Experimental photonic switches tested by researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, U.S.A., show promise toward the goal of fully optical, high-capacity switching for future high-speed data transmission networks. The switch developed and tested for this research demonstrated capabilities not seen before in photonic switches. In a paper to be presented at OFC: The Optical [..]

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Autonomous vehicles relying on light-based image sensors often struggle to see through blinding conditions, such as fog. But Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT; Cambridge, MA) researchers have developed a sub-terahertz-radiation receiving system that could help steer driverless cars when traditional lidar methods fail. Sub-terahertz wavelengths, which are between microwave and infrared radiation on the electromagnetic [..]

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The technique of light-sheet fluorescence microscopy (LSFM) can rapidly provide stunning, 3-D images of intact organs and small organisms, such as zebrafish and mouse brains. But to get those images, the samples usually need to be immobilized in a stiff gel—a demand that can limit the technique’s use in some studies of biological dynamics and [..]

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Calcium is a critical signaling molecule for most cells, and it is especially important in neurons. Imaging calcium in brain cells can reveal how neurons communicate with each other; however, current imaging techniques can only penetrate a few millimeters into the brain. MIT researchers have now devised a new way to image calcium activity that [..]

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A team of physicists from Immanuel Kant Baltic State University (Kaliningrad, Russia) and colleagues used a spectroscopy method to quickly identify single antibiotic-resistant bacteria cells that are the agents of tuberculosis. The method helps find the bacteria and evaluate their resistance to antibiotics without damaging the biological material. The disease caused by antibiotic-resistant strains of [..]

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A way to produce glass metasurfaces that can be either rigid or flexible, developed by engineers from the EPFL Laboratory of Photonic Materials and Fiber Devices, could be used to fabricate all-dielectric optical metasurfaces quickly, at low temperatures, and with no need for a cleanroom. These metasurfaces could be used to build next-generation photonic circuits. [..]

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Quantum dots, semiconductor particles small enough in size that single electrons can be confined within the structures, are a promising source of laser light for certain applications, but their practical use has posed some challenges. Although the laser output can be effectively tuned through careful choice of the semiconductor material employed and the dimensions of [..]

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Measuring a fever is usually pretty simple: place a thermometer under a patient’s tongue and get an accurate temperature reading within 30 seconds. But that simplicity does not translate when it comes to measuring the temperatures of specific tissues deep inside the body. Biomedical engineers at Duke University have demonstrated how photoacoustic imaging can take [..]

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A new, simple and inexpensive method that uses ultraviolet light to control particle motion and assembly within liquids could improve drug delivery, chemical sensors, and fluid pumps. The method encourages particles–from plastic microbeads, to bacterial spores, to pollutants–to gather and organize at a specific location within a liquid and, if desired, to move to new [..]

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A new method developed by Northwestern Engineering’s Manijeh Razeghi has greatly reduced a type of image distortion caused by the presence of spectral cross-talk between dual-band long-wavelength photodetectors. The work opens the door for a new generation of high spectral-contrast infrared imaging devices with applications in medicine, defense and security, planetary sciences, and art preservation. [..]

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Acrylic and polycarbonate lenses appear in all sorts of optical applications, but the inorganic antireflection (AR) coatings that improve the performance of glass lenses are difficult to apply to plastic optical surfaces. Researchers at a U.S. university have developed a method for coating these plastic lenses with a fluoropolymer that adheres well and even makes [..]

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Imaging deep inside biological tissue has long been a significant challenge. That is because light tends to be scattered by complex media such as biological tissue, bouncing around inside until it comes out again at a variety of different angles. This distorts the focus of optical microscopes, reducing both their resolution and imaging depth. Using [..]

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A team of researchers at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST; Daejeon, Korea) has presented a noninvasive light-sensitive photoactivatable recombinase suitable for genetic manipulation in vivo. The highly light-sensitive property of photoactivatable Flp recombinase will be ideal for controlling genetic manipulation in deep mouse brain regions by illumination with a noninvasive light-emitting [..]

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Scientists at the Fraunhofer Institute for Organic Electronics, Electron Beam and Plasma Technology FEP have developed a miniaturized phosphorescence sensor that combines marker and sensor on a small chip surface about the size of a thumbnail. OLED control and the sensor front-end are integrated into a silicon chip. The chemical marker is excited by modulated [..]

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Lenses are designed to work across a wide range of wavelengths and applications, from phone cameras to microscopes and sensors. Primarily they must be able to focus light regardless of its polarization. Researchers have long believed that symmetric nanostructures such as circular pillars have been essential elements in the development of photonic devices that are [..]

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An international research team led by physicists from Collaborative Research Centre 1238, ‘Control and Dynamics of Quantum Materials’ at the University of Cologne has implemented a new variant of the basic double-slit experiment using resonant inelastic X-ray scattering at the European Synchrotron ESRF in Grenoble. This new variant offers a deeper understanding of the electronic [..]

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Researchers have demonstrated that a laser can transmit an audible message to a person without any type of receiver equipment. The ability to send highly targeted audio signals over the air could be used to communicate across noisy rooms or warn individuals of a dangerous situation such as an active shooter. In The Optical Society [..]

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The November 2017 release of Apple’s iPhone X, with its “Face ID” authentication by facial recognition, highlighted the disruptive potential of 3-D sensing via mobile devices—a technology that could ultimately find use in hundreds of millions of smartphones worldwide. The sudden transition in 3-D sensing in mobile devices has stoked unprecedented demand, and a new [..]

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Researchers have developed a new way to image the brain with unprecedented resolution and speed. Using this approach, they can locate individual neurons, trace connections between them, and visualize organelles inside neurons, over large volumes of brain tissue. The new technology combines a method for expanding brain tissue, making it possible to image at higher [..]

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For the first time, researchers performed computational logic operations with a liquid-crystal-based chemical device using electric fields and ultraviolet light.1 The device and the methods used open up research possibilities that include low-power, high-performance computer chips. Keiichi Yano, Yoshimitsu Itoh, and Takuzo Aida from the Department of Chemistry and Biotechnology at the University of Tokyo [..]

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