Archive for the ‘Nanotech’ category

RIT Sensing technology takes a quantum leap with photonics research

August 9, 2017

Rochester Institute of Technology researcher leading a three-year study on precision quantum sensing funded by a $550,000 grant from the U.S. Department of the Navy’s Office of Naval Research, officials announced Wednesday.

Research underway at RIT advances a new kind of sensing technology that captures data with better precision than currently possible and promises cheaper, smaller and lighter sensor designs.Mishkat Bhattacharya, a theoretical physicist at RIT, is investigating new precision quantum sensing solutions for the U.S. Department of the Navy’s Office of Naval Research.

The three-year study is supported by $550,000 grant and is a continuation of a previous award. Bhattacharya will test interactions between light and matter at the nanoscale and analyze measurements of weak electromagnetic fields and gravitational forces.Specialized microscopes measure theoretical predictions that describe matter at the nanoscale in which a nanometer equals one-billionth of a meter and a human hair measures between 80,000-100,000 nanometers, according to the U.S. National Nanotechnology Initiative.

Levitated optomechanics can make a nanoparticle float in space

It’s no trick of the eye; it’s an optical trap.

Levitated optomechanics can make a nanoparticle float in space. A finely focused laser beam forms an “optical tweezer” and creates a tiny, isolated laboratory for the study of delicate quantum states. RIT scientist Mishkat Bhattacharya tests his theoretical predictions on such experimental platforms used by his collaborator Nick Vamivakas at the University of Rochester’s Institute of Optics. (Image: J. Adam Fenster and Prof. A. N. Vamivakas, University of Rochester)Bhattacharya works in the emerging field of levitated optomechanics, an area of physics that investigates nanoparticles by trapping them in a laser beam.

Laser trapping–a method known as “optical tweezers”–tests the limits of quantum effects in isolation and eliminates physical disturbances from the surrounding environmentUsing the techniques of laser trapping, Bhattacharya takes quantum mechanics to the next level by probing quantum effects in the nanoparticles, which contain billions of atoms. He investigates where quantum mechanics (which governs the microscopic) butts up against classical physics (which explains the macroscopic) and explores light-matter interaction in macroscopic quantum physics.

“Levitated optomechanical systems provide a clean platform for studying quantum optics, information science, and precision measurement and sensing,” said Bhattacharya, an associate professor in RIT’s School of Physics and Astronomy and a member of the Future Photon Initiative.To explore different nanosystems for the Office of Naval Research, Bhattacharya isolates a nanodiamond in a pocket of light. Suspension in laser light turns the particle into a floating probe. Bhattacharya is interested in the signatures carried in the light and the information it reveals about the electromagnetic fields and the gravitational forces surrounding the nanoparticle.He collaborates with postdoctoral associate Pardeep Kumar and RIT undergraduate physics major Wyatt Wetzel. This summer, a visiting undergraduate from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Peter Mizes, joined his Atomic, Molecular and Optical Physics Theory Group. Bhattacharya tests his theoretical predictions in a lab run by his collaborator Nick Vamivakas, an experimental physicist at the University of Rochester’s Institute of Optics.His first study for the Office of Naval Research determined the smallest force that could be detected with a diamond crystal that levitated without spinning. The new project investigates the outcomes of three nanosystems, each using nanoparticles optically trapped under different conditions:

  • A particle containing an impurity which acts as a spin sensitive to magnetic fields or as an excess charge sensitive to electric fields;
  • A particle moving like a pendulum in three dimensions;
  • A particle larger than the wavelength of light entrapping it.

Quantum mechanics is a door to a world on the nanoscale and is governed by a different set of physical laws.”Unique rules apply in quantum physics,” Bhattacharya said. “It is not the day-to-day physical universe familiar to our experience.”Optomechanics explores interactions between light and tiny particles of matter within the nano-realm. Sensing technology advanced at these submicroscopic scale promises finer measurements of physical properties that describe the world, such as electric and magnetic fields, temperature, force, velocity, acceleration, gravitation.According to Bhattacharya, quantum sensors might someday detect gravitational waves, find dark matter, perfect quantum computing and create precise accelerometers–the technology that rights display screens held at any angle.

