Physics Department Seminar University of Alaska Fairbanks

J O U R N A L    C L U B

Wrapping light around a hair
Eric Mazur
Balkanski Professor of Physics, Harvard University




Can light be guided by a fiber whose diameter is much smaller than the wavelength of the light? Can we mold the flow of light on the micrometer scale so it wraps, say, around a hair? Until recently the answer to these questions was "no". We developed a technique for drawing long, free-standing silica wires with diameters down to 50 nm that have a surface smoothness at the atomic level and a high uniformity of diameter. Light can be launched into these silica nanowires by optical evanescent coupling and the wires allow low-loss single-mode operation. They can be bent sharply, making it possible to control the propagation of light around micrometer - sized corners. The nanowires have applications in microphotonic devices for optical processing and environmental sensing.


Friday, 29 Oct 2010

Elvey Auditorium, Elvey Building

3:45 PM