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

Solar-to-fuel system recycles CO2 to make ethanol and ethylene: Berkeley Lab advance is first demonstration of efficient, light-powered production of fuel via artificial photosynthesis September 19th, 2017

A new approach to ultrafast light pulses: Unusual fluorescent materials could be used for rapid light-based communications systems September 19th, 2017

New quantum phenomena in graphene superlattices September 18th, 2017

Do titanium dioxide particles from orthopedic implants disrupt bone repair? September 16th, 2017

Display technology/LEDs/SS Lighting/OLEDs

The power of perovskite: OIST researchers improve perovskite-based technology in the entire energy cycle, from solar cells harnessing power to LED diodes to light the screens of future electronic devices and other lighting applications August 18th, 2017

Nanocrystalline LEDs: Red, green, yellow, blue ... August 7th, 2017

Nanoparticles could spur better LEDs, invisibility cloaks July 19th, 2017

Cambridge Nanotherm partners with Inabata for global sales and distribution June 20th, 2017

Govt.-Legislation/Regulation/Funding/Policy

Solar-to-fuel system recycles CO2 to make ethanol and ethylene: Berkeley Lab advance is first demonstration of efficient, light-powered production of fuel via artificial photosynthesis September 19th, 2017

New insights into nanocrystal growth in liquid: Understanding process that creates complex crystals important for energy applications September 14th, 2017

Magnetic cellular 'Legos' for the regenerative medicine of the future September 12th, 2017

First on-chip nanoscale optical quantum memory developed: Smallest-yet optical quantum memory device is a storage medium for optical quantum networks with the potential to be scaled up for commercial use September 11th, 2017

Possible Futures

Solar-to-fuel system recycles CO2 to make ethanol and ethylene: Berkeley Lab advance is first demonstration of efficient, light-powered production of fuel via artificial photosynthesis September 19th, 2017

A new approach to ultrafast light pulses: Unusual fluorescent materials could be used for rapid light-based communications systems September 19th, 2017

Hydrogen power moves a step closer: Physicists are developing methods of creating renewable fuel from water using quantum technology September 15th, 2017

New insights into nanocrystal growth in liquid: Understanding process that creates complex crystals important for energy applications September 14th, 2017

Nanomedicine

Do titanium dioxide particles from orthopedic implants disrupt bone repair? September 16th, 2017

Arrowhead Hosts Investor & Analyst R&D Day to Introduce TRiM(TM) Platform and Lead RNAi-based Drug Candidates September 14th, 2017

Graphene based terahertz absorbers: Printable graphene inks enable ultrafast lasers in the terahertz range September 13th, 2017

Applications for the nanomedTAB are open until September 18th, 2017 September 13th, 2017

Optical computing/Photonic computing

A new approach to ultrafast light pulses: Unusual fluorescent materials could be used for rapid light-based communications systems September 19th, 2017

First on-chip nanoscale optical quantum memory developed: Smallest-yet optical quantum memory device is a storage medium for optical quantum networks with the potential to be scaled up for commercial use September 11th, 2017

High-speed quantum memory for photons September 9th, 2017

New results reveal high tunability of 2-D material: Berkeley Lab-led team also provides most precise band gap measurement yet for hotly studied monolayer moly sulfide August 26th, 2017

Sensors

Research shows how DNA molecules cross nanopores: Study could inform biosensors, manufacturing, and more September 5th, 2017

Leti and Partners in PiezoMAT Project Develop New Fingerprint Technology for Highly Reliable Security and ID Applications: Ultra-high Resolution Pressure Sensing Uses Matrices of Vertical Piezoelectric Nanowire To Reconstruct the Smallest Features of Human Fingerprints September 5th, 2017

New results reveal high tunability of 2-D material: Berkeley Lab-led team also provides most precise band gap measurement yet for hotly studied monolayer moly sulfide August 26th, 2017

DNA sensor system developed for specific and sensitive measurement of cancer-relevant enzyme activity August 23rd, 2017

Discoveries

Solar-to-fuel system recycles CO2 to make ethanol and ethylene: Berkeley Lab advance is first demonstration of efficient, light-powered production of fuel via artificial photosynthesis September 19th, 2017

A new approach to ultrafast light pulses: Unusual fluorescent materials could be used for rapid light-based communications systems September 19th, 2017

New quantum phenomena in graphene superlattices September 18th, 2017

Do titanium dioxide particles from orthopedic implants disrupt bone repair? September 16th, 2017

Announcements

Solar-to-fuel system recycles CO2 to make ethanol and ethylene: Berkeley Lab advance is first demonstration of efficient, light-powered production of fuel via artificial photosynthesis September 19th, 2017

A new approach to ultrafast light pulses: Unusual fluorescent materials could be used for rapid light-based communications systems September 19th, 2017

New quantum phenomena in graphene superlattices September 18th, 2017

Do titanium dioxide particles from orthopedic implants disrupt bone repair? September 16th, 2017

Water

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

Smart materials used in ultrasound behave similar to water, Penn chemists report June 16th, 2017

Plasmonics could bring sustainable society, desalination tech June 2nd, 2017

Aerospace/Space

A revolution in lithium-ion batteries is becoming more realistic September 5th, 2017

The July 23 close fly-by of asteroid 2017 BS5 is explored in a Q&A with Dr. John S. Lewis, chief scientist at Deep Space Industries July 23rd, 2017

National Space Society Governor Scott Pace Named to National Space Council as Executive Secretary July 18th, 2017

National Space Society Supports VP Pence's Call for Constant Low-Earth Orbit Human Presence Leading to the Settlement of Space July 13th, 2017

Nanobiotechnology

Do titanium dioxide particles from orthopedic implants disrupt bone repair? September 16th, 2017

Applications for the nanomedTAB are open until September 18th, 2017 September 13th, 2017

Magnetic cellular 'Legos' for the regenerative medicine of the future September 12th, 2017

How to draw electricity from the bloodstream: A one-dimensional fluidic nanogenerator with a high power-conversion efficiency September 11th, 2017

Photonics/Optics/Lasers

A new approach to ultrafast light pulses: Unusual fluorescent materials could be used for rapid light-based communications systems September 19th, 2017

Graphene based terahertz absorbers: Printable graphene inks enable ultrafast lasers in the terahertz range September 13th, 2017

First on-chip nanoscale optical quantum memory developed: Smallest-yet optical quantum memory device is a storage medium for optical quantum networks with the potential to be scaled up for commercial use September 11th, 2017

High-speed quantum memory for photons September 9th, 2017

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



  Premium Products
NanoNews-Custom
Only the news you want to read!
 Learn More
NanoTech-Transfer
University Technology Transfer & Patents
 Learn More
NanoStrategies
Full-service, expert consulting
 Learn More











ASP
Nanotechnology Now Featured Books




NNN

The Hunger Project