Read more: Sensing technology takes a quantum leap with photonics research A


“”Quantum sensing” describes the use of a quantum system, quantum properties or quantum phenomena to perform a measurement of a physical quantity. Historical examples of quantum sensors include magnetometers based on superconducting quantum interference devices and atomic vapors, or atomic clocks. More recently, quantum sensing has become a distinct and rapidly growing branch of research within the area of quantum science and technology, with the most common platforms being spin qubits, trapped ions and flux qubits. The field is expected to provide new opportunities – especially with regard to high sensitivity and precision – in applied physics and other areas of science”

UB’s Paras Prasad Named Fellow of National Academy of Inventors

January 2, 2017

University at Buffalo researcher Paras Prasad, an internationally recognized expert in optics and photonics, has been named a Fellow of the nailogoNational Academy of Inventors (NAI).

NAI Fellow is the highest professional distinction accorded by the organization to academic researchers who have demonstrated a prolific spirit of innovation in creating or facilitating outstanding inventions that have made a tangible impact on quality of life, economic development and the welfare of society.paras-prasad

Among other individuals, the list of NAI Fellowsincludes presidents and senior leaders of research universities and nonprofit research institutes, Nobel Laureates, and recipients of the U.S. National Medal of Technology and Innovation and U.S. National Medal of Science.

New fellows will be inducted at a ceremony on April 6 at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum in Boston, Massachusetts.

Prasad, PhD, serves as the executive director of UB’s Institute for Lasers, Photonics and Biophotonics (ILPB). He is a SUNY Distinguished Professor in the departments of Chemistry, Physics, Medicine and Electrical Engineering.

Prasad was an early pioneer in nanomedicine, which uses super-small particles, materials and devices to treat and diagnose disease.

He specializes in the use of optics, photonics and nanotechnology in this field, and has worked with colleagues to study and develop a wide range of new materials that could ultimately improve lives around the world.

These novel materials include miniature luminescent crystals that could be used in image-guided surgery; light-activated nanoparticles that could enable the development of new bioimaging technologies for disease detection; new nanoneurotechnologies for monitoring and enhancing brain functions; and magnetic and laser-activated nanoparticles that could be used for cancer diagnosis and treatment. This latter technology was licensed to UB spinoff Nanobiotix, a publicly traded company and leader in nanomedicine that has maintained close contact with Prasad while working to develop these and other new nanomedicine products.

Prasad has published more than 750 scientific papers, eight edited books and four monographs, and has been named the inventor or co-inventor on numerous patents. In keeping with his emphasis on the translational impact of his research, Prasad has been extremely active in launching startup companies and partnering with industry for co-development of technologies to create new companies. His efforts have led to 9 different companies worldwide.

He has received numerous regional, national and international recognitions for his lifetime achievements, including the Morley Medal; Jacob F. Schoellkopf Medal; Guggenheim Fellowship; Sloan Fellowship; Western New York Health Care Industries Technology/Discovery Award; and Excellence in Pursuit of Knowledge Award of the Research Foundation for SUNY. He was named a fellow of the American Physical Society, OSA (the Optical Society) and SPIE (the international society for optics and photonics).

This year, SPIE awarded him the society’s highest honor: the Gold Medal. The University at Buffalo awarded him the high honor of the UB President’s Medal in 2016 in recognition of extraordinary service to the university, and he also received UB’s inaugural Innovation Impact Award in 2015 for his contributions to the invention of the technologies licensed to Nanobiotix.

In 2005, he was named one of the “Scientific American 50,” the magazine’s list of “visionaries from the worlds of research, industry and politics whose recent accomplishments point toward a brighter technological future for everyone.” He was on the Thomson Reuters “Highly Cited Researchers” list for 2014 and 2016.

Prasad has received honorary doctorates from KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Sweden; the Aix-Marseille University in France; and the National Research Nuclear University (MEPhI) in Russia.

The National Academy of Inventors is a nonprofit member organization comprising U.S. and international universities, and governmental and nonprofit research institutes, with over 3,000 individual inventor members and fellows spanning more than 200 institutions. The academy was founded in 2010 to recognize and encourage inventors with patents issued from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office; enhance the visibility of academic technology and innovation; encourage the disclosure of intellectual property; educate and mentor innovative students; and translate the inventions of its members to benefit society.

