Appl. Sci.2015, 5(2), 62-76; doi:10.3390/app5020062 - published 22 April 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: We present the development of a numerical simulator for digital in-line holography applications. In-line holograms of arbitrarily shaped and arbitrarily located objects are calculated using generalized Huygens-Fresnel integrals. The objects are 2D opaque or phase objects. The optical set-up is described by its optical transfer matrix. A wide variety of optical systems, involving windows, spherical or cylindrical lenses, can thus be taken into account. It makes the simulator applicable for design and description of in situ experiments. We discuss future applications of this simulator for detection of nanoparticles in droplets, or calibration of airborne instruments that detect and measure ice crystals in the atmosphere.
Appl. Sci.2015, 5(2), 48-61; doi:10.3390/app5020048 - published 16 April 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Femtosecond stimulated Raman spectroscopy (FSRS) is an emerging molecular structural dynamics technique for functional materials characterization typically in the visible to near-IR range. To expand its applications we have developed a versatile FSRS setup in the ultraviolet region. We use the combination of a narrowband, ~400 nm Raman pump from a home-built second harmonic bandwidth compressor and a tunable broadband probe pulse from sum-frequency-generation-based cascaded four-wave mixing (SFG-CFWM) laser sidebands in a thin BBO crystal. The ground state Raman spectrum of a laser dye Quinolon 390 in methanol that strongly absorbs at ~355 nm is systematically studied as a standard sample to provide previously unavailable spectroscopic characterization in the vibrational domain. Both the Stokes and anti-Stokes Raman spectra can be collected by selecting different orders of SFG-CFWM sidebands as the probe pulse. The stimulated Raman gain with the 402 nm Raman pump is >21 times larger than that with the 550 nm Raman pump when measured at the 1317 cm−1 peak for the aromatic ring deformation and ring-H rocking mode of the dye molecule, demonstrating that pre-resonance enhancement is effectively achieved in the unique UV-FSRS setup. This added tunability in the versatile and compact optical setup enables FSRS to better capture transient conformational snapshots of photosensitive molecules that absorb in the UV range.
Appl. Sci.2015, 5(1), 36-47; doi:10.3390/app5010036 - published 17 February 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Direct laser acceleration of ions by short frequency chirped laser pulses is investigated theoretically. We demonstrate that intense beams of ions with a kinetic energy broadening of about 1% can be generated. The chirping of the laser pulse allows the particles to gain kinetic energies of hundreds of MeVs, which is required for hadron cancer therapy, from pulses of energies in the order of 100 J. It is shown that few-cycle chirped pulses can accelerate ions more efficiently than long ones, i.e., higher ion kinetic energies are reached with the same amount of total electromagnetic pulse energy.
Appl. Sci.2015, 5(1), 23-35; doi:10.3390/app5010023 - published 13 February 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Vibrational spectroscopy analyses vibrations within a molecule and can be used to characterise a molecular structure. Raman spectroscopy is one of the vibrational spectroscopic techniques, in which incident radiation is used to induce vibrations in the molecules of a sample, and the scattered radiation may be used to characterise the sample in a rapid and non-destructive manner. Infrared (IR) spectroscopy is a complementary vibrational spectroscopic technique based on the absorption of IR radiation by the sample. Molecules absorb specific frequencies of the incident light which are characteristic of their structure. IR and Raman spectroscopy are sensitive to subtle biochemical changes occurring at the molecular level allowing spectral variations corresponding to disease onset to be detected. Over the past 15 years, there have been numerous reports demonstrating the potential of IR and Raman spectroscopy together with multivariate statistical analysis techniques for the detection of a variety of cancers including, breast, lung, brain, colon, oral, oesophageal, prostate and cervical cancer. This paper discusses the recent advances and the future perspectives in relation to cancer screening applications, focussing on cervical and oral cancer.
Appl. Sci.2015, 5(1), 1-20; doi:10.3390/app5010001 - published 29 December 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: We present a new external-beam radiation therapy system using very-high-energy (VHE) electron/photon beams generated by a centimeter-scale laser plasma accelerator built in a robotic system. Most types of external-beam radiation therapy are delivered using a machine called a medical linear accelerator driven by radio frequency (RF) power amplifiers, producing electron beams with an energy range of 6–20 MeV, in conjunction with modern radiation therapy technologies for effective shaping of three-dimensional dose distributions and spatially accurate dose delivery with imaging verification. However, the limited penetration depth and low quality of the transverse penumbra at such electron beams delivered from the present RF linear accelerators prevent the implementation of advanced modalities in current cancer treatments. These drawbacks can be overcome if the electron energy is increased to above 50 MeV. To overcome the disadvantages of the present RF-based medical accelerators, harnessing recent advancement of laser-driven plasma accelerators capable of producing 1-GeV electron beams in a 1-cm gas cell, we propose a new embodiment of the external-beam radiation therapy robotic system delivering very high-energy electron/photon beams with an energy of 50–250 MeV; it is more compact, less expensive, and has a simpler operation and higher performance in comparison with the current radiation therapy system.