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Optical Nondestructive Dynamic Measurements of Wafer-Scale Encapsulated Nanofluidic Channels

Published in:
Applied Optics, vol. 57, no. 15

Summary

Nanofluidic channels are of great interest for DNA sequencing, chromatography, and drug delivery. However, metrology of embedded or sealed nanochannels and measurement of their fill-state have remained extremely challenging. Existing techniques have been restricted to optical microscopy, which suffers from insufficient resolution, or scanning electron microscopy, which cannot measure sealed or embedded channels without cleaving the sample. Here, we demonstrate a novel method for accurately extracting nanochannel cross-sectional dimensions and monitoring fluid filling, utilizing spectroscopic ellipsometric scatterometry, combined with rigorous electromagnetic simulations. Our technique is capable of measuring channel dimensions with better than 5-nm accuracy and assessing channel filling within seconds. The developed technique is, thus, well suited for both process monitoring of channel fabrication as well as for studying complex phenomena of fluid flow through nanochannel structures.
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Summary

Nanofluidic channels are of great interest for DNA sequencing, chromatography, and drug delivery. However, metrology of embedded or sealed nanochannels and measurement of their fill-state have remained extremely challenging. Existing techniques have been restricted to optical microscopy, which suffers from insufficient resolution, or scanning electron microscopy, which cannot measure sealed...

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Highly Efficient All-Optical Beam Modulation Utilizing Thermo-optic Effects

Summary

Suspensions of plasmonic nanoparticles can diffract optical beams due to the combination of thermal lensing and self-phase modulation. Here, we demonstrate extremely efficient optical continuous wave (CW) beam switching across the visible range in optimized suspensions of 5-nm Au and Ag nanoparticles in non-polar solvents, such as hexane and decane. On-axis modulation of greater than 30 dB is achieved at incident beam intensities as low as 100 W/cm2 with response times under 200 μs, at initial solution transparency above 70%. No evidence of laser-induced degradation is observed for the highest intensities used. Numerical modeling of experimental data reveals thermo-optic coefficients of up to −1.3 × 10−3 /K, which, to our knowledge, is the highest observed to date in such nanoparticle suspensions.
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Summary

Suspensions of plasmonic nanoparticles can diffract optical beams due to the combination of thermal lensing and self-phase modulation. Here, we demonstrate extremely efficient optical continuous wave (CW) beam switching across the visible range in optimized suspensions of 5-nm Au and Ag nanoparticles in non-polar solvents, such as hexane and decane...

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Broadband transparent optical phase change materials

Summary

We report a new group of optical phase change materials Ge-Sb-Se-Te (GSST) with low loss from telecom bands to LWIR. We further demonstrated GSST-integratedSiN photonics with significantly improved switching performance over conventional GST alloys.
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Summary

We report a new group of optical phase change materials Ge-Sb-Se-Te (GSST) with low loss from telecom bands to LWIR. We further demonstrated GSST-integratedSiN photonics with significantly improved switching performance over conventional GST alloys.

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Seismic barrier protection of critical infrastructure

Published in:
16th Annual IEEE Int. Symp. on Technologies for Homeland Security, HST 2017, 25-26 April 2017.

Summary

Each year, on average a major magnitude-8 earthquake strikes somewhere in the world. In addition, 10,000 earthquake related deaths occur annually, where collapsing buildings claim by far most lives. Moreover, in recent events, industry activity of oil extraction and wastewater reinjection are suspected to cause earthquake swarms that threaten high-value oil pipeline networks, U.S. oil storage reserves, and civilian homes. Earthquake engineering of building structural designs and materials have evolved over many years to minimize the destructive effects of seismic surface waves. However, even under the best engineering practices, significant damage and numbers of fatalities can still occur. In this paper, we present a novel concept and approach to redirect and attenuate the ground motion amplitudes caused by earthquakes by implementing an engineered subsurface seismic barrier – creating a form of metamaterial. The barrier is comprised of borehole array complexes and trench designs that impede and divert destructive seismic surface waves from a designated 'protection zone'. The barrier is also designed to divert not only surface waves in the aerial plane, but includes vertical 'V' shaped muffler structures composed of opposing boreholes to mitigate seismic waves from diffracting and traveling in the vertical plane. Computational 2D and 3D seismic wave propagation models developed at MIT Lincoln Laboratory suggest that borehole array and trench arrangements are critical to the redirection and self-interference reduction of broadband hazardous seismic waves in the vicinity of the structure to protect. The computational models are compared with experimental data obtained from large bench-scale physical models that contain scaled borehole arrays and trenches. These experiments are carried out at high frequencies, but with suitable material parameters and borehole dimensions. They indicate that effects of a devastating 7.0 Mw -magnitude earthquake can be reduced to those of a minor magnitude-4.5 or -5.5 Mw earthquake within a suitable protection zone. These results are very promising, and warrant validation in field scale tests.
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Summary

Each year, on average a major magnitude-8 earthquake strikes somewhere in the world. In addition, 10,000 earthquake related deaths occur annually, where collapsing buildings claim by far most lives. Moreover, in recent events, industry activity of oil extraction and wastewater reinjection are suspected to cause earthquake swarms that threaten high-value...

