Optics

Rare borate structural unit appears to enhance functionality of nonlinear optical materials

By Lisa McDonald / May 28, 2021

Current borate-based nonlinear optical materials are reaching the limits of their functionality based on the structural configuration of the borate. A team led by researchers in China and the United States explored arranging borate in the linear BO2 configuration to enhance functionality.

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Researchers confirm existence of unique nonlinear optical response in nanocrystal-in-glass composites

By Lisa McDonald / April 6, 2021

Second-harmonic generation is a nonlinear optical process that allows for the creation of low-power and compact light sources. Researchers in China discovered nanocrystal-in-glass composites exhibit a similar but different phenomenon called transverse second-harmonic generation that would allow for the creation of light sources with expanded capabilities.

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Mantis shrimp inspire tough composites and sophisticated optical sensors

By April Gocha / April 2, 2021

Artists and scientists alike find inspiration in nature. But two recent scientific studies found inspiration in the same creature: the mantis shrimp. The creature’s incredibly tough materials and complex eyes inspired innovations that could lead to fracture-resistant biocomposites and highly advanced optical sensors.

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Rose-tinted contact lenses offer color vision management

By Lisa McDonald / March 5, 2021

People who have color vision deficiency see colors differently from others. Tinted glasses and contact lenses offer a way to manage the condition, but to date only the former option is reliably effective. Researchers developed a new type of tinted contact lens using gold nanoparticles that shows potential for commercial scale-up.

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Video: Make shimmery chocolate at home using nanostructured film

By Lisa McDonald / December 23, 2020

Imprinting nanostructure patterns in chocolate to create shimmery goodies is a demonstrated technique, but the Swiss startup ChocoFoil is the first supplier with a product on the market using this technology.

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Achieve dynamic control of light—liquid crystals offer way to reconfigure optical properties of metalenses

By Lisa McDonald / August 25, 2020

Metalenses are an emerging technology for controlling light that could someday replace traditional lenses. However, they generally lack dynamic control over their optical properties and are limited to passive optical applications. Researchers from the United States and Italy investigated infiltrating metalenses with liquid crystals to allow for dynamic control.

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Isolating a better option—ceramic Faraday rotators improve optical isolator performance

By Lisa McDonald / July 14, 2020

Optical isolators traditionally use single crystals to polarize light—could transparent ceramics be used instead? Researchers in Japan created high-performing transparent ceramics using lanthanide rare-earth oxides, materials previously believed to not be suited for optical applications.

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Breaking orbital symmetry—researchers achieve arbitrary control of light chirality

By Lisa McDonald / May 8, 2020

Controlling the chirality of light is important in many fundamental and applied studies. An international research collaboration designed and fabricated a metasurface that can control chirality by breaking the symmetry of light’s orbital angular momentum.

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Video: Glass-ceramic allows detailed imaging of sun’s surface

By Lisa McDonald / February 19, 2020

The first images released from the Daniel K. Inouye Solar Telescope show the sun’s surface in unprecedented detail. Such imaging is possible because of ultra-low thermal expansion glass-ceramic mirrors, which are used in numerous large-scale telescope projects around the globe.

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Video: Woo your Valentine with shimmery chocolate

By Lisa McDonald / February 12, 2020

Why give your Valentine chocolate when you could give them shimmery chocolate? Researchers at ETH Zurich found a way to imprint a special structure on the surface of chocolate to create a targeted color effect.

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