12 October 2017:
The liquid metal, shape-shifting T-1000 Terminator cyborg, featuring in a 1991 science-fiction film Terminator 2, was made possible due to breakthroughs in computer-generated imagery.
Some 25 years later, using breakthroughs in physics and chemistry CNBP scientists Dr Ivan Maksymov and Prof Andy Greentree at RMIT University have shown reconfigurable liquid-metal optical nanoantennae.
“An optical nanoantenna operates similarly to a conventional radio-frequency antenna, but its size is millions of times smaller” explains Dr Ivan Maksymov, “so it can receive and emit light similar to how a mobile phone antenna receives and emits radio waves.”
“The shape and length of the metal components that form a radio-frequency antenna determine its major properties such as operating frequency and radiation pattern,” explains Prof Andy Greentree, “so a liquid metal that can change its shape by applying voltage allows for changing antenna properties, which otherwise is difficult to achieve with fixed metal parts.”
“However, reconfigurability of optical nanoantennae is even more difficult to achieve than in radio-frequency antennae, because of their small size and lack of technologies enabling us to apply voltage to nanoscale sized objects. Therefore, we proposed a new solution – reconfiguration of liquid-metal nanoparticles using ultrasound.”
Continued Dr Maksymov, “A liquid-metal nanoparticle can change its shape due to capillary oscillations, which can be seen by everybody when observing water drops falling from a leaking kitchen tap. Drops change their shape when they detach from the tap and fall into the sink. In our work, we use ultrasound to change the shape of liquid-metal nanodroplets, which changes the nanoantenna’s operating frequency.”
“But fundamental physics remains the same as in the case of water drops.”
The paper ‘Dynamically reconfigurable plasmon resonances enabled by capillary oscillations of liquid-metal nanodroplets’ is accessible online.
15 August 2017:
Dr Ivan Maksymov from CNBP’s RMIT University node, visited the Department of Physics and Astronomy at Macquarie University Aug 15, 2017 and gave a well attended seminar.
The talk centred on the theory of low-power nonlinear photonic effects and was formally titled, “Nonlinear optics with low-power light: Transduction of acoustic nonlinearities into the optical domain.”
1 June 2017:
CNBP was well represented at the 11th International Conference on New Diamond and Nano Carbons, held in Cairns, Australia, 28th May – June 1, 2017.
CNBP Chief Investigator A/Prof Brant Gibson was Co-chair of the conference (pictured) with CNBP researcher Dr Philipp Reineck a contributing speaker, presenting on ‘Bright and photostable nitrogen‐vacancy fluorescence from unprocessed detonation nanodiamonds’.
Also providing a contributing talk was CNBP’s Dr Lindsay Parker, ‘Applications of fluorescent nanodiamonds in cellular molecular tracing.’
Additionally, CNBP’s Andrew Greentree, Ivan Maksymov, Daniel Drumm, Ashleigh Heffernan, Marco Capelli, Nicole Cordina and Emma Wilson gave poster presentations and Brooke Bacon and Desmond Lau provided administrative and technical support respectively.
The conference spanned research topics from fundamental physical and chemical concepts to applied technologically driven applications with carbon based materials. This including single crystal diamond, nanodiamonds, carbon nanotubes, graphene and other carbon nanostructures.
3 April 2017:
A new publication from CNBP researchers (lead author Dr Ivan Maksymov pictured) demonstrates a new scheme for synthesis of optical spectra from nonlinear ultrasound harmonics using a hybrid liquid-state and nanoplasmonic device compatible with fibre-optic technology.
The work has just been reported in the journal ‘Optics Express’ and is accessible online.
Journal: Optics Express.
Title: Synthesis of discrete phase-coherent optical spectra from nonlinear ultrasound.
Authors: Ivan S. Maksymov and Andrew D. Greentree.
