Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors



Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button


android tablet pc

Home > Press > ‘Groovy’ hologram creates strange state of light at visible and invisible wavelengths: Nanostructured device controls the intensity, phase, and polarization of light for wide applications in optics

A new three-in-one optical element can control light’s amplitude, phase, and polarization through a wedding of old-fashioned holograms and state-of-the-art nanoscale features.Image courtesy of Federico Capasso.
A new three-in-one optical element can control light’s amplitude, phase, and polarization through a wedding of old-fashioned holograms and state-of-the-art nanoscale features.

Image courtesy of Federico Capasso.

Abstract:
Applied physicists at the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) have demonstrated that they can change the intensity, phase, and polarization of light rays using a hologram-like design decorated with nanoscale structures.

‘Groovy’ hologram creates strange state of light at visible and invisible wavelengths: Nanostructured device controls the intensity, phase, and polarization of light for wide applications in optics

Cambridge, MA | Posted on August 20th, 2013

As a proof of principle, the researchers have used it to create an unusual state of light called a radially polarized beam, which—because it can be focused very tightly—is important for applications like high-resolution lithography and for trapping and manipulating tiny particles like viruses.

This is the first time a single, simple device has been designed to control these three major properties of light at once. (Phase describes how two waves interfere to either strengthen or cancel each other, depending on how their crests and troughs overlap; polarization describes the direction of light vibrations; and the intensity is the brightness.)

"Our lab works on using nanotechnology to play with light," says Patrice Genevet, a research associate at Harvard SEAS and co-lead author of a paper published this month in Nano Letters. "In this research, we've used holography in a novel way, incorporating cutting-edge nanotechnology in the form of subwavelength structures at a scale of just tens of nanometers." One nanometer equals one billionth of a meter.

Genevet works in the laboratory of Federico Capasso, Robert L. Wallace Professor of Applied Physics and Vinton Hayes Senior Research Fellow in Electrical Engineering at Harvard SEAS. Capasso's research group in recent years has focused on nanophotonics—the manipulation of light at the nanometer scale—with the goal of creating new light beams and special effects that arise from the interaction of light with nanostructured materials.

Using these novel nanostructured holograms, the Harvard researchers have converted conventional, circularly polarized laser light into radially polarized beams at wavelengths spanning the technologically important visible and near-infrared light spectrum.

"When light is radially polarized, its electromagnetic vibrations oscillate inward and outward from the center of the beam like the spokes of a wheel," explains Capasso. "This unusual beam manifests itself as a very intense ring of light with a dark spot in the center."

"It is noteworthy," Capasso points out, "that the same nanostructured holographic plate can be used to create radially polarized light at so many different wavelengths. Radially polarized light can be focused much more tightly than conventionally polarized light, thus enabling many potential applications in microscopy and nanoparticle manipulation."

The new device resembles a normal hologram grating with an additional, nanostructured pattern carved into it. Visible light, which has a wavelength in the hundreds of nanometers, interacts differently with apertures textured on the ‘nano' scale than with those on the scale of micrometers or larger. By exploiting these behaviors, the modular interface can bend incoming light to adjust its intensity, phase, and polarization.

Holograms, beyond being a staple of science-fiction universes, find many applications in security, like the holographic panels on credit cards and passports, and new digital hologram-based data-storage methods are currently being designed to potentially replace current systems. Achieving fine-tuned control of light is critical to advancing these technologies.

"Now, you can control everything you need with just a single interface," says Genevet, pointing out that the polarization effect the new interface has on light could formerly only be achieved by a cascade of several different optical elements. "We're gaining a big advantage in terms of saving space."

The demonstration of this nanostructured hologram has become possible only recently with the development of more powerful software and higher resolution nanofabrication technologies.

The underlying design is more complex than a simple superposition of nanostructures onto the hologram. The phase and polarization of light closely interact, so the structures must be designed with both outcomes in mind, using modern computational tools.

Further research will aim to make more complex polarized holograms and to optimize the output efficiency of the device.

Genevet's and Capasso's collaborators included co-lead author Jiao Lin, a former SEAS postdoctoral fellow who is now at the Singapore Institute of Manufacturing Technology; Mikhail Kats, a graduate student at Harvard SEAS; and Nicholas Antoniou, principal focused ion beam engineer at the Center for Nanoscale Systems at Harvard University.

