Photonics2015, 2(3), 795-807; doi:10.3390/photonics2030795 (registering DOI) - published 2 July 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Precise control of particle positioning is desirable in many optical propulsion and sorting applications. Here, we develop an integrated platform for particle manipulation consisting of a combined optical nanofiber and optical tweezers system. We show that consistent and reversible transmission modulations arise when individual silica microspheres are introduced to the nanofiber surface using the optical tweezers. The observed transmission changes depend on both particle and fiber diameter and can be used as a reference point for in situ nanofiber or particle size measurement. Thence, we combine scanning electron microscope (SEM) size measurements with nanofiber transmission data to provide calibration for particle-based fiber assessment. This integrated optical platform provides a method for selective evanescent field manipulation of micron-sized particles and facilitates studies of optical binding and light-particle interaction dynamics.
Abstract: The present work shows how the eccentricity in active nano-particles may lead to very interesting and rather directive near- and far-field radiation patterns. The nano-particle is of a three-layer type and consists of a silica core, a free-space middle layer and an outer silver shell and is excited by a magnetic line source. The constant frequency gain model is included in the silica core, and the eccentricity is introduced through appropriate displacements of the core. It is shown that the eccentricity in a nano-particle, which was initially designed to excite a strong dipole mode, causes a progressively larger excitation of several other (including higher order) modes, this being more so the larger the core displacement. Specifically, eccentric nano-particles are identified with comparable simultaneous excitations of dipole and quadrupole modes, with associated large values of the radiated power and, even more notably, enhanced and directive near- and far-field radiation patterns. The main beam of these patterns is shown to be effectively tailored (enhanced, reshaped and steered) by the direction and amount of the core displacement. The eccentric nano-particles can be additionally gain optimized to boost their near-field response and the radiated power, while retaining the directivity of the gain unoptimized eccentric cases. Owing to their very directive nearand far-field patterns, the proposed eccentric, active three-layer nano-particles may provide alternative strategies towards the design of directive nano-antennas relative to several of the existing solutions.
Abstract: We present a novel experimental setup in which magnetic and optical tweezers are combined for torque and force transduction onto single filamentous molecules in a transverse configuration to allow simultaneous mechanical measurement and manipulation. Previously we have developed a super-resolution imaging module which, in conjunction with advanced imaging techniques such as Blinking assisted Localisation Microscopy (BaLM), achieves localisation precision of single fluorescent dye molecules bound to DNA of ~30 nm along the contour of the molecule; our work here describes developments in producing a system which combines tweezing and super-resolution fluorescence imaging. The instrument also features an acousto-optic deflector that temporally divides the laser beam to form multiple traps for high throughput statistics collection. Our motivation for developing the new tool is to enable direct observation of detailed molecular topological transformation and protein binding event localisation in a stretching/twisting mechanical assay that previously could hitherto only be deduced indirectly from the end-to-end length variation of DNA. Our approach is simple and robust enough for reproduction in the lab without the requirement of precise hardware engineering, yet is capable of unveiling the elastic and dynamic properties of filamentous molecules that have been hidden using traditional tools.
Abstract: We reveal that asymmetric plasmonic nanostructures can exhibit significantly different absorption and scattering properties for light that propagates in opposite directions, despite the conservation of total extinction. We analytically demonstrate that this is a consequence of nonorthogonality of eigenmodes of the system. This results in the necessity for modal interference with potential enhancement via Fano resonances. Based on our theory, we propose a stacked nanocross design whose optical response exhibits an abrupt change between absorption and scattering cross-sections for plane waves propagating in opposite directions. This work thereby proposes the use of Fano resonances to employ nanostructures for measuring and distinguishing optical signals coming from opposite directions.
Abstract: Wavelength−tunable semiconductor quantum−dot lasers have achieved impressive performance in terms of high−power, broad tunability, low threshold current, as well as broadly tunable generation of ultrashort pulses. InAs/GaAs quantum−dot−based lasers in particular have demonstrated significant versatility and promise for a range of applications in many areas such as biological imaging, optical fiber communications, spectroscopy, THz radiation generation and frequency doubling into the visible region. In this review, we cover the progress made towards the development of broadly−tunable quantum−dot edge−emitting lasers, particularly in the spectral region between 1.0–1.3 µm. This review discusses the strategies developed towards achieving lower threshold current, extending the tunability range and scaling the output power, covering achievements in both continuous wave and mode−locked InAs/GaAs quantum−dot lasers. We also highlight a number of applications which have benefitted from these advances, as well as emerging new directions for further development of broadly−tunable quantum−dot lasers.
Abstract: We derive closed analytical formulae for the power emitted by moving charged particles in a uniaxial wire medium by means of an eigenfunction expansion. Our analytical expressions demonstrate that, in the absence of material dispersion, the stopping power of the uniaxial wire medium is proportional to the charge velocity, and that there is no velocity threshold for the Cherenkov emission. It is shown that the eigenfunction expansion formalism can be extended to the case of dispersive lossless media. Furthermore, in the presence of material dispersion, the optimal charge velocity that maximizes the emitted Cherenkov power may be less than the speed of light in a vacuum.