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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?
 

Feeling the Nanocavity Field

Unique single molecule probing of cavity mode density by ICFO in Nanoletters.

20090223_niek
Spatial single molecule
lifetime variation inside a
tapered metal nanocavity.
Cavities are found everywhere to control the emission of light: in lasers, parametric oscillators and many quantum-optics experiments. In nanocavities, due to proximity of the cavity edges, the near field becomes important. Now ICFO researchers Jacob Hoogenboom, Gabriel Sanchez-Mosteiro and Dominique Heinis, all members of Prof. Niek van Hulst’s group, have looked inside a basic nanocavity. In doing so, they probed simultaneously the position, orientation and fluorescence lifetime of single molecules,

Read more: Feeling the Nanocavity Field

Trapping Living Bacteria with Nano-Tweezers

Prof. Romain Quidant’s group has managed to achieve non-invasive and orientational trapping of living E.Coli bacteria with Resonant Optical Antennas.

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Bacteria trapped by an
array of gold antenna
tweezers
A paper published in Nanoletters by Prof. Romain Quidant’s group, in collaboration with researchers at the CSIC-Optics Institute of Madrid, presents a new technique that allows trapping and aligning bacteria without killing them by means of an ultra-concentrated light spot. The new break through was developed partially thanks to the generous donation of the Fundació Cellex Barcelona. Until now, the most perfect lenses were able to concentrate light in a spot of about a micrometer. In a report published in Physical Review Letters and highlighted in Nature at the end of last year, Prof. Romain Quidant’s group managed, in collaboration with Prof. Niek van Hulst’s group, to concentrate light in a spot one hundred times smaller. The ultra-concentrated light spot has been obtained by means of a resonant optical antenna consisting of two gold rods, each 500 nanometers long.

Read more: Trapping Living Bacteria with Nano-Tweezers

 

ICFO in the Media

OLE Topic of the Month: The Promise of Plasmonics
Prof. Niek van Hulst comments on the progress and potential of plasmonics in an interview in Optics.org and OLE (Optics & Laser Europe).

van_hulst_webSensing, imaging and spectroscopy are some of the fields that will greatly benefit from the development of plasmonics, according to an interview by Marie Freebody with Prof. Niek van Hulst in Optics.org. Plasmonics is the science, technology and application of plasmons, which are the collective oscillations of a free electron gas (plasma). Energy carried by plasmons allows for light localization in ultrasmall volumes. The localized nanoscale fields come together with large field enhancements, which is a major advantage for new applications.

Read more: ICFO in the Media

OLE Topic of the Month: The Promise of Plasmonics

Prof. Niek van Hulst comments on the progress and potential of plasmonics in an interview in Optics.org and OLE (Optics & Laser Europe).

van_hulst_web
Prof. Niek van Hulst
Sensing, imaging and spectroscopy are some of the fields that will greatly benefit from the development of plasmonics, according to an interview by Marie Freebody with Prof. Niek van Hulst in Optics.org. Plasmonics is the science, technology and application of plasmons, which are the collective oscillations of a free electron gas (plasma). Energy carried by plasmons allows for light localization in ultrasmall volumes. The localized nanoscale fields come together with large field enhancements, which is a major advantage for new applications.

Read more: OLE Topic of the Month: The Promise of Plasmonics

 

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