Authors: George Rajna
Electromagnetic pulses lasting one millionth of a millionth of a second may hold the key to advances in medical imaging, communications and drug development. But the pulses, called terahertz waves, have long required elaborate and expensive equipment to use.  A widely held understanding of electromagnetic radiation has been challenged in newly published research led at the University of Strathclyde.  Technion researchers have demonstrated, for the first time, that laser emissions can be created through the interaction of light and water waves. This "water-wave laser" could someday be used in tiny sensors that combine light waves, sound and water waves, or as a feature on microfluidic "lab-on-a-chip" devices used to study cell biology and to test new drug therapies.  Researchers led by EPFL have built ultra-high quality optical cavities for the elusive mid-infrared spectral region, paving the way for new chemical and biological sensors, as well as promising technologies.  The research team led by Professor Hele Savin has developed a new light detector that can capture more than 96 percent of the photons covering visible, ultraviolet and infrared wavelengths.  A promising route to smaller, powerful cameras built into smartphones and other devices is to design optical elements that manipulate light by diffraction-the bending of light around obstacles or through small gaps-instead of refraction.  Converting a single photon from one color, or frequency, to another is an essential tool in quantum communication, which harnesses the subtle correlations between the subatomic properties of photons (particles of light) to securely store and transmit information. Scientists at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have now developed a miniaturized version of a frequency converter, using technology similar to that used to make computer chips.  Harnessing the power of the sun and creating light-harvesting or light-sensing devices requires a material that both absorbs light efficiently and converts the energy to highly mobile electrical current. Finding the ideal mix of properties in a single material is a challenge, so scientists have been experimenting with ways to combine different materials to create "hybrids" with enhanced features. 
Comments: 26 Pages.
[v1] 2017-02-09 10:20:46
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