SPIE Startup Challenge Semi-finalists Head To Photonics West in February

January 12, 2016

Contestants will hone pitching skills to gain backing for new photonics products

Semi-finalists have been named in the annual SPIE Startup Challenge, where new entrepreneurs pitch their light-based technology products to a panel of venture capitalists and business development experts. Semi-final and final rounds are held at SPIE Photonics West in San Francisco in February, with finals open to the public.

Semi-finalists seeking support for their new photonics-based product proposals have been selected to pitch their ideas to business development and venture capitalists, in the 2016 SPIE Startup Challenge next month in San Francisco, California. The contest is held annually at SPIE Photonics West, sponsored by SPIE, the international society for optics and photonics.

A panel of judges will select six finalists after hearing semi-finalist pitches on 16 February. In the final round on 17 February, judges will announce their picks for the top three pitches. The final round is open to the public with free registration.

Cash prizes, including $10,000 for the first prize, $5,000 for second prize, and $2,500 for third are funded by Founding Partner Jenoptik. Additional support comes from Lead Sponsors Axsun Technologies and the National Science Foundation (NSF), and Supporting Sponsors Edmund Optics, Trumpf, Open Photonics, and Knobbe Martens. Edmund Optics also will award the first-place winner $5,000 in products.

The semi-finalists are:

  • 3D nanoscale imaging (Leslie Kimerling, Double Helix LLC): imaging at the single-molecule level inside the individual cell.
  • Advanced Silicon Group (Fatima Toor, Advanced Silicon Group Electrical and Computer Engineering Department, University of Iowa): low-cost technology to manufacture silicon nanowire arrays in a controllable process, with applications in next-generation solar PV, biosensors, batteries, and more.
  • Bold Biometrix, LLC (Kyle Miller, Northwestern University Center for Device Development/ Bold Biometrix, LLC): monitoring patches to help patients and their physicians understand their true blood pressure by recording trends over a seven-day period.
  • Circulating tumor cell diagnostics (Eric Strohm, Echofos Medical): a diagnostic instrument that uses sound waves to listen for the presence of cancer cells in a patient’s blood sample.
  • ColorSpritz (Timothy Jones): “part art, part science, totally cool.”
  • Diagnostic anSERS, Inc. (Sean Virgile): a “marijuana breathalyzer” to answer the question, “How high is the suspect right now?”
  • Disease Diagnostic Group (John Lewandowski): What if we told you we could save one million lives every year with just refrigerator magnets and a laser pointer?”
  • Eta Diagnostics, Inc.. (Michael Cumbo): massively parallel flow cytometry for fast, efficient analysis of rare biological cells and particles.
  • FabriXense (Zeev Zalevsky): smart clothing providing active, continuous measure of biomedical parameters such as heartbeat rhythm, breathing and blood pressure without the need of having tight contact between the fabric and the body of the wearer.
  • Guaks: virtual reality you can wear (Carmen Lastres, Limbak): a 1/2 weight and volume VR headset keeping all performance features, with freeform optical system as key enabling technology.
  • Holographic module for microscopes (Paolo Pozzi, Holobe s.r.l.): patented technology allowing conversion of standard microscopes in cutting-edge multiphoton spatial light modulation microscopes, with a simple, plug-and-play device.
  • Leverage the Future of Electronics (Supriya Jaiswal, Astrileux Corporation): revolutionary advanced optical technologies that enable high-volume manufacturing of next-generation integrated circuit chips at 14 nm and smaller at significantly less cost.
  • Multicore Photonics, Inc. (Darren Engle): drawing together cyber-physical systems, the Internet of Things, and the Internet of Services to monitor physical processes, communicating and cooperating with each other and with humans in real time.
  • Optoacoustic Patient Monitoring (Graham Randall, Noninvasix): using light and sound for the safe, accurate and noninvasive monitoring of fetal welfare during labor and delivery.

