Their research also promises a significant improvement in Terahertz microscopy in the long term, a potentially interesting new imaging technique, and Terahertz microspectroscopy, a technique for identifying tiny quantities of substances using light. Their findings will be published in the scientific journal Optics Express this week.
We know from physics that it is particularly difficult to pass light through a hole smaller than half the wavelength of the light used. With the help of fellow scientists, researchers at Delft University of Technology have managed to provide insight into this process by conducting measurements using what is known as Terahertz radiation (THz radiation). This is far-infrared light with an approximate frequency of 10^12 Hz. This type of radiation allows the researchers to measure the force of the penetrating light’s electrical field near the hole and not, as is usual, the intensity of the penetrating light.
The electrical field’s values reveal much more about how light behaves in such situations than intensity can. Measurement of the strength of the electrical field is done with great precision by measuring the refractive-index of a crystal near the hole using a laser beam. The crystal’s refractive index varies (very slightly) when in a variable electrical field. By measuring the variations in the refractive index, conclusions can be drawn on the strength of the light’s electrical field near the hole.Bouwkamp
Terahertz radiation (with a frequency of about 10^12 Hz) is a type of electromagnetic radiation which is increasingly used to create images. After all, many materials, such as paper, plastics and clothing, are transparent to THz radiation, while they block visible light.
Terahertz microscopes do not yet provide such sharp images. The development of stronger and smaller sources and more sensitive detectors will improve the viability of creating images of, for example, biological cells using THz radiation.
Frank Nuijens | alfa
Midwife and signpost for photons
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11.12.2017 | University of Birmingham
Tiny pores at a cell's entryway act as miniature bouncers, letting in some electrically charged atoms--ions--but blocking others. Operating as exquisitely sensitive filters, these "ion channels" play a critical role in biological functions such as muscle contraction and the firing of brain cells.
To rapidly transport the right ions through the cell membrane, the tiny channels rely on a complex interplay between the ions and surrounding molecules,...
The miniaturization of the current technology of storage media is hindered by fundamental limits of quantum mechanics. A new approach consists in using so-called spin-crossover molecules as the smallest possible storage unit. Similar to normal hard drives, these special molecules can save information via their magnetic state. A research team from Kiel University has now managed to successfully place a new class of spin-crossover molecules onto a surface and to improve the molecule’s storage capacity. The storage density of conventional hard drives could therefore theoretically be increased by more than one hundred fold. The study has been published in the scientific journal Nano Letters.
Over the past few years, the building blocks of storage media have gotten ever smaller. But further miniaturization of the current technology is hindered by...
With innovative experiments, researchers at the Helmholtz-Zentrums Geesthacht and the Technical University Hamburg unravel why tiny metallic structures are extremely strong
Light-weight and simultaneously strong – porous metallic nanomaterials promise interesting applications as, for instance, for future aeroplanes with enhanced...
An interdisciplinary group of researchers interfaced individual bacteria with a computer to build a hybrid bio-digital circuit - Study published in Nature Communications
Scientists at the Institute of Science and Technology Austria (IST Austria) have managed to control the behavior of individual bacteria by connecting them to a...
Physicists in the Laboratory for Attosecond Physics (run jointly by LMU Munich and the Max Planck Institute for Quantum Optics) have developed an attosecond electron microscope that allows them to visualize the dispersion of light in time and space, and observe the motions of electrons in atoms.
The most basic of all physical interactions in nature is that between light and matter. This interaction takes place in attosecond times (i.e. billionths of a...
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