Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors

Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button

Home > Press > Bubbles are the new lenses for nanoscale light beams

A nanoscale light beam modulated by short electromagnetic waves, known as surface plasmon polaritons -- labelled as SPP beam -- enters the bubble lens, officially known as a reconfigurable plasmofluidic lens. The bubble controls the light waves, while the grating provides further focus.

Credit: Tony Jun Huang, Penn State
A nanoscale light beam modulated by short electromagnetic waves, known as surface plasmon polaritons -- labelled as SPP beam -- enters the bubble lens, officially known as a reconfigurable plasmofluidic lens. The bubble controls the light waves, while the grating provides further focus.

Credit: Tony Jun Huang, Penn State

Abstract:
Bending light beams to your whim sounds like a job for a wizard or an a complex array of bulky mirrors, lenses and prisms, but a few tiny liquid bubbles may be all that is necessary to open the doors for next-generation, high-speed circuits and displays, according to Penn State researchers.

Bubbles are the new lenses for nanoscale light beams

University Park, PA | Posted on August 9th, 2013

To combine the speed of optical communication with the portability of electronic circuitry, researchers use nanoplasmonics -- devices that use short electromagnetic waves to modulate light on the nanometer scale, where conventional optics do not work. However, aiming and focusing this modulated light beam at desired targets is difficult.

"There are different solid-state devices to control (light beams), to switch them or modulate them, but the tenability and reconfigurability are very limited," said Tony Jun Huang, associate professor of engineering science and mechanics. "Using a bubble has a lot of advantages."

The main advantage of a bubble lens is just how quickly and easily researchers can reconfigure the bubble's location, size, and shape -- all of which affect the direction and focus of any light beam passing through it.

Huang's team created separate simulations of the light beams and bubble lens to predict their behaviors and optimize conditions before combining the two in the laboratory. They published their findings in Nature Communications.

To form the bubble lens, researchers used a low-intensity laser to heat water on a gold surface. The tiny bubble's optical behavior remains consistent as long as the laser's power and the environmental temperature stay constant.

Simply moving the laser or adjusting the laser's power can change how the bubble will deflect a light beam, either as a concentrated beam at a specific target or as a dispersed wave. Changing the liquid also affects how a light beam will refract.

The materials to form bubble lenses are inexpensive, and the bubbles themselves are easy to dissolve, replace and move.

"In addition to its unprecedented reconfigurability and tenability, our bubble lens has at least one more advantage over its solid-state counterparts: its natural smoothness," said Huang. "The smoother the lens is, the better quality of the light that pass through it."

Huang believes that the next step is to find out how the bubble's shape influences the direction of the light beam and the location of its focal point. Fine control over these light beams will enable improvements for on-chip biomedical devices and super resolution imaging.

"For all these applications, you really need to precisely control light in nanoscale, and that's where this work can be a very important component," said Huang.

Chenglong Zhao, postdoctoral fellow in engineering science and mechanics, Penn State, designed and conducted the experiment; Yongmin Liu, assistant professor of mechanical and industrial engineering, and electrical and computer engineering, Northeastern University, worked with Nicholas Fang, associate professor of mechanical engineering, MIT, to analyze the results and develop simulations; and Yanhui Zhao, graduate student in engineering science and mechanics, Penn State, fabricated the materials.

The National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, and the Penn State Center for Nanoscale Science funded this study.

####

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
A'ndrea Elyse Messer

814-865-9481

Copyright © Penn State

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

Seeing the quantum future... literally: What if big data could help you see the future and prevent your mobile phone from breaking before it happened? January 16th, 2017

NUS researchers achieve major breakthrough in flexible electronics: New classes of printable electrically conducting polymer materials make better electrodes for plastic electronics and advanced semiconductor devices January 14th, 2017

Manchester scientists tie the tightest knot ever achieved January 13th, 2017

Nanoscale Modifications can be used to Engineer Electrical Contacts for Nanodevices January 13th, 2017

Display technology/LEDs/SS Lighting/OLEDs

Miniscule amounts of impurities in vacuum greatly affecting OLED lifetime December 30th, 2016

Trace metal recombination centers kill LED efficiency: UCSB researchers warn that trace amounts of transition metal impurities act as recombination centers in gallium nitride semiconductors November 3rd, 2016

Diamond nanothread: Versatile new material could prove priceless for manufacturing: Would you dress in diamond nanothreads? It's not as far-fetched as you might think November 3rd, 2016

Researchers surprised at the unexpected hardness of gallium nitride: A Lehigh University team discovers that the widely used semiconducting material is almost as wear-resistant as diamonds October 31st, 2016

Govt.-Legislation/Regulation/Funding/Policy

Chemistry on the edge: Experiments at Berkeley Lab confirm that structural defects at the periphery are key in catalyst function January 13th, 2017

Recreating conditions inside stars with compact lasers: Scientists offer a new path to creating the extreme conditions found in stars, using ultra-short laser pulses irradiating nanowires January 12th, 2017

Deciphering the beetle exoskeleton with nanomechanics: Understanding exoskeletons could lead to new, improved artificial materials January 12th, 2017

New laser based on unusual physics phenomenon could improve telecommunications, computing January 12th, 2017

Chip Technology

Seeing the quantum future... literally: What if big data could help you see the future and prevent your mobile phone from breaking before it happened? January 16th, 2017

NUS researchers achieve major breakthrough in flexible electronics: New classes of printable electrically conducting polymer materials make better electrodes for plastic electronics and advanced semiconductor devices January 14th, 2017

Nanoscale Modifications can be used to Engineer Electrical Contacts for Nanodevices January 13th, 2017

New laser based on unusual physics phenomenon could improve telecommunications, computing January 12th, 2017

Discoveries

Seeing the quantum future... literally: What if big data could help you see the future and prevent your mobile phone from breaking before it happened? January 16th, 2017

NUS researchers achieve major breakthrough in flexible electronics: New classes of printable electrically conducting polymer materials make better electrodes for plastic electronics and advanced semiconductor devices January 14th, 2017

Manchester scientists tie the tightest knot ever achieved January 13th, 2017

Nanoscale Modifications can be used to Engineer Electrical Contacts for Nanodevices January 13th, 2017

Announcements

Seeing the quantum future... literally: What if big data could help you see the future and prevent your mobile phone from breaking before it happened? January 16th, 2017

NUS researchers achieve major breakthrough in flexible electronics: New classes of printable electrically conducting polymer materials make better electrodes for plastic electronics and advanced semiconductor devices January 14th, 2017

Manchester scientists tie the tightest knot ever achieved January 13th, 2017

Nanoscale Modifications can be used to Engineer Electrical Contacts for Nanodevices January 13th, 2017

Photonics/Optics/Lasers

Recreating conditions inside stars with compact lasers: Scientists offer a new path to creating the extreme conditions found in stars, using ultra-short laser pulses irradiating nanowires January 12th, 2017

New laser based on unusual physics phenomenon could improve telecommunications, computing January 12th, 2017

Researcher's discovery of new crystal structure holds promise for optoelectronic devices January 6th, 2017

The researchers created a tiny laser using nanoparticles January 5th, 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