Who is not impressed by the play of colors that opals and other gemstones create?
Inspired by the interaction of opals with light, Dr. Alexander Kühne investigates and develops artificial opals for future applications in the fields of telecommunication, photonics and biomedicine. His efforts find appreciation: The Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) now decided to fund Alexander Kühne’s junior research group at DWI – Leibniz Institute for Interactive Materials. The total funding amount is one million euros and covers a period of four years.
Opals – both natural and artificial ones – consist of small particles that can alter light waves. For example, they reflect light of a certain wavelength, whereas light of a different wavelength can pass. In his group, Alexander Kühne prepares such particles in a sophisticated chemical procedure. Subsequently, the group members use a spinning method to prepare light-conducting fibers, in which the particles assemble in the core.
Alternatively, they can use ink jet printing to position the particles on a surface. Both techniques are based on the property of the particles to self-assemble into regular crystalline structures just like in natural opals. “With our particle system, we combine three distinct ways of interaction with light,” 33-year-old Kühne explains. “Light absorption like in dyes and pigments, emission using the fluorescence effect, and reflection occurring from the regular structure of the assembled particles.”
“In the future, our materials may play a significant role as manipulators in light-guiding data cables. They might contribute to faster, more efficient ways of data transfer. In addition, they could be used as printable forgery protection labels, on packaging of drugs and vaccines.“ However, current challenges for Kühne and his team are still a few steps away from application: “We are trying to create high numbers of particles with uniform size and morphology. Besides, we are working on combining several fluorescent colors within one system.“
Alexander Kühne studied chemistry in Cologne and Glasgow and did his PhD in the group of Richard Pethrick at the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow. After postdoc positions in the labs of Klaus Meerholz (Cologne) and David Weitz (Harvard), he moved back to Germany and joined DWI in 2011. His current research is based on his experience with nano-structured polymer films for organic lasers.
Dr. Janine Hillmer | idw - Informationsdienst Wissenschaft
From foam to bone: Plant cellulose can pave the way for healthy bone implants
19.03.2019 | University of British Columbia
Additive printing processes for flexible touchscreens: increased materials and cost efficiency
19.03.2019 | INM - Leibniz-Institut für Neue Materialien gGmbH
DESY and MPSD scientists create high-order harmonics from solids with controlled polarization states, taking advantage of both crystal symmetry and attosecond electronic dynamics. The newly demonstrated technique might find intriguing applications in petahertz electronics and for spectroscopic studies of novel quantum materials.
The nonlinear process of high-order harmonic generation (HHG) in gases is one of the cornerstones of attosecond science (an attosecond is a billionth of a...
Nano- and microtechnology are promising candidates not only for medical applications such as drug delivery but also for the creation of little robots or flexible integrated sensors. Scientists from the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research (MPI-P) have created magnetic microparticles, with a newly developed method, that could pave the way for building micro-motors or guiding drugs in the human body to a target, like a tumor. The preparation of such structures as well as their remote-control can be regulated using magnetic fields and therefore can find application in an array of domains.
The magnetic properties of a material control how this material responds to the presence of a magnetic field. Iron oxide is the main component of rust but also...
Due to the special arrangement of its molecules, a new coating made of corn starch is able to repair small scratches by itself through heat: The cross-linking via ring-shaped molecules makes the material mobile, so that it compensates for the scratches and these disappear again.
Superficial micro-scratches on the car body or on other high-gloss surfaces are harmless, but annoying. Especially in the luxury segment such surfaces are...
The Potsdam Echelle Polarimetric and Spectroscopic Instrument (PEPSI) at the Large Binocular Telescope (LBT) in Arizona released its first image of the surface magnetic field of another star. In a paper in the European journal Astronomy & Astrophysics, the PEPSI team presents a Zeeman- Doppler-Image of the surface of the magnetically active star II Pegasi.
A special technique allows astronomers to resolve the surfaces of faraway stars. Those are otherwise only seen as point sources, even in the largest telescopes...
Researchers at Chalmers University of Technology and the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, have proposed a way to create a completely new source of radiation. Ultra-intense light pulses consist of the motion of a single wave and can be described as a tsunami of light. The strong wave can be used to study interactions between matter and light in a unique way. Their research is now published in the scientific journal Physical Review Letters.
"This source of radiation lets us look at reality through a new angle - it is like twisting a mirror and discovering something completely different," says...
11.03.2019 | Event News
01.03.2019 | Event News
28.02.2019 | Event News
25.03.2019 | Life Sciences
25.03.2019 | Life Sciences
25.03.2019 | Life Sciences