Nanotechnology Now





Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button


DHgate

Home > Press > CU Physicists Use Ultra-Fast Lasers to Open Doors to New Technologies Unheard of Just Years Ago

Margaret Murnane
Margaret Murnane

Abstract:
For nearly half a century, scientists have been trying to figure out how to build a cost-effective and reasonably sized X-ray laser that could, among other things, provide super high-resolution imaging. And for the past two decades, University of Colorado at Boulder physics professors Margaret Murnane and Henry Kapteyn have been inching closer to that goal.

Recent breakthroughs by their team at JILA, a joint institute of CU-Boulder and the National Institute of Standards and Technology, have paved the way on how to build a tabletop X-ray laser that could be used for super high-resolution imaging, while also giving scientists a new way to peer into a single cell and gain a better understanding of the nanoworld.

CU Physicists Use Ultra-Fast Lasers to Open Doors to New Technologies Unheard of Just Years Ago

Boulder, CO | Posted on February 23rd, 2010

Both of these feats could lead to major breakthroughs in many fields including medicine, biology and nanotechnology development.

"Our goal is to create a laser beam that contains a broad range of X-ray wavelengths all at once that can be focused both in time and space," Murnane said. "If we have this source of coherent light that spans a huge region of the electromagnetic spectrum, we would be able to make the highest resolution light-based tabletop microscope in existence that could capture images in 3-D and tell us exactly what we are looking at. We're very close."

Murnane and Kapteyn presented highlights of their research today at the American Association for the Advancement of Science, or AAAS, annual meeting in San Diego, during a panel discussion about the history and future of laser technology titled "Next Generation of Extreme Optical Tools and Applications."

Most of today's X-ray lasers require so much power that they rely on fusion laser facilities the size of football stadiums or larger, making their use impractical. Murnane and Kapteyn generate coherent laser-like X-ray beams by using an intense femtosecond laser and combining hundreds or thousands of visible photons together. And the key is they are doing it with a desktop-size system.

They can already generate laser-like X-ray beams in the soft X-ray region and believe they have discovered how to extend the process all the way into the hard X-ray region of the electromagnetic spectrum.

"If we can do this, it could lead to all kinds of possibilities," Kapteyn said. "It might make it possible to improve X-ray imaging resolution at your doctor's office by a thousand times. The X-rays we get in the hospital now are limited. For example, they can't detect really small cancers because the X-ray source in your doctor's office is more like a light bulb, not a laser. If you had a bright, focused laser-like X-ray beam, you could image with far higher resolution."

Their method can be thought of as a coherent version of the X-ray tube, according to Murnane. In an X-ray tube, an electron is boiled off a filament, then it is accelerated in an electric field before hitting a solid target, where the kinetic energy of the electron is converted into incoherent X-rays. These incoherent X-rays are like the incoherent light from a light bulb or flashlight -- they aren't very focused.

In the tabletop setup, instead of boiling an electron from a filament, they pluck part of the quantum wave function of an electron from an atom using a very intense laser pulse. The electron is then accelerated and slammed back into the ion, releasing its energy as an X-ray photon. Since the laser field controls the motion of the electron, the X-rays emitted can retain the coherence properties of a laser, Murnane said.

Being able to build a tabletop X-ray laser is just the beginning, said Kapteyn.

"An analogy that is pretty close to what is going on in this field is the MRI, which started as just a fundamental investigation," said Kapteyn. "People then started using it for microscopy, and then it progressed into a medical diagnostic technique."

Murnane and Kapteyn were recently recognized with the American Physical Society's Arthur L. Schawlow Prize in Laser Science for "pioneering work in the area of ultra-fast laser science, including development of ultra-fast optical and coherent soft X-ray sources." The prize, which was endowed by NEC Corporation in 1991, recognizes "outstanding contributions to basic research which uses lasers to advance our knowledge of the fundamental physical properties of materials and their interaction with light." Nobel laureates and CU-Boulder physics Professors Carl E. Wieman (1999) and John L. Hall (1993) also have won the award.

For more information about Murnane and Kapteyn's work visit their research group page at jila.colorado.edu/kmgroup/home.html.