Abstract: Nonlinear acoustic interactions in liquids are effectively stronger than nonlinear optical interactions in solids. Thus, harnessing these interactions will offer new possibilities in the design of ultra-compact nonlinear photonic devices. We theoretically demonstrate a new scheme for synthesis of optical spectra from nonlinear ultrasound harmonics using a hybrid liquid-state and nanoplasmonic device compatible with fibre-optic technology. The synthesised spectra consist of a set of equally spaced optical Brillouin light scattering modes having a well-defined phase relationship between each other. We suggest that these spectra may be employed as optical frequency combs whose spectral composition may be tuned by controlling the nonlinear acoustic interactions.
13 March 2017:
CNBP scientists Dr Ivan Maksymov and Prof Andy Greentree at RMIT University have shown bubbles can detect sound with light in their latest publication in the area of photo-acoustics.
“Bubbles can be a boon for detecting the kind of ultrasound used in medicine as air is less dense than water” explains Dr Ivan Maksymov, “so ultrasound can squeeze a bubble more than the water surrounding it”.
To detect the change in size, Ivan showed that the bubbles could change the amount of light that passed through a gold membrane with nanosized holes in it. “It’s incredible work, I’m really excited by how Ivan has brought together these different kinds of Physics to create something quite new”, said the study’s co-author Prof Andy Greentree.
To detect the effects of sound on the bubble, on light, Ivan had to develop new computational models. The team say that their work may be useful in the development of an optical hydrophone for detecting ultrasound inside the body. “It will give us a new and potentially more sensitive way to ‘see’ with sound” says Ivan.
The work was published in the journal Physical Review A on 13th March 2017 and was funded by the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Nanoscale BioPhotonics.
9 September 2016:
New research from CNBP researcher Ivan Maksymov and CNBP CI Andrew Greentree outlines a new way to detect ultrasound in the body.
The researchers showed that a plasmonic nanoantenna – like a television antenna, but 1000 times smaller than the width of a human hair – can be used to sense ultrasound in the body.
“The biggest problem with sensing ultrasound is the size of the receiver” explains Dr Maksymov. “By using metal nanoparticles, we have shown that we can shrink the size of the hydrophone.” Smaller detectors mean that ultrasound can be probed in smaller areas of the body. “The key is to look inside the smallest blood vessels.”
Solving the work was challenging as the device operates in the so-called deep subwavelength regime – where the size of the device is much smaller than the wavelength of both the light and the sound.
The research appeared in the journal Scientific Reports on the 9th of September, 2016.
Journal: Scientific Reports.
Publication title: Plasmonic nanoantenna hydrophones.
Authors: Ivan S. Maksymov & Andrew D. Greentree.
Abstract: Ultrasound is a valuable biomedical imaging modality and diagnostic tool. Here we theoretically demonstrate that a single dipole plasmonic nanoantenna can be used as an optical hydrophone for MHz-range ultrasound. The nanoantenna is tuned to operate on a high-order plasmon mode, which provides an increased sensitivity to ultrasound in contrast to the usual approach of using the fundamental dipolar plasmon resonance. Plasmonic nanoantenna hydrophones may be useful for ultrasonic imaging of biological cells, cancer tissues or small blood vessels, as well as for Brillouin spectroscopy at the nanoscale.
The paper is available online.
25 March 2016:
Novel magneto-plasmonic nanoantennas are the focus of attention in the latest paper published by CNBP researcher Ivan Maksymov in the journal ‘Reviews in Physics’.
Title: Magneto-Plasmonic Nanoantennas: Basics and Applications.
Author: Ivan S. Maksymov
Abstract: Plasmonic nanoantennas is a hot and rapidly expanding research field. Here we overview basic operating principles and applications of novel magneto-plasmonic nanoantennas, which are made of ferromagnetic metals and driven not only by light, but also by external magnetic fields. We demonstrate that magneto-plasmonic nanoantennas enhance the magneto-optical effects, which introduces additional degrees of freedom in the control of light at the nano-scale. This property is used in conceptually new devices such as magneto-plasmonic rulers, ultra-sensitive biosensors, one-way subwavelength waveguides and extraordinary optical transmission structures, as well as in novