adelaide. Credit: Photo by Jennie Groom.
A researcher is testing an optical fiber system in the Institute for Photonics & Advanced Sensing, University of Adelaide. Credit: Photo by Jennie Groom.

Abstract:
Scientists at the University of Adelaide have made a breakthrough that could change the world's thinking on what light is capable of.

Pushing light beyond its known limits

Adelaide, Australia | Posted on November 12th, 2009

The researchers in the University's new Institute for Photonics & Advanced Sensing (IPAS) have discovered that light within optical fibers can be squeezed into much tighter spaces than was previously believed possible.

Optical fibers usually act like pipes for light, with the light bouncing around inside the pipe. As you shrink down the size of the fiber, the light becomes more and more confined too, until you reach the ultimate limit - the point beyond which light cannot be squeezed any smaller.

This ultimate point occurs when the strand of glass is just a few hundred nanometers in diameter, about one thousandth of the size of a human hair. If you go smaller than this, light begins to spread out again.

The Adelaide researchers have discovered they can now push beyond that limit by at least a factor of two.

They can do this due to new breakthroughs in the theoretical understanding of how light behaves at the nanoscale, and thanks to the use of a new generation of nanoscale optical fibers being developed at the Institute.

This discovery is expected to lead to more efficient tools for optical data processing in telecommunications networks and optical computing, as well as new light sources.

IPAS Research Fellow Dr Shahraam Afshar has made this discovery ahead of today's launch of the new Institute for Photonics & Advanced Sensing.

The Australian Government, South Australian Government, Defence Science & Technology Organisation (DSTO), Defence SA and the University of Adelaide have committed a combined total of more than $38 million to support the establishment of the new Institute.

IPAS is a world leader in the science and application of light, developing unique lasers, optical fibers and sensors to measure various aspects of the world around us. A strong focus of the new Institute is in collaboration with other fields of research to find solutions to a range of problems.

"By being able to use our optical fibers as sensors - rather than just using them as pipes to transmit light - we can develop tools that, for example, could easily detect the presence of a flu virus at an airport; could help IVF (in vitro fertilization) specialists to determine which egg should be chosen for fertilization; could gauge the safety of drinking water; or could alert maintenance crews to corrosion occurring in the structure of an aircraft," says Professor Tanya Monro, Federation Fellow at the University of Adelaide and Director of IPAS.

Professor Monro says Dr Afshar's discovery is "a fundamental breakthrough in the science of light".

Another IPAS researcher, Dr Yinlan Ruan, has recently created what is thought to be the world's smallest hole inside an optical fiber - just 25 nanometers in diameter.

"These breakthroughs feed directly into our applied work to develop nanoscale sensors, and they are perfect examples of the culture of research excellence that exists among our team members," Professor Monro says.

"They will enable us to study the applications of light at much smaller scales than we've ever thought possible. It will help us to better understand and probe our world in ever smaller dimensions."

####

About University of Adelaide
Adelaide's research is at the leading edge of knowledge, with research earnings consistently the highest per capita of any university in Australia. Analysis of the impact of publications and citations shows that the University of Adelaide is ranked in the top 1% in the world in 11 research fields.

An innovative and forward-looking University, Adelaide has major strengths in wine and food, health sciences, biological sciences, physical sciences, information technology and telecommunications, environmental sciences and social sciences.

At the heart of the University's vision, achievement and impact is our commitment to excellence, our sense that a focus on the experience of the student is fundamental, and our belief that research intensity and innovative, high quality teaching have a symbiotic relationship that underpins and characterises the finest universities in the world.

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
Professor Tanya Monro

61-883-033-955

Copyright © Eurekalert

If you have a comment, please Contact us.

Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.

Bookmark:
Delicious Digg Newsvine Google Yahoo Reddit Magnoliacom Furl Facebook

Related News Press

News and information

Oxford Instruments announces Dr Kate Ross as winner of the 2018 Lee Osheroff Richardson Science Prize for North and South America February 20th, 2018

Computers aid discovery of new, inexpensive material to make LEDs with high color quality February 20th, 2018

Unconventional superconductor may be used to create quantum computers of the future: They have probably succeeded in creating a topological superconductor February 19th, 2018

Photonic chip guides single photons, even when there are bends in the road February 16th, 2018

Display technology/LEDs/SS Lighting/OLEDs

Computers aid discovery of new, inexpensive material to make LEDs with high color quality February 20th, 2018

Govt.-Legislation/Regulation/Funding/Policy

Computers aid discovery of new, inexpensive material to make LEDs with high color quality February 20th, 2018

Arrowhead Receives Regulatory Clearance to Begin Phase 1/2 Study of ARO-HBV for Treatment of Hepatitis B February 15th, 2018

Arrowhead Pharmaceuticals Receives Orphan Drug Designation for ARO-AAT February 15th, 2018

Rutgers-Led Innovation Could Spur Faster, Cheaper, Nano-Based Manufacturing: Scalable and cost-effective manufacturing of thin film devices February 14th, 2018

