Combining concepts from electromagnetic radiation research and fiber optics, researchers have created an extreme-ultraviolet, laser-like beam capable of producing tightly-focused light in a region of the electromagnetic spectrum not previously accessible to scientists. Between 10-100 times shorter than visible light waves, the extreme-ultraviolet (EUV) wavelengths will allow researchers to "see" tiny features and carve miniature patterns, with applications in such fields as microscopy, lithography and nanotechnology.
The achievement is based on a new structure called a "waveguide," a hollow glass tube with internal humps that coax light waves into traveling along at the same speed and help the waves reinforce each other.
Reported in the January 2 issue of the journal Nature, the work is part of a continuing project supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF), an independent agency of the U.S. Government that supports science and engineering research and education.
Josh Chamot | EurekAlert!
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