####

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
Margaret Murnane
303-492-7839


Henry Kapteyn
303-492-8198


Greg Swenson
CU News Services
303-492-3113

Copyright © University of Colorado in Boulder

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

Chitosan coated, chemotherapy packed nanoparticles may target cancer stem cells June 30th, 2015

BASF and Fraunhofer IPMS-CNT jointly develop electronic materials June 30th, 2015

Researchers from the UCA, key players in a pioneering study that may explain the origin of several digestive diseases June 30th, 2015

Oxford Instruments’ TritonXL Cryofree dilution refrigerator selected for the Oxford NQIT Quantum Technology Hub project June 30th, 2015

Possible Futures

Harris & Harris Group Portfolio Company D-Wave Systems Announces 1,000 Qubit Processor and is Discussed in the Economist June 23rd, 2015

Global Nanoclays Market Analysis, Size, Growth, Trends And Segment Forecasts, 2015 To 2022: Grand View Research, Inc June 15th, 2015

Healthcare Nanotechnology (Nanomedicine) Market Size To 2020 June 5th, 2015

Environmental Issues to Hamper Growth of Global Nanocomposites Market June 4th, 2015

Academic/Education

Oxford Instruments’ TritonXL Cryofree dilution refrigerator selected for the Oxford NQIT Quantum Technology Hub project June 30th, 2015

Rice University boots up powerful microscopes: New electron microscopes will capture images at subnanometer resolution June 29th, 2015

Six top Catalan research centres constitute ‘The Barcelona Institute of Science and Technology’ to pursue a joint scientific endeavour June 27th, 2015

Lancaster University revolutionary quantum technology research receives funding boost June 22nd, 2015

Nanomedicine

Chitosan coated, chemotherapy packed nanoparticles may target cancer stem cells June 30th, 2015

Researchers from the UCA, key players in a pioneering study that may explain the origin of several digestive diseases June 30th, 2015

Efforts to Use Smart Nanocarriers to Cure Leukemia Yield Promising Results June 29th, 2015

Chivalrous Knight Does Pro Bono June 27th, 2015

Announcements

BASF and Fraunhofer IPMS-CNT jointly develop electronic materials June 30th, 2015

Graphene flexes its electronic muscles: Rice-led researchers calculate electrical properties of carbon cones, other shapes June 30th, 2015

Researchers from the UCA, key players in a pioneering study that may explain the origin of several digestive diseases June 30th, 2015

Oxford Instruments’ TritonXL Cryofree dilution refrigerator selected for the Oxford NQIT Quantum Technology Hub project June 30th, 2015

Tools

Oxford Instruments’ TritonXL Cryofree dilution refrigerator selected for the Oxford NQIT Quantum Technology Hub project June 30th, 2015

How Graphene–based Nanomaterials and Films Revolutionize Science Explained in July 9 Webinar Hosted by Park Systems June 29th, 2015

Keysight Technologies Introduces Ultrafast-Scanning 9500 Atomic Force Microscope: New Integrated Software, Hardware Delivers Unmatched Scan Rates June 29th, 2015

Rice University boots up powerful microscopes: New electron microscopes will capture images at subnanometer resolution June 29th, 2015

Events/Classes

How Graphene–based Nanomaterials and Films Revolutionize Science Explained in July 9 Webinar Hosted by Park Systems June 29th, 2015

Graphene breakthrough as Bosch creates magnetic sensor 100 times more sensitive than silicon equivalent June 28th, 2015

Spain nanotechnology featured at NANO KOREA 2015 June 26th, 2015

Nanometrics to Participate in 7th Annual CEO Investor Summit 2015: Investor Event Held Concurrently With SEMICON West in San Francisco June 25th, 2015

Nanobiotechnology

Nanometric sensor designed to detect herbicides can help diagnose multiple sclerosis June 23rd, 2015

Newly-Developed Biosensor in Iran Detects Cocaine Addiction June 23rd, 2015

Researchers first to show that Saharan silver ants can control electromagnetic waves over an extremely broad range of the electromagnetic spectrum—findings may lead to biologically inspired coatings for passive radiative cooling of objects June 19th, 2015

Cellulose from wood can be printed in 3-D June 17th, 2015

Quantum nanoscience

The quantum spin Hall effect is a fundamental property of light June 25th, 2015

Lancaster University revolutionary quantum technology research receives funding boost June 22nd, 2015

UAB researchers design the most precise quantum thermometer to date: The device would be capable of measuring the temperature of a cell's interior June 7th, 2015

Visualizing the 'matrix': App provides insight into the quantum world of coupled nuclear spins June 3rd, 2015

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