Current Research Topics
The general interest of the
nano-optics group is in light-matter interactions on the subwavelength
scale. The activities are motivated by the current trend in nanoscience
Near-field Optical Microscopy
Nearfield techniques allow surfaces
to be imaged with nanometric spatial resolution.
We developed a tip-enhanced Raman
scattering microscope for the chemically specific imaging of
surfaces. This technique is being applied for the study of carbon
nanotubes, stress analysis in semiconductors, and membrane proteins.
Our group is working on a scheme
for nano-lithography and nano-inspection of semiconductor materials.
If near-field optics permits the interaction of light and matter
with a resolution of nanometers, then manipulation of matter
on the nanometer scale should be possible.
We study optical antennas using
both top-down (FIB, e-beam) and bottom-up (colloidal synthesis)
approaches. We are interested in understanding fundamental properties
and to develop quantitative design strategies for efficient
Optics in the Near-field
We are interested in understanding
how virtual photons are involved in molecular binding, forces
on the nanometric scale (van der Waals, Casimir), and interactions
with semiconductor wavefunctions.
arising from thermal fields
We study the friction experienced
by a particle due to its interaction with thermal electromagnetic
fields. These studies are motivated by recent experiments that
measured friction acting on nanoscale probes near planar substrates
in ultra-high vacuum conditions.
and classification of single viruses
We are developing a chip-scale
device for the optical presorting of sub-micron particles such
as viruses. So far, we can detect single influenza viruses and
separate them from other particles.
of transmembrane proteins using single molecule spectroscopy
We are using single-pair FRET
measurements to track conformational changes in single AE1 membrane
Possible future projects are:
1.) Nanoscale subsurface spectroscopy and imaging
2.) Long-range energy transfer between single molecules
3.) Spectroscopy of adhesion proteins in cell membranes
4.) Vacuum trapping and cooling of single molecules
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