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ICFO in Nature Physics

New advances on ultrafast quantum control of single molecules in the group led by Prof. Niek van Hulst.

Quantum control of single
molecules at room
In the initial ultrafast steps of photosynthesis nature exploits quantum mechanical phenomena, such as electronic coherences and entanglement, toachieve remarkably efficient excitation energy transfer and charge separation. But the intrinsic heterogeneity of biomolecules renders the investigation of these dynamic processes difficult by conventional ensemble approaches, and ultrafast single-molecule techniques have not been available until no




Read more: ICFO in Nature Physics


Nature News & Views

Dr. Mark Kreuzer and Prof. Romain Quidant give their view on recent advances on the use of metamaterials for biosensing.
nature_157pxDr. Mark Kreuzer and ICREA Prof. Romain Quidant review a paper on ultrasensitive detection and characterization of chiral biomolecules using planar metallic metamaterials, published in Nature Nanotechnology by researchers at the universities of Glasgow and Exeter led by Prof. Malcolm Kadowala.

Read more: Nature News & Views

Unidirectional Optical Antennas

Science publishes new results on light communication in nano-emitters at the groups led by Prof. Niek van Hulst and Prof. Romain Quidant.

Nanoantenna fed by
a quantum dot
ICFO PhD Students Alberto G. Curto, Giorgio Volpe and Tim H. Taminiau, ICFO Research Fellow Dr. Mark P. Kreuzer, and ICFO Group Leaders and ICREA Prof. Romain Quidant and Prof. Niek van Hulst describe in Science a method to get unidirectional emission from single transmitters. Their results offer new possibilities to communicate energy to, from and between nano-emitters.

Read more: Unidirectional Optical Antennas


Hiding Under a Plasmonic Carpet

The group led by Prof. Romain Quidant reports new advances towards invisibility at optical frequencies.

20100725_romainOptics Express has recently published a theoretical and experimental demonstration of a carpet which can make objects invisible to the eye of an observer. The carpet is made of a metamaterial, an artificial nanopatterned material engineered to have optical properties nonexisting in natural materials. When placed in front of an object lying on a surface, these materials interact with incident light producing an optical response representative of the surface without the object, thus making the later invisible. This effect, previously observed at lower frequencies, has been achieved now over the unprecedented bandwidth of 650 to 900 nm, i.e., within the visible range.

Read more: Hiding Under a Plasmonic Carpet in Nature, with ultimate wave-packet control

Researchers led by Prof. Niek van Hulst publish in Nature the first observation of the vibrational dynamics of single molecules.

Ultimate Wave-Packet Control
During the past few decades, two techniques have transformed the ways in which researchers can probe molecular processes: coherent control over dynamic processes by manipulating quantum interference effects with shaped laser pulses, and single-molecule detection. Now ICFO PhD Student Daan Brinks and colleagues, led by ICFO/ICREA Prof. Niek van Hulst, show that the two approaches can be combined, allowing not only the observation, but also the manipulation of vibrational wave-packet interference in individual molecules at ambient conditions. The single-molecule approach ensures that the ultimate degree of coherent control can be realized, which could help unravel details of molecular function and how it may be affected by dynamics in systems as diverse as conjugated polymers, light-harvesting complexes and photo-active proteins.


Read more: in Nature, with ultimate wave-packet control


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