Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

A Sense for Infrared Light

19.01.2016

Laser physicists from the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics developed a measuring system for light waves in the near-infrared range.

Those who want to explore the microcosm need exact control over laser light. Only with its help is it possible to explore electron motion and to influence their behavior. Now, scientists at the Laboratory for Attosecond Physics at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (MPQ) and the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich (LMU) have developed a measuring system that is able to determine laser pulses with a wide bandwidth in the infrared spectrum of light precisely.


Through a lithium niobate crystal the laser physicists generate a few femtoseconds only infrared pulse. The waveform of the infrared light can be analyzed thoroughly by the researchers.

Picture: Thorsten Naeser

In the infrared wavelength range as short as 1200 nanometers this was only possible with the help of complex vacuum systems until now. The new system can be used for the precise generation of attosecond-duration light bursts for the exploration of atomic systems, as well as for the controlled dynamics of electrons in crystals.

Light is an elusive medium. Reaching close to 300.000 kilometers per second, light is not just incredibly fast, its electromagnetic field is quite a flutter: it oscillates roughly one million billion times per second. In recent years, however, researchers succeed in watching these oscillations more precisely and even controlling them. With this, light is an ultra fast tool for exploring the microcosm.

Infrared light pulses a few femtoseconds in duration serve in this context as a reliable light source for the generation of attosecond-light-pulses. With the help of attosecond-long light bursts, one is able to “photograph” electrons. On the other hand, one is also able to stimulate electronic motion in molecules and crystals with the help of infrared laser pulses and thereby change their electronic properties within femtoseconds. One femtosecond is one millionth of one billionth of a second; an attosecond is a thousand times shorter.

The better you know the form of the infrared laser-pulses, the more precise the experiments that can give us information about the phenomena inside crystals can be performed. Now laser physicists of the Laboratory for Attosecond Physics around Dr. Nicholas Karpowicz and Sabine Keiber at the Max-Planck Institute of Quantum Optics and the Ludwig-Maximillians University Munich have developed a measuring system, based on the electro-optic sampling technique developed for the far and middle infrared, that allows analyzing the exact waveform of light waves in the infrared range down to 1200 nanometers wavelength.

Within this measuring system, another five-femtosecond laser pulse scans the electromagnetic field of the infrared pulse. “A laser pulse consists of a coherent oscillation of the electromagnetic field” Nicholas Karpowicz says. “With this technology we are now not only able to define the envelope enclosing these oscillations, but also to directly analyze the shape of each of them.” In this wavelength range down to 1200 nanometers such a precise analysis was only possible in the context of an elaborate experimental system until now.

With this newly-acquired control over the near infrared pulses, the possibilities for exploring the microcosm broaden. This analysis method may also support further technological development in the field of data transmission with light. Since information transfer often uses a light wavelength of roughly 1550 nanometers, the precise measuring system presents opportunities to better understand light-matter interaction in the important telecom band. The system can also be used in basic research. The technique is able to improve the time-resolved infrared-spectroscopy for the examination of biological and chemical samples. Thorsten Naeser

Original publication:

Sabine Keiber, Shawn Sederberg, Alexander Schwarz, Michael Trubetskov, Volodymyr Pervak, Ferenc Krausz and Nicholas Karpowicz
Electro-optic sampling of near-infrared waveforms
Nature Photonics, 18. Januar 2016, doi: 10.1038/NHPHOTON.2015.269

Contact:

Dr. Nicholas Karpowicz
Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics
Hans-Kopfermann-Str. 1
85748 Garching, Germany
Phone: +49 (0)89 / 32 905 - 689
E-mail: nicholas.karpowicz@mpq.mpg.de

Sabine Keiber
Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics
Hans-Kopfermann-Str. 1
85748 Garching, Germany
Phone: +49 (0)89 / 32 905 - 658
E-mail: sabine.keiber@mpq.mpg.de

Dr. Olivia Meyer-Streng
Press & Public Relations
Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, Garching, Germany
Phone: +49 (0)89 / 32 905 -213
E-mail: olivia.meyer-streng@mpq.mpg.de

Dr. Olivia Meyer-Streng | Max-Planck-Institut für Quantenoptik
Further information:
http://www.mpq.mpg.de/

More articles from Physics and Astronomy:

nachricht First Juno science results supported by University of Leicester's Jupiter 'forecast'
26.05.2017 | University of Leicester

nachricht Measured for the first time: Direction of light waves changed by quantum effect
24.05.2017 | Vienna University of Technology

All articles from Physics and Astronomy >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Can the immune system be boosted against Staphylococcus aureus by delivery of messenger RNA?

Staphylococcus aureus is a feared pathogen (MRSA, multi-resistant S. aureus) due to frequent resistances against many antibiotics, especially in hospital infections. Researchers at the Paul-Ehrlich-Institut have identified immunological processes that prevent a successful immune response directed against the pathogenic agent. The delivery of bacterial proteins with RNA adjuvant or messenger RNA (mRNA) into immune cells allows the re-direction of the immune response towards an active defense against S. aureus. This could be of significant importance for the development of an effective vaccine. PLOS Pathogens has published these research results online on 25 May 2017.

Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) is a bacterium that colonizes by far more than half of the skin and the mucosa of adults, usually without causing infections....

Im Focus: A quantum walk of photons

Physicists from the University of Würzburg are capable of generating identical looking single light particles at the push of a button. Two new studies now demonstrate the potential this method holds.

The quantum computer has fuelled the imagination of scientists for decades: It is based on fundamentally different phenomena than a conventional computer....

Im Focus: Turmoil in sluggish electrons’ existence

An international team of physicists has monitored the scattering behaviour of electrons in a non-conducting material in real-time. Their insights could be beneficial for radiotherapy.

We can refer to electrons in non-conducting materials as ‘sluggish’. Typically, they remain fixed in a location, deep inside an atomic composite. It is hence...

Im Focus: Wafer-thin Magnetic Materials Developed for Future Quantum Technologies

Two-dimensional magnetic structures are regarded as a promising material for new types of data storage, since the magnetic properties of individual molecular building blocks can be investigated and modified. For the first time, researchers have now produced a wafer-thin ferrimagnet, in which molecules with different magnetic centers arrange themselves on a gold surface to form a checkerboard pattern. Scientists at the Swiss Nanoscience Institute at the University of Basel and the Paul Scherrer Institute published their findings in the journal Nature Communications.

Ferrimagnets are composed of two centers which are magnetized at different strengths and point in opposing directions. Two-dimensional, quasi-flat ferrimagnets...

Im Focus: World's thinnest hologram paves path to new 3-D world

Nano-hologram paves way for integration of 3-D holography into everyday electronics

An Australian-Chinese research team has created the world's thinnest hologram, paving the way towards the integration of 3D holography into everyday...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Marine Conservation: IASS Contributes to UN Ocean Conference in New York on 5-9 June

24.05.2017 | Event News

AWK Aachen Machine Tool Colloquium 2017: Internet of Production for Agile Enterprises

23.05.2017 | Event News

Dortmund MST Conference presents Individualized Healthcare Solutions with micro and nanotechnology

22.05.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

How herpesviruses win the footrace against the immune system

26.05.2017 | Life Sciences

Water forms 'spine of hydration' around DNA, group finds

26.05.2017 | Life Sciences

First Juno science results supported by University of Leicester's Jupiter 'forecast'

26.05.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>