Possible Futures

Computers aid discovery of new, inexpensive material to make LEDs with high color quality February 20th, 2018

Photonic chip guides single photons, even when there are bends in the road February 16th, 2018

'Living bandages': NUST MISIS scientists develop biocompatible anti-burn nanofibers February 15th, 2018

Rutgers-Led Innovation Could Spur Faster, Cheaper, Nano-Based Manufacturing: Scalable and cost-effective manufacturing of thin film devices February 14th, 2018

Nanomedicine

Arrowhead Receives Regulatory Clearance to Begin Phase 1/2 Study of ARO-HBV for Treatment of Hepatitis B February 15th, 2018

Arrowhead Pharmaceuticals Receives Orphan Drug Designation for ARO-AAT February 15th, 2018

'Living bandages': NUST MISIS scientists develop biocompatible anti-burn nanofibers February 15th, 2018

Understanding brain functions using upconversion nanoparticles: Researchers can now send light deep into the brain to study neural activities February 14th, 2018

Optical computing/Photonic computing

Photonic chip guides single photons, even when there are bends in the road February 16th, 2018

Researchers from TU Delft combine spintronics and nanophotonics in 2-D material January 25th, 2018

Researchers use sound waves to advance optical communication January 22nd, 2018

Leti to Demo New Curving Technology at Photonics West that Improves Performance of Optical Components January 18th, 2018

Sensors

Graphene on toast, anyone? Rice University scientists create patterned graphene onto food, paper, cloth, cardboard February 13th, 2018

Leti Chief Scientist Barbara De Salvo Will Help Kick Off ISSCC 2018 with Opening-Day Keynote: In Addition, Leti Scientists Will Present and Demo New Technology for Piezoelectric Energy Harvesting February 8th, 2018

Engineers develop flexible, water-repellent graphene circuits for washable electronics January 24th, 2018

Leti to Demo New Curving Technology at Photonics West that Improves Performance of Optical Components January 18th, 2018

Discoveries

Computers aid discovery of new, inexpensive material to make LEDs with high color quality February 20th, 2018

Unconventional superconductor may be used to create quantum computers of the future: They have probably succeeded in creating a topological superconductor February 19th, 2018

Photonic chip guides single photons, even when there are bends in the road February 16th, 2018

'Living bandages': NUST MISIS scientists develop biocompatible anti-burn nanofibers February 15th, 2018

Announcements

Oxford Instruments announces Dr Kate Ross as winner of the 2018 Lee Osheroff Richardson Science Prize for North and South America February 20th, 2018

Computers aid discovery of new, inexpensive material to make LEDs with high color quality February 20th, 2018

Unconventional superconductor may be used to create quantum computers of the future: They have probably succeeded in creating a topological superconductor February 19th, 2018

Photonic chip guides single photons, even when there are bends in the road February 16th, 2018

Water

Rice U.'s one-step catalyst turns nitrates into water and air: NSF-funded NEWT Center aims for catalytic converter for nitrate-polluted water January 5th, 2018

A new way to mix oil and water: Condensation-based method developed at MIT could create stable nanoscale emulsions November 8th, 2017

Magnetized viruses attack harmful bacteria: Rice, China team uses phage-enhanced nanoparticles to kill bacteria that foul water treatment systems August 2nd, 2017

Bacteria-coated nanofiber electrodes clean pollutants in wastewater July 1st, 2017

Aerospace/Space

Joseph N. Pelton named 2017 Lifeboat Foundation Guardian Award Winner February 1st, 2018

New research yields super-strong aluminum alloy January 25th, 2018

Nanotube fibers in a jiffy: Rice University lab makes short nanotube samples by hand to dramatically cut production time January 11th, 2018

Teachers in Space, Inc. wins Dream Project contest January 9th, 2018

Nanobiotechnology

Arrowhead Receives Regulatory Clearance to Begin Phase 1/2 Study of ARO-HBV for Treatment of Hepatitis B February 15th, 2018

Arrowhead Pharmaceuticals Receives Orphan Drug Designation for ARO-AAT February 15th, 2018

'Living bandages': NUST MISIS scientists develop biocompatible anti-burn nanofibers February 15th, 2018

Understanding brain functions using upconversion nanoparticles: Researchers can now send light deep into the brain to study neural activities February 14th, 2018

Photonics/Optics/Lasers

Photonic chip guides single photons, even when there are bends in the road February 16th, 2018

Rutgers-Led Innovation Could Spur Faster, Cheaper, Nano-Based Manufacturing: Scalable and cost-effective manufacturing of thin film devices February 14th, 2018

Understanding brain functions using upconversion nanoparticles: Researchers can now send light deep into the brain to study neural activities February 14th, 2018

Graphene on toast, anyone? Rice University scientists create patterned graphene onto food, paper, cloth, cardboard February 13th, 2018

NanoNews-Digest
The latest news from around the world, FREE



  Premium Products
NanoNews-Custom
Only the news you want to read!
 Learn More
NanoStrategies
Full-service, expert consulting
 Learn More











ASP
Nanotechnology Now Featured Books




NNN

The Hunger Project