A group of theoretical physicists headed by Oriol Romero-Isart from the Institute for Quantum Optics and Quantum Information and the University of Innsbruck observes a surprising quantum effect when short light pulses interact with matter. In the future, this effect may be used for developing a completely new type of far-field light nanoscopes.
The invention of the light microscope marks the beginning of modern science; its application has enabled scientists to answer fundamental scientific questions. Microscopes are still an extremely important tool in research and are standard equipment in many laboratories.
Chemistry Nobel laureate Stefan Hell coined the term nanoscopes for describing high-resolution or far-field light microscopes because they also show objects in the nanometer sphere. Together with Ignacio Cirac from the Max-Planck Institute for Quantum Optics in Garching, Oriol Romero-Isart and PhD student Patrick Maurer have now made a discovery that may lead to a completely new scheme for far-field light nanoscopy.
The light’s wavelength poses a limit to the resolution of light microscopes. However, by applying some technical adjustments, scientists are able to circumvent the obstacles and achieve higher resolutions. In a theoretical paper published in the current issue of Physical Review Letters, the physicists in Innsbruck have now demonstrated how a train of attosecond pulses of polychromatic light could be used to excite a two-level system, which is a basic model system in quantum mechanics.
After a short period of time the system returns to its ground state thereby emitting a light particle that can be detected. “Since we can focus attosecond lasers really well, our new approach may lead to the development of a new technology for nanoscopes,” says an excited Romero-Isart, whose research group also studies topics in the field of nano-optics.
“The light pulse spectrum could range from radiofrequencies to ultraviolet light,” explains Maurer. “The resolution will be determined by the mean wave length of the light.” The duration of the light pulse has to be extremely short, that is in the attosecond range - an attosecond is a billionth of a billionth of a second. The next step for the scientists is to calculate their approach with real molecules to pave the way for developing novel nanoscopes.
Publication: Ultrashort Pulses for Far-Field Nanoscopy. Patrick Maurer, J. Ignacio Cirac, and Oriol Romero-Isart. Phys. Rev. Lett. 117, 103602 – Published 29 August 2016
Institut für Quantenoptik und Quanteninformation
Österreichische Akademie der Wissenschaften
phone: +43 512 507 4730
http://dx.doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevLett.117.103602 - Ultrashort Pulses for Far-Field Nanoscopy. Patrick Maurer, J. Ignacio Cirac, and Oriol Romero-Isart. Phys. Rev. Lett. 117, 103602
http://iqoqi.at/en/group-page-romero-isart - Quantum Nanophysics, Optics and Information, IQOQI
Dr. Christian Flatz | Universität Innsbruck
Light-emitting bubbles captured in the wild
28.02.2017 | Georg-August-Universität Göttingen
Scientists reach back in time to discover some of the most power-packed galaxies
28.02.2017 | Clemson University
On January 15, 2009, Chesley B. Sullenberger was celebrated world-wide: after the two engines had failed due to bird strike, he and his flight crew succeeded after a glide flight with an Airbus A320 in ditching on the Hudson River. All 155 people on board were saved.
On January 15, 2009, Chesley B. Sullenberger was celebrated world-wide: after the two engines had failed due to bird strike, he and his flight crew succeeded...
Cells need to repair damaged DNA in our genes to prevent the development of cancer and other diseases. Our cells therefore activate and send “repair-proteins”...
The Fraunhofer IWS Dresden and Technische Universität Dresden inaugurated their jointly operated Center for Additive Manufacturing Dresden (AMCD) with a festive ceremony on February 7, 2017. Scientists from various disciplines perform research on materials, additive manufacturing processes and innovative technologies, which build up components in a layer by layer process. This technology opens up new horizons for component design and combinations of functions. For example during fabrication, electrical conductors and sensors are already able to be additively manufactured into components. They provide information about stress conditions of a product during operation.
The 3D-printing technology, or additive manufacturing as it is often called, has long made the step out of scientific research laboratories into industrial...
Nature does amazing things with limited design materials. Grass, for example, can support its own weight, resist strong wind loads, and recover after being...
13.02.2017 | Event News
10.02.2017 | Event News
09.02.2017 | Event News
28.02.2017 | Life Sciences
28.02.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering
28.02.2017 | Information Technology