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Nano structures on glass. [Kasper/FSU]

Whether in the virtual reality glasses, in the head-up display in cars or as a hologram projector - light and light sources do not longer serve only to illuminate rooms or equipment. Light in a variety of shapes is now also a precision tool, measuring instrument and information carrier.
"However, the optical systems which generate complex light fields are often very complex, bulky and expensive," says Dr. Isabelle Staude from the Nano Optics Group.
To change this, a collaborative project on photonic nano films has started together with colleagues from the RWTH Aachen University, the Humboldt University of Berlin and the University of Bonn, coordinated by Dr. Isabelle Staude. Objective is to bring light in a tailor-made form to a variety of new applications. The consortium officially began its work in early October. The Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) is funding the project entitled "Nano-Film - Photonic Nano-Films with Comprehensive Optical Functionality" in the next three years with almost two million euros."We are working on a completely new concept of photonic components," says Dr. Staude. The basis of the novel optical systems are nanostructured films. Such nanometers (millionth of millimeters) thin layers of different materials are made up of countless tiny "antennas" - nanostructures, which are produced by lithographic processes and which can produce complex light fields with clearly defined and especially tailor-made properties. Such nanostructured films have been under development for several years. "We want to further advance this concept," says Dr. Staude, explaining a project goal. So the idea is to integrate the light sources directly into the films and make the resulting properties actively modulatable.
With such films, different macroscopic optical systems - such as lenses - can be reproduced, which are just as precise but many times lighter and more flexible. For this purpose, the members of the research group provide expertise for very different materials and aspects of nano optics. While Prof. Dr. Stefan Linden of the University of Bonn will focus on his research on metallic nano-films, Dr. Staude and her colleagues in Jena will mainly investigate thin-film films made of silicon and lithium niobate. Prof. Dr. Thomas Taubner from RWTH Aachen University has the know-how for phase change materials, Prof. Dr. Oliver Benson from the Humboldt University of Berlin concentrates on the control of light emission in nano-films. The network is supported by Prof. Dr. Kurt Busch, also from the Humboldt University.
Although it is currently about the basics of new optical components, the partners are addressing already in the process potential cross-sectoral application of their nano-films. "Such systems can be used for sensors, new microscopy methods or for night vision equipment," says Dr. Staude. Further possible areas of use result in the man-machine interaction, e.g. for highly integrated display applications. "We are already in touch with several interested companies to ensure the industrial usability of our research results through continuous exchange and direct feedback."

Dr. Isabelle Staude

Laboratory in the new "Abbe Center of Photonics" (ACP): Dr. Isabelle Staude coordinates the new collaborative project "Nano-Film - Photonic Nano-films
with Comprehensive Optical Funktionality". [Kasper/FSU]

News from: 24.10.2016 16:26
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