Nano-Optics

 

Nanooptics is a field of optics that focuses on the interaction of light with particles or structural features of a material that are smaller than the optical wavelength. The term typically refers to phenomena of visible and near IR light, with a wavelength of approximately 400 nm to 1.2 micrometres.

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Nano-optics is the branch of optical engineering which deals with optics at deeply subwavelength length scales. Technologies in the realm of nano-optics include near-field scanning optical microscopy (NSOM), photoassisted scanning tunnelling microscopy, and surface plasmon optics. Traditional microscopy makes use of diffractive elements to focus light tightly in order to increase resolution. But because of the diffraction limit (also known as the Rayleigh Criterion), propagating light may be focused to a spot with a minimum diameter of roughly half the wavelength of light. Thus, even with diffraction-limited confocal microscopy, the maximum resolution obtainable is on the order of a couple of hundred nanometers. The scientific and industrial communities are becoming more interested in the characterization of materials and phenomena on the scale of a few nanometers, so alternative techniques must be utilized. Scanning Probe Microscopy (SPM) makes use of a "probe", (usually either a tiny aperture or super-sharp tip), which either locally excites a sample or transmits local information from a sample to be collected and analyzed.

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The interaction of light and matter on the nanoscale. A key element of nanoscale optics is imaging/spectroscopy in the near-field (see near-field scanning optical microscopy). This technique enables measurements far below the classical diffraction limit and thus provides single molecule/nanoparticle detection and characterization capabilities.

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Interaction of light and matter on the nanoscale. See University of Rochester - Institute of Optics - NANO-OPTICS GROUP

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Interaction of light and matter on the nanoscale.

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Interaction of light and matter on the nanoscale. See University of Rochester - Institute of Optics - NANOOPTICS GROUP nanopgm - nanometer-scale patterned granular motion: The goal of nanopgm is to generate millions of ‚Äúnanofingers,‚Ä? Finger-like structures each only a few nanometers long, that might someday perform precise, massively parallel manipulation of molecules and directed assembly of other nanometer-scale objects. This ability answers one of the biggest technical challenges facing builders of nanocomputers: how to arrange as many as a trillion molecular computing components in an area only a few millimeters square. [MITRE / Alex Wissner-Gross]

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Interaction of light and matter on the nanoscale.

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