This research was supported in part by the Air Force Office of Scientific Research (FA9550-12-1-0289); the National Science Foundation (NSF), through a Graduate Research Fellowship; and the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) in Singapore. Device fabrication was carried out at the Center for Nanoscale Systems at Harvard University, which is a member of the NSF-supported National Nanotechnology Infrastructure Network (ECS-0335765).

####

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
Caroline Perry

617-496-1351

Copyright © Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS)

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

Switching to spintronics: Berkeley Lab reports on electric field switching of ferromagnetism at room temp December 17th, 2014

ORNL microscopy pencils patterns in polymers at the nanoscale December 17th, 2014

Unraveling the light of fireflies December 17th, 2014

First Home-Made Edible Herbal Nanodrug Presented to Pharmacies across Iran December 17th, 2014

Software

Spectral Surface Mapping with Microscopic Resolution: CRAIC Technologies introduces Spectral Surface Mapping™ (S2M™) software November 18th, 2014

FEI Releases New Electronics Failure Analysis Applications for Helios NanoLab DualBeam Portfolio: Dx gas chemistry enables rapid delayering of ICs, while AutoLX advanced automation simplifies sample preparation for transmission electron microscopy November 3rd, 2014

QuantumWise guides the semiconductor industry towards the atomic scale October 24th, 2014

Strengthening thin-film bonds with ultrafast data collection October 23rd, 2014

Govt.-Legislation/Regulation/Funding/Policy

Zenosense, Inc. - Hospital Collaboration - 400 Person Lung Cancer Detection Trial December 17th, 2014

SUNY Poly NanoCollege Faculty Member Selected as American Physical Society Fellow: SUNY Poly Associate Professor of Nanoscience Dr. Vincent LaBella Recognized for Significant Technological Innovations that Enable Interactive Learning December 17th, 2014

Switching to spintronics: Berkeley Lab reports on electric field switching of ferromagnetism at room temp December 17th, 2014

ORNL microscopy pencils patterns in polymers at the nanoscale December 17th, 2014

Discoveries

Switching to spintronics: Berkeley Lab reports on electric field switching of ferromagnetism at room temp December 17th, 2014

ORNL microscopy pencils patterns in polymers at the nanoscale December 17th, 2014

Unraveling the light of fireflies December 17th, 2014

Fraud-proof credit card possible because of quantum physics December 16th, 2014

Announcements

Switching to spintronics: Berkeley Lab reports on electric field switching of ferromagnetism at room temp December 17th, 2014

ORNL microscopy pencils patterns in polymers at the nanoscale December 17th, 2014

Unraveling the light of fireflies December 17th, 2014

First Home-Made Edible Herbal Nanodrug Presented to Pharmacies across Iran December 17th, 2014

Tools

Switching to spintronics: Berkeley Lab reports on electric field switching of ferromagnetism at room temp December 17th, 2014

ORNL microscopy pencils patterns in polymers at the nanoscale December 17th, 2014

Unraveling the light of fireflies December 17th, 2014

Bruker Introduces BioScope Resolve High-Resolution BioAFM System: Featuring PeakForce Tapping for Quantitative Bio-Mechanical Property Mapping December 16th, 2014

Military

UCLA engineers first to detect and measure individual DNA molecules using smartphone microscope December 15th, 2014

Nanoshaping method points to future manufacturing technology December 11th, 2014

Stacking two-dimensional materials may lower cost of semiconductor devices December 11th, 2014

Industrial Nanotech, Inc. Expands Government and Defense Projects December 10th, 2014

Photonics/Optics/Lasers

Nanoshaping method points to future manufacturing technology December 11th, 2014

Stacking two-dimensional materials may lower cost of semiconductor devices December 11th, 2014

Defects are perfect in laser-induced graphene: Rice University lab discovers simple way to make material for energy storage, electronics December 10th, 2014

New technique allows low-cost creation of 3-D nanostructures December 8th, 2014

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







© Copyright 1999-2014 7th Wave, Inc. All Rights Reserved PRIVACY POLICY :: CONTACT US :: STATS :: SITE MAP :: ADVERTISE