Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

New Lens Device Will Shrink Huge Light Waves To Pinpoints

Date:
July 14, 2007
Source:
University of Michigan
Summary:
Manipulating light waves, or electromagnetic radiation, has led to many technologies, from cameras to lasers to medical imaging machines that can see inside the human body.

Picture is a color-coded plot of the electromagnetic field. The device, or plate, is at the left edge of the picture. Focusing is clearly seen at the horizontal axis value of seven.
Credit: Roberto Merlin

Manipulating light waves, or electromagnetic radiation, has led to many technologies, from cameras to lasers to medical imaging machines that can see inside the human body.

Scientists at the University of Michigan have developed a way to make a lens-like device that focuses electromagnetic waves down to the tiniest of points. The breakthrough opens the door to the next generation of technology, said Roberto Merlin, professor of physics at U-M. His research on the discovery will be published online July 12 in Science Express.

Everywhere we go, we are surrounded by electromagnetic waves that are generated naturally, such as sunlight, and artificially, by appliances such as microwave ovens and radio transmitters. Some waves are visible, and some are invisible.

Materials respond differently to different wavelengths, and when using electromagnetic waves, one is usually limited by the length of the light wave, Merlin said. For example, the amount of information you can store on a CD is limited by the number of bits you can fit on the CD, and this is dictated by the length of the electromagnetic wave. The smaller the wavelength, the smaller the bit, which means more bits of data can be stored on the CD.

There is a huge push underway to find ways to get around this limitation, but until now scientists didn't have a good method for achieving that, Merlin said.

Using mathematical models, Merlin developed a formula that removes the wavelength limitation. Merlin is now working with assistant professor Anthony Grbic from the U-M College of Engineering to build the device, and they have filed for a patent.

The device will look like a plate or a disc, and is etched with a specific pattern. As the waves pass through the patterned lens, it is sculpted into different sizes and shapes. The lens does not refract, or bend the light waves---which is how conventional lenses work---but rather it reshapes the wave.

The discovery holds promise for applications in data storage, non-contact sensing, imaging, and nanolithography.

With the new technology, a CD could hold up to one hundred times more information by using terahertz radiation rather than visible light, even though the length of a terahertz wave is about 1000 times longer.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Michigan. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Michigan. "New Lens Device Will Shrink Huge Light Waves To Pinpoints." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 14 July 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/07/070712143254.htm>.
University of Michigan. (2007, July 14). New Lens Device Will Shrink Huge Light Waves To Pinpoints. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/07/070712143254.htm
University of Michigan. "New Lens Device Will Shrink Huge Light Waves To Pinpoints." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/07/070712143254.htm (accessed September 23, 2014).

Share This



More Matter & Energy News

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Company Copies Keys From Photos

Company Copies Keys From Photos

Newsy (Sep. 22, 2014) A new company allows customers to make copies of keys by simply uploading a couple of photos. But could it also be great for thieves? Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Rockefeller Oil Heirs Switching To Clean Energy

Rockefeller Oil Heirs Switching To Clean Energy

Newsy (Sep. 22, 2014) The Rockefellers — heirs to an oil fortune that made the family name a symbol of American wealth — are switching from fossil fuels to clean energy. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: SpaceX Rocket Carries 3-D Printer to Space

Raw: SpaceX Rocket Carries 3-D Printer to Space

AP (Sep. 22, 2014) A SpaceX Rocket launched from Cape Canaveral, carrying a custom-built 3-D printer into space. NASA envisions astronauts one day using the printer to make their own spare parts. (Sept. 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Inside London's Massive Sewer Tunnel Project

Inside London's Massive Sewer Tunnel Project

AP (Sep. 22, 2014) Billions of dollars are being spent on a massive super sewer to take away London's vast output of waste, which is endangering the River Thames. (Sept. 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins