Who is not impressed by the play of colors that opals and other gemstones create?
Inspired by the interaction of opals with light, Dr. Alexander Kühne investigates and develops artificial opals for future applications in the fields of telecommunication, photonics and biomedicine. His efforts find appreciation: The Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) now decided to fund Alexander Kühne’s junior research group at DWI – Leibniz Institute for Interactive Materials. The total funding amount is one million euros and covers a period of four years.
Opals – both natural and artificial ones – consist of small particles that can alter light waves. For example, they reflect light of a certain wavelength, whereas light of a different wavelength can pass. In his group, Alexander Kühne prepares such particles in a sophisticated chemical procedure. Subsequently, the group members use a spinning method to prepare light-conducting fibers, in which the particles assemble in the core.
Alternatively, they can use ink jet printing to position the particles on a surface. Both techniques are based on the property of the particles to self-assemble into regular crystalline structures just like in natural opals. “With our particle system, we combine three distinct ways of interaction with light,” 33-year-old Kühne explains. “Light absorption like in dyes and pigments, emission using the fluorescence effect, and reflection occurring from the regular structure of the assembled particles.”
“In the future, our materials may play a significant role as manipulators in light-guiding data cables. They might contribute to faster, more efficient ways of data transfer. In addition, they could be used as printable forgery protection labels, on packaging of drugs and vaccines.“ However, current challenges for Kühne and his team are still a few steps away from application: “We are trying to create high numbers of particles with uniform size and morphology. Besides, we are working on combining several fluorescent colors within one system.“
Alexander Kühne studied chemistry in Cologne and Glasgow and did his PhD in the group of Richard Pethrick at the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow. After postdoc positions in the labs of Klaus Meerholz (Cologne) and David Weitz (Harvard), he moved back to Germany and joined DWI in 2011. His current research is based on his experience with nano-structured polymer films for organic lasers.
Dr. Janine Hillmer | idw - Informationsdienst Wissenschaft
ADIR Project: Lasers Recover Valuable Materials
21.07.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Lasertechnik ILT
High-tech sensing illuminates concrete stress testing
20.07.2017 | University of Leeds
Physicists have developed a new technique that uses electrical voltages to control the electron spin on a chip. The newly-developed method provides protection from spin decay, meaning that the contained information can be maintained and transmitted over comparatively large distances, as has been demonstrated by a team from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics and the Swiss Nanoscience Institute. The results have been published in Physical Review X.
For several years, researchers have been trying to use the spin of an electron to store and transmit information. The spin of each electron is always coupled...
What is the mass of a proton? Scientists from Germany and Japan successfully did an important step towards the most exact knowledge of this fundamental constant. By means of precision measurements on a single proton, they could improve the precision by a factor of three and also correct the existing value.
To determine the mass of a single proton still more accurate – a group of physicists led by Klaus Blaum and Sven Sturm of the Max Planck Institute for Nuclear...
The research team of Prof. Dr. Oliver Einsle at the University of Freiburg's Institute of Biochemistry has long been exploring the functioning of nitrogenase....
A one trillion tonne iceberg - one of the biggest ever recorded -- has calved away from the Larsen C Ice Shelf in Antarctica, after a rift in the ice,...
Physics supports biology: Researchers from PTB have developed a model system to investigate friction phenomena with atomic precision
Friction: what you want from car brakes, otherwise rather a nuisance. In any case, it is useful to know as precisely as possible how friction phenomena arise –...
21.07.2017 | Event News
19.07.2017 | Event News
12.07.2017 | Event News
21.07.2017 | Earth Sciences
21.07.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering
21.07.2017 | Physics and Astronomy