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Large enhancement of third-order nonlinear effects with a resonant all-dielectric metasurface

Published in:
AIP Adv., Vol. 6, No. 11, 1 November 2016, 115213.

Summary

A novel low-profile nonlinear metasurface, consisting of a single-layer of all-dielectric material, is proposed and numerically investigated by a nonlinear full-wave finite-difference time-domain (FDTD) method. The proposed metasurface is transparent for low, and opaque for high values of incident light intensity. The metasurface design is broadly applicable to enhancement of intrinsic nonlinearities of any material with a sufficiently high refractive index contrast. We illustrate the ability of this design to enhance intrinsic nonlinear absorption of a transition metal oxide, vanadium pentoxide (V2O5), with resonant metasurface elements. The complex third-order nonlinear susceptibility (x^(3)) for V2O5, representing both nonlinear refraction and absorption is considered in FDTD simulations. Our design achieves high initial transparency (>90%) for low incident light intensity. An order of magnitude decrease in the required input light intensity threshold for nonlinear response of the metasurface is observed in comparison with an unpatterend film. The proposed all-dielectric metasurface in this work is ultrathin and easy to fabricate. We envision a number of applications of this design for thin film coatings that offer protection against high-power laser radiation.
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Summary

A novel low-profile nonlinear metasurface, consisting of a single-layer of all-dielectric material, is proposed and numerically investigated by a nonlinear full-wave finite-difference time-domain (FDTD) method. The proposed metasurface is transparent for low, and opaque for high values of incident light intensity. The metasurface design is broadly applicable to enhancement of...

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Broadband Optical Switch Based on Liquid Crystal Dynamic Scattering

Published in:
Optics Express, vol. 24, no. 13

Summary

This work demonstrates a novel broadband optical switch, based on dynamic-scattering effect in liquid crystals (LCs). Dynamic-scattering-mode technology was developed for display applications over four decades ago, but was displaced in favor of the twisted-nematic LCs. However, with the recent development of more stable LCs, dynamic scattering provides advantages over other technologies for optical switching. We demonstrate broadband polarization-insensitive attenuation of light directly passing thought the cell by 4 to 5 orders of magnitude at 633 nm. The attenuation is accomplished by light scattering to higher angles. Switching times of 150 μs to 10% transmission have been demonstrated. No degradation of devices is found after hundreds of switching cycles. The light-rejection mechanism is due to scattering, induced by disruption of LC director orientation with dopant ion motion with an applied electric field. Angular dependence of scattering is characterized as a function of bias voltage.
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Summary

This work demonstrates a novel broadband optical switch, based on dynamic-scattering effect in liquid crystals (LCs). Dynamic-scattering-mode technology was developed for display applications over four decades ago, but was displaced in favor of the twisted-nematic LCs. However, with the recent development of more stable LCs, dynamic scattering provides advantages over...

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Wafer-scale aluminum nanoplasmonic resonators with optimized metal deposition

Published in:
ACS Photonics, Vol. 3, No. 5, 18 May 2016, pp. 796-805.

Summary

Spectroscopic ellipsometry is demonstrated to be an effective technique for assessing the quality of plasmonic resonances within aluminum nanostructures deposited with multiple techniques. The resonance quality of nanoplasmonic aluminum arrays is shown to be strongly dependent on the method of aluminum deposition. Three-layer metal-dielectric-metal nanopillar arrays were fabricated in a complementary metal-oxide semiconductor (CMOS) facility, with the arrays of nanopillars separated from a continuous metal underlayer by a thin dielectric spacer, to provide optimum field enhancement. Nanostructures patterned in optimized aluminum, which had been deposited with a high temperature sputtering process followed by chemical mechanical planarization, display different resonance and depolarization behavior than nanostructures deposited by the more conventional evaporation process. Full plasmonic band diagrams are mapped over a wide range of incidence angles and wavelengths using spectroscopic ellipsometry, and compared for aluminum nanostructures fabricated with two methods. The resonators fabricated from optimized aluminum exhibit a narrower bandwidth of both plasmonic resonance and depolarization parameters, indicating a higher quality resonance due to a stronger localization of the electric field. The optimized wafer-scale aluminum plasmonics fabrication should provide a pathway towards better quality devices for sensing and light detection in the ultraviolet and blue parts of the spectrum.
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Summary

Spectroscopic ellipsometry is demonstrated to be an effective technique for assessing the quality of plasmonic resonances within aluminum nanostructures deposited with multiple techniques. The resonance quality of nanoplasmonic aluminum arrays is shown to be strongly dependent on the method of aluminum deposition. Three-layer metal-dielectric-metal nanopillar arrays were fabricated in a...

