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The Future of Microscopy


A perspective on “superresolution” optical microscopy by Prof. van Hulst in Catalunya Vanguardista.

Early microscope (~1660)
ICFO group leader and ICREA professor Niek van Hulst contributes to the web project Catalunya Vanguardista with a science viewpoint on modern optical microscopy. The perspective illustrates with various examples the pressing interest of modern science in observing ever-shrinking scales; explains the physical laws behind the limits of conventional microscopy in this point; and presents the basics of super-resolution optical microscopy, a set of techniques that resolves features 10 times smaller compared to conventional methods.

After three years of publishing history in newspapers, Catalunya Vanguardista presents itself now as a web portal, offering original contributions as well as selected publications from world-level media. Driven by a strong social compromise, and considering scientific method, artistic creation, economic growth analysis and the new social models to be “the wings of any society”, Catalunya Vanguardista, beyond merely informing about these issues, wants to be devised as a common ground for reflection and debate.

ICFO in Nature Phys


Researchers led by Prof. Quidant report a breakthrough in ultragentle manipulation of nanoscale objects with light.

SIBA trapping
The research has been jointly carried out by ICFO Post-doctoral Researcher Dr. Mathieu Juan and ICFO Visiting Professor Dr. Reuven Gordon, of the University of Victoria (Canada), in collaboration with PhD Students Yuanjie Pang and Fatime Eftekhari, also of Victoria. The project was largely supported by the Fundació Cellex Barcelona and led by ICFO Group Leader and ICREA Professor Romain Quidant.

Read more: ICFO in Nature Phys

ICFO in Optics Express


A paper on optical antennas gets the cover video in the Optics Express homepage.

Three dimensional
An investigation on the near-field focusing properties of three dimensional phase antennas drew the attention of the web editors of Optics Express to the extent of illustrating their homepage with an animated explanation on the performance of the antennas.

Read more: ICFO in Optics Express


ICFO in Nature Photonics


A study on optical nanoantennas by the group led by Prof. Romain Quidant is highlighted in Nature Photonics.

Optical configuration
proposed to control the
near field optical response
of nanoantennas with special
phase-shaped beams.
Nature Photonics has included in its Research Highlights a work published in Nanoletters and authored by PhD student Giorgio Volpe, Post-doc Sudhir Cherukulappurath, Research Engineer Roser Juanola Parramon, Post-doc Gabriel Molina-Terriza and Prof. Romain Quidant. The article “Controlling the optical near field of nanoantennas with spatial phase-shaped beams” is summarized in Nature Photonics under the title “To the point”. According to the magazine, the authors have achieved important results in controlling the sub-wavelength confinement of light in plasmonic nanostructures and have progressed in “the art of dynamically controlling these hot spots”.

Viewpoints in OPFocus


Prof. Niek van Hulst inaugurates a series of viewpoint features for Optics & Photonics Focus.

op-focus_157pxProf. Niek van Hulst is the first of the authors that will express their viewpoint in articles published regularly in OPFocus. The title of the first issue is “Many photons get more out of diffraction”. In this article, Prof. van Hulst talks about Nanoscopy, i.e. optical microscopy with 10-30 nm detail. This is already a reality, and it has been chosen as “Method of the year 2008” by Nature Methods. Researchers are all aware of the wave nature of light and the ensuing diffraction limit for resolution, so, have the rules of physics been broken? What’s the trick and where’s the catch?

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