  • Patented Neural Stem Cells Harvest ( P. Lui, OPER Technology Limited): innovative neurodegenerative disease therapy, able to safely and specifically harvest neural stem cells from the brain of a live subject by strategically designed magnetic nanoparticles, allowing repeated neural stem cell extraction from the same live subject without raising ethical issues nor threatening life.

  • PixelEXX Systems, Inc. (Renee Carder): cameras the size of a grain of sand with 62% more pixels to capture the critical details.

  • Reflective displays for wearables (Peiman Hosseini, Bodle Technologies): ultrahigh-resolution, colorful, flexible reflective displays for wearables.

  • Rubitection (Sanna Gaspard): a low-cost optical diagnostic tool for hospitals, long-term care facilities, and home-care agencies.

  • Solchroma Technologies, Inc. (Roger Diebold): electroactive polymer-driven displays for sunlight-readable, large-area digital signage.

  • Spectral Camera Lens (John Murphy, Stream Technologies Inc.): spectral Lens lets users see the chemicals in the scene, bringing the “off-the-shelf” camera to a new level.
  • TheWhollySee (Dan Yanson): a system for marking and remote identification of multiple objects and people with high position accuracy in real time.

  • Think Biosolution (Shourjya Sanyal): mobile application PulseR allows users to take a video of the face using the smartphone camera to visualize blood flow in real time as well as measure heart rate and respiratory rate; Android application QuasaR allows users to measure their heart rate, respiratory rate, blood-oxygen level, and blood hemoglobin content using an armband.

  • Vibronix, Inc. (Pu Wang): MarginPAT system is a photoacoustic/ultrasound tomography system that can provide highly sensitive intraoperative margin assessment during lumpectomy within 5 minutes.

  • Wearable Vital Sign Monitor (Jyh-Chern Chen, Taiwan Biophotonic Corporation): finger-free wrist-worn pulse oximeter that measures pulse rate and blood oxygen with a micro-structured reflective optic sensor.

More information is at

Light-based Memory Chip Stores To Permanent, Non-Volatile Memory

September 24, 2015

memory-chipThe world’s first entirely light-based memory chip to store data permanently has been developed by material scientists at Oxford University in collaboration with scientists at Karlsruhe, Munster and Exeter. The device, which makes use of materials used in CDs and DVDs, could help dramatically improve the speed of modern computing.

Today’s computers are held back by the relatively slow transmission of electronic data between the processor and the memory. ‘There’s no point using faster processors if the limiting factor is the shuttling of information to-and-from the memory — the so-called von-Neumann bottleneck,’ explains Professor Harish Bhaskaran, who led the research. ‘But we think using light can significantly speed this up.’

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SUNY Poly Former CNSE Awarded $9.2 Million

September 24, 2015

A SUNY Polytechnic Institute nanotechnology center has been awarded $9.2 million over 10 years.

The money is being offered through the state’s Division of Science, Technology, and Innovation, or NYSTAR. It will go toward commercialization, education and outreach of the university’s nanoelectronics and nanomaterials center in Albany, New York.

The First Ever Photograph of Light as Both a Particle and a a Wave

March 10, 2015

Light behaves both as a particle and as a wave. Since the days of Einstein, scientists have been trying to directly observe both of these aspects of light at the same time. Now, scientists at EPFL have succeeded in capturing the first-ever snapshot of this dual behavior.

Light simultaneously showing spatial interference and energy quantization © Fabrizio Carbone/EPFL

Quantum mechanics tells us that light can behave simultaneously as a particle or a wave. However, there has never been an experiment able to capture both natures of light at the same time; the closest we have come is seeing either wave or particle, but always at different times. Taking a radically different experimental approach, EPFL scientists have now been able to take the first ever snapshot of light behaving both as a wave and as a particle. The breakthrough work is published in Nature Communications.


CNSE Achieves Business-funded Research Distinction

February 10, 2015

The College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering in Albany was No.1 in the country for research expenditures funded by business in fiscal year 2013.
That’s according to a report out last week from the National Science Foundation.

The nanocollege received $201.6 million in research and development expenditures from business, a piece of the college’s $374.2 million in total research expenditures for 2013. About 53.9 percent of the research expenditures at the College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering were funded by businesses, compared with the national average of 5.2 percent.

[Nanocollege: is that a really small college?]

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