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
APEX takes a glimpse into the heart of darkness
25.05.2018 | Max-Planck-Institut für Radioastronomie
First chip-scale broadband optical system that can sense molecules in the mid-IR
24.05.2018 | Columbia University School of Engineering and Applied Science
The more electronics steer, accelerate and brake cars, the more important it is to protect them against cyber-attacks. That is why 15 partners from industry and academia will work together over the next three years on new approaches to IT security in self-driving cars. The joint project goes by the name Security For Connected, Autonomous Cars (SecForCARs) and has funding of €7.2 million from the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research. Infineon is leading the project.
Vehicles already offer diverse communication interfaces and more and more automated functions, such as distance and lane-keeping assist systems. At the same...
A research team led by physicists at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) has developed molecular nanoswitches that can be toggled between two structurally different states using an applied voltage. They can serve as the basis for a pioneering class of devices that could replace silicon-based components with organic molecules.
The development of new electronic technologies drives the incessant reduction of functional component sizes. In the context of an international collaborative...
At the LASYS 2018, from June 5th to 7th, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) will be showcasing processes for the laser material processing of tomorrow in hall 4 at stand 4E75. With blown bomb shells the LZH will present first results of a research project on civil security.
At this year's LASYS, the LZH will exhibit light-based processes such as cutting, welding, ablation and structuring as well as additive manufacturing for...
There are videos on the internet that can make one marvel at technology. For example, a smartphone is casually bent around the arm or a thin-film display is rolled in all directions and with almost every diameter. From the user's point of view, this looks fantastic. From a professional point of view, however, the question arises: Is that already possible?
At Display Week 2018, scientists from the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Polymer Research IAP will be demonstrating today’s technological possibilities and...
So-called quantum many-body scars allow quantum systems to stay out of equilibrium much longer, explaining experiment | Study published in Nature Physics
Recently, researchers from Harvard and MIT succeeded in trapping a record 53 atoms and individually controlling their quantum state, realizing what is called a...
25.05.2018 | Event News
02.05.2018 | Event News
13.04.2018 | Event News
25.05.2018 | Event News
25.05.2018 | Machine Engineering
25.05.2018 | Life Sciences