Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors

Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button

Home > Press > Seeing the Light

Scientists at Berkeley Lab’s Molecular Foundry have developed a web-based imaging toolkit designed for researchers studying plasmonic and photonic structures. This open-source software is available at www.nanohub.org.
Scientists at Berkeley Lab’s Molecular Foundry have developed a web-based imaging toolkit designed for researchers studying plasmonic and photonic structures. This open-source software is available at www.nanohub.org.

Abstract:
Berkeley Lab Scientists Bring Plasmonic Nanofields Into Focus

Seeing the Light

Berkeley, CA | Posted on February 7th, 2011

In typical plasmonic devices, electromagnetic waves crowd into tiny metal structures, concentrating energy into nanoscale dimensions. Due to coupling of electronics and photonics in these metal nanostructures, plasmonic devices could be harnessed for high-speed data transmission or ultrafast detector arrays. However, studying plasmonic fields in nanoscale devices presents a real roadblock for scientists, as examining these structures inherently alters their behavior.

"Whether you use a laser or a light bulb, the wavelength of light is still too large to study plasmonic fields in nanostructures. What's more, most tools used to study plasmonic fields will alter the field distribution—the very behavior we hope to understand," says Jim Schuck, a staff scientist with Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) who works in the Imaging and Manipulation of Nanostructures Facility at the Molecular Foundry.

Light microscopy plays a fundamental role in a scientist's repertoire: the technique is easy to use and doesn't inflict damage to a carefully crafted electronic circuit or delicate biological specimen. However, a typical nanoscale object of interest—such as a strand of DNA or a quantum dot—is well below the wavelength of visible light in size, which means the ability to distinguish one such object from another when they are closely spaced is lost. Scientists are now challenging this limit using ‘localization' techniques, which count the number of photons emanating from an object to help determine its position.

In previous work, Schuck and colleagues at the Molecular Foundry, a U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Nanoscale Science Research Centers, engineered bowtie-shaped plasmonic devices designed to capture, filter and steer light at the nanoscale. These nano-color sorter devices served as antennae to focus and sort light in tiny spaces to a desired set of colors or energies—crucial for filters and other detectors.

In this latest advance, Schuck and his Berkeley Lab team used their innovative imaging concept to visualize plasmonic fields from these devices with nanoscale resolution. By imaging fluorescence from gold within the bowtie and maximizing the number of photons collected from their bowtie devices, the team was able to glean the position of plasmonic modes—oscillations of charge that result in optical resonance—just a few nanometers apart.

"We wondered whether there was a way to use light already present in our bowties—localized photons—to probe these fields and serve as a reporter," says Schuck. "Our technique is also sensitive to imperfections in the system, such as tiny structural flaws or size effects, suggesting we could use this technique to measure the performance of plasmonic devices in both research and development settings."

In parallel with Schuck's experimental findings, Jeff Neaton, Director of the Molecular Foundry 's Theory of Nanostructured Materials Facility and Alex McLeod, an undergraduate student working at the Foundry, developed a web-based toolkit, designed to calculate images of plasmonic devices with open-source software developed at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. For this study, the researchers simulated adjusting the structure of a double bowtie antenna by a few nanometers to study how changing the size and symmetry of a plasmonic antenna affects its optical properties.

"By shifting their structure by just a few nanometers, we can focus light at different positions inside the bowtie with remarkable certainty and predictability," said McLeod. "This work demonstrates that these nanoscale optical antennae resonate with light just as our simulations predict."

Useful for researchers studying plasmonic and photonic structures, this toolkit will be available for download on nanoHUB, a computational resource for nanoscience and technology created through the National Science Foundation's Network for Computational Nanotechnology.

"This work really exemplifies the very best of what the Molecular Foundry is about," said Neaton, who is also Acting Deputy Director of Berkeley Lab's Materials Sciences Division. "Three separate Foundry facilities—Imaging, Nanofabrication and Theory—collaborated on a significant advance in our understanding of how visible light can be localized, manipulated, and imaged at the nanoscale."

A paper reporting this research titled, "Non-perturbative visualization of nanoscale plasmonic field distributions via photon localization microscopy," appears in Physical Review Letters and is available to subscribers online. Co-authoring the paper with Schuck, McLeod and Neaton were Alexander Weber-Bargioni, Zhaoyu Zhang, Scott Dhuey, Bruce Harteneck and Stefano Cabrini.

Portions of this work at the Molecular Foundry were supported by DOE's Office of Science. Support for this work was also provided by the National Science Foundation through the Network for Computational Nanotechnology.

The Molecular Foundry is one of the five DOE Nanoscale Science Research Centers (NSRCs), national user facilities for interdisciplinary research at the nanoscale, supported by the DOE Office of Science. Together the NSRCs comprise a suite of complementary facilities that provide researchers with state-of-the-art capabilities to fabricate, process, characterize and model nanoscale materials, and constitute the largest infrastructure investment of the National Nanotechnology Initiative. The NSRCs are located at DOE's Argonne, Brookhaven, Lawrence Berkeley, Oak Ridge and Sandia and Los Alamos National Laboratories. For more information about the DOE NSRCs, please visit nano.energy.gov.

####

About Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory is a U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) national laboratory managed by the University of California for the DOE Office of Science. Berkeley Lab provides solutions to the world’s most urgent scientific challenges including sustainable energy, climate change, human health, and a better understanding of matter and force in the universe. It is a world leader in improving our lives through team science, advanced computing, and innovative technology.

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
Aditi Risbud
(510)486-4861

Copyright © Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

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

Novel 'converter' heralds breakthrough in ultra-fast data processing at nanoscale: Invention bagged four patents and could potentially make microprocessor chips work 1,000 times faster October 20th, 2017

Strange but true: turning a material upside down can sometimes make it softer October 20th, 2017

Leti Coordinating Project to Develop Innovative Drivetrains for 3rd-generation Electric Vehicles: CEA Tech’s Contribution Includes Liten’s Knowhow in Magnetic Materials and Simulation And Leti’s Expertise in Wide-bandgap Semiconductors October 20th, 2017

MIPT scientists revisit optical constants of ultrathin gold films October 20th, 2017

Software

Leti Launches Emulator Service to Boost ROI and Speed Time to Market for European Chipmakers: Anchored by Mentor Veloce Emulator Machine, Leti’s Offer Includes Support for Design, Debug and Analysis of Results August 31st, 2017

Technology Companies Join Forces for TEM Imaging and Analysis August 3rd, 2017

Nanometrics Introduces SpectraProbe Analysis Software: Advanced software and algorithms enhancing Nanometrics metrology fleet capabilities fab-wide July 13th, 2017

Nanometrics Releases NanoDiffract 4: Latest software extends process control capabilities for advanced 3D devices July 11th, 2017

Govt.-Legislation/Regulation/Funding/Policy

Leti Coordinating Project to Develop Innovative Drivetrains for 3rd-generation Electric Vehicles: CEA Tech’s Contribution Includes Liten’s Knowhow in Magnetic Materials and Simulation And Leti’s Expertise in Wide-bandgap Semiconductors October 20th, 2017

Bringing the atomic world into full color: Researchers turn atomic force microscope measurements into color images October 19th, 2017

Long nanotubes make strong fibers: Rice University researchers advance characterization, purification of nanotube wires and films October 17th, 2017

Spinning strands hint at folding dynamics: Rice University lab uses magnetic beads to model microscopic proteins, polymers October 17th, 2017

Possible Futures

Novel 'converter' heralds breakthrough in ultra-fast data processing at nanoscale: Invention bagged four patents and could potentially make microprocessor chips work 1,000 times faster October 20th, 2017

Bringing the atomic world into full color: Researchers turn atomic force microscope measurements into color images October 19th, 2017

'Find the Lady' in the quantum world: International team of researchers presents method for quantum-mechanical swapping of positions October 18th, 2017

Long nanotubes make strong fibers: Rice University researchers advance characterization, purification of nanotube wires and films October 17th, 2017

Academic/Education

Two Scientists Receive Grants to Develop New Materials: Chad Mirkin and Monica Olvera de la Cruz recognized by Sherman Fairchild Foundation August 16th, 2017

Moving at the Speed of Light: University of Arizona selected for high-impact, industrial demonstration of new integrated photonic cryogenic datalink for focal plane arrays: Program is major milestone for AIM Photonics August 10th, 2017

Graduate Students from Across the Country Attend Hands-on NanoCamp: Prominent scientists Warren Oliver, Ph.D., and George Pharr, Ph.D., presented a weeklong NanoCamp for hand-picked graduate students across the United States July 26th, 2017

The Physics Department of Imperial College, London, uses the Quorum Q150T to deposit metals and ITO to make plasmonic sensors and electric contact pads July 13th, 2017

Announcements

Novel 'converter' heralds breakthrough in ultra-fast data processing at nanoscale: Invention bagged four patents and could potentially make microprocessor chips work 1,000 times faster October 20th, 2017

Strange but true: turning a material upside down can sometimes make it softer October 20th, 2017

Leti Coordinating Project to Develop Innovative Drivetrains for 3rd-generation Electric Vehicles: CEA Tech’s Contribution Includes Liten’s Knowhow in Magnetic Materials and Simulation And Leti’s Expertise in Wide-bandgap Semiconductors October 20th, 2017

MIPT scientists revisit optical constants of ultrathin gold films October 20th, 2017

Tools

Bringing the atomic world into full color: Researchers turn atomic force microscope measurements into color images October 19th, 2017

Nanometrics Announces Preliminary Results for the Third Quarter of 2017: Quarterly Results Impacted by Delays in Revenue Recognition on Multiple Systems into Japan October 12th, 2017

Seeing the next dimension of computer chips: Researchers image perfectly smooth side-surfaces of 3-D silicon crystals with a scanning tunneling microscope, paving the way for smaller and faster computing devices October 11th, 2017

Quorum announces new customer support and demonstration facilities for users worldwide October 10th, 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