Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors

Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button

Home > Press > Long-wavelength laser will be able to take medicine fingerprints

Cross-section of a prototype pFEL, with the free electron source on the right and the photonic crystal inside the red part.
Cross-section of a prototype pFEL, with the free electron source on the right and the photonic crystal inside the red part.

Abstract:
A laser capable of working in the terahertz range - that of long-wavelength light from the far infrared to 1 millimetre - enables the ‘fingerprint' of, say, a drug to be examined better than can be done using chemical analysis. To achieve this, PhD student Thomas Denis of the University of Twente's MESA+ Institute for Nanotechnology has combined the best of two worlds, a free electron source and photonic crystals. The result: greater flexibility and a compact laser.

Long-wavelength laser will be able to take medicine fingerprints

Enschede, Netherlands | Posted on December 20th, 2012

A terahertz laser is capable of showing the molecular structure of, say, a drug, because the laser beam it produces is at wavelengths suitable for examining molecular and atomic bonds. This enables more spatial information to be obtained than from chemical analysis, a detailed fingerprint. To date, however, the limitation has been that lasers of this type are restricted to particular wavelengths, e.g. because the source of the laser light is a semiconductor, in which electrons can only take on fixed energy states, hence only a limited number of ‘colours' of light can be produced.

Free electrons

In a free electron laser the electrons are not restricted to fixed states, as are electrons in a classic cathode ray tube. So Denis thought, why not combine a free electron source with a ‘photonic crystal'? This is a structure with lot of tiny ‘posts' that together slow down the incident light and turn it into a coherent beam. Photonic crystals can be created at micro level, e.g. for a lab-on-a-chip, or on a much larger scale. The dimensions and shape of the crystal determine the rough wavelength region, and the precise wavelength can be set and adjusted by changing the speed of the electrons being fired at it. This combination is known as a ‘photonic free-electron laser' or pFEL.

Looking inside the crystal

Existing terahertz lasers also have the disadvantage that they are very large, big enough to fill a room. Thanks to the use of photonic crystals the pFEL that Denis has designed is not much bigger than a domestic microwave oven and can still provide high power despite its small size. He has also found a special way of ‘looking' inside a photonic crystal - something that is not normally possible. By interfering slightly with the wavelength pattern in the crystal using a tiny metal ball the actual pattern can be measured.

Thomas Denis (Ahaus, 1981) received his PhD on 14 December for his thesis Theory and Design of Microwave Photonic Free-Electron Lasers. He carried out his research in Prof. Klaus Boller's Laser Physics and Non-linear Optics Group. The thesis, or the summary, is available in digital form on request.

####

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
P.O. Box 217
7500 AE Enschede, Netherlands
053-489 9111
053-489 2000


Wiebe van der Veen
+31612185692

Copyright © AlphaGalileo

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

Nanoparticles could allow for faster, better medicine: Exposure of nanoparticles in the body allows for more effective delivery November 20th, 2017

ICN2 researchers compute unprecedented values for spin lifetime anisotropy in graphene November 17th, 2017

Math gets real in strong, lightweight structures: Rice University researchers use 3-D printers to turn century-old theory into complex schwarzites November 16th, 2017

The stacked color sensor: True colors meet minimization November 16th, 2017

Nanomedicine

Nanoparticles could allow for faster, better medicine: Exposure of nanoparticles in the body allows for more effective delivery November 20th, 2017

Nanobiotix presented new clinical and pre-clinical data confirming NBTXR3’s significant potential role in Immuno-Oncology at SITC Annual Meeting November 14th, 2017

Arrowhead to Present at 29th Annual Piper Jaffray Healthcare Conference November 14th, 2017

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

Discoveries

Nanoparticles could allow for faster, better medicine: Exposure of nanoparticles in the body allows for more effective delivery November 20th, 2017

ICN2 researchers compute unprecedented values for spin lifetime anisotropy in graphene November 17th, 2017

Math gets real in strong, lightweight structures: Rice University researchers use 3-D printers to turn century-old theory into complex schwarzites November 16th, 2017

The stacked color sensor: True colors meet minimization November 16th, 2017

Announcements

Nanoparticles could allow for faster, better medicine: Exposure of nanoparticles in the body allows for more effective delivery November 20th, 2017

ICN2 researchers compute unprecedented values for spin lifetime anisotropy in graphene November 17th, 2017

Math gets real in strong, lightweight structures: Rice University researchers use 3-D printers to turn century-old theory into complex schwarzites November 16th, 2017

The stacked color sensor: True colors meet minimization November 16th, 2017

Tools

Nanometrics to Participate in the 6th Annual NYC Investor Summit 2017 November 16th, 2017

Nanometrics Announces $50 Million Share Repurchase Program November 15th, 2017

Nanometrics Board of Directors Names Pierre-Yves Lesaicherre President and CEO November 14th, 2017

Oxford Instruments announces winner of the 2017 Sir Martin Wood Prize for Japan November 14th, 2017

Photonics/Optics/Lasers

Math gets real in strong, lightweight structures: Rice University researchers use 3-D printers to turn century-old theory into complex schwarzites November 16th, 2017

Practical superconducting nanowire single photon detector with record detection efficiency over 90 percent November 9th, 2017

Metal-silicone microstructures could enable new flexible optical and electrical devices: Laser-based method creates force-sensitive, flexible microstructures that conduct electricity November 1st, 2017

Nanoparticles with pulse laser controlled antibacterial properties October 26th, 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