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Super-resolution microscopy by movable thin-films with embedded microspheres: resolution analysis

Summary

Microsphere-assisted imaging has emerged as an extraordinary simple technique of obtaining optical super-resolution. This work addresses two central problems in developing this technology: i) methodology of the resolution measurements and ii) limited field-of-view provided by each sphere. It is suggested that a standard method of resolution analysis in far-field microscopy based on convolution with the point-spread function can be extended into the superresolution area. This allows developing a unified approach to resolution measurements, which can be used for comparing results obtained by different techniques. To develop the surface scanning functionality, the high-index (n ~ 2) barium titanate glass microspheres were embedded in polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) thin-films. It is shown that such films adhere to the surface of nanoplasmonic structures so that the tips of embedded spheres experience the objects' optical near-fields. Based on rigorous criteria, the resolution ~lambda/6-lambda/7 (where lambda is the illumination wavelength) is demonstrated for arrays of Au dimers and bowties. Such films can be translated along the surface of investigated samples after liquid lubrication. It is shown that just after lubrication the resolution is diffraction limited, however the super-resolution gradually recovers as the lubricant evaporates.
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Summary

Microsphere-assisted imaging has emerged as an extraordinary simple technique of obtaining optical super-resolution. This work addresses two central problems in developing this technology: i) methodology of the resolution measurements and ii) limited field-of-view provided by each sphere. It is suggested that a standard method of resolution analysis in far-field microscopy...

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In situ microfluidic SERS assay for monitoring enzymatic breakdown of organophosphates

Published in:
Nanoscale, Vol. 7, No. 25, 2015, 11013-23.

Summary

In this paper, we report on a method to probe the breakdown of the organophosphate (OP) simulants o, s-diethyl methyl phosphonothioate (OSDMP) and demeton S by the enzyme organophosphorous hydrolase (OPH) in a microfluidic device by surface enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS). SERS hotspots were formed on-demand inside the microfluidic device by laser-induced aggregation of injected Ag NPs suspensions. The Ag NP clusters, covering micron-sized areas, were formed within minutes using a conventional confocal Raman laser microscope. These Ag NP clusters were used to enhance the Raman spectra of the thiol products of OP breakdown in the microfluidic device: ethanethiol (EtSH) and (ethylsulfanyl) ethane-1-thiol (2-EET). When the OPH enzyme and its substrates OSDMP and demeton S were introduced, the thiolated breakdown products were generated, resulting in changes in the SERS spectra. With the ability to analyze reaction volumes as low as 20 nL, our approach demonstrates great potential for miniaturization of SERS analytical protocols.
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Summary

In this paper, we report on a method to probe the breakdown of the organophosphate (OP) simulants o, s-diethyl methyl phosphonothioate (OSDMP) and demeton S by the enzyme organophosphorous hydrolase (OPH) in a microfluidic device by surface enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS). SERS hotspots were formed on-demand inside the microfluidic device...

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Permittivity evaluation of multilayered hyperbolic metamaterials: ellipsometry vs. reflectometry

Published in:
J. Appl. Phys., Vol. 117, No. 10, 14 March 2015, 103104.

Summary

Metal-dielectric nanolaminates represent a class of hyperbolic metamaterials with uniaxial permittivity tensor. In this study, we critically compare permittivity extraction of nanolaminate samples using two techniques: polarized reflectrometry vs. spectroscopic anisotropic ellipsometry. Both Au/MgF2 and Ag/MgF2 metal-dielectric stacks are examined. We demonstrate the applicability of the treatment of the multilayered material as a uniaxial medium and compare the derived optical parameters to those expected from the effective medium approximation. We also experimentally compare the effect of varying the material outer layer on the homogenization of the composite. Additionally, we introduce a simple empirical method of extracting the epsilon-near-zero point of the nanolaminates from normal incidence reflectance. The results of this study are useful in accurate determination of the hyperbolic material permittivity and in the ability to tune its optical properties.
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Summary

Metal-dielectric nanolaminates represent a class of hyperbolic metamaterials with uniaxial permittivity tensor. In this study, we critically compare permittivity extraction of nanolaminate samples using two techniques: polarized reflectrometry vs. spectroscopic anisotropic ellipsometry. Both Au/MgF2 and Ag/MgF2 metal-dielectric stacks are examined. We demonstrate the applicability of the treatment of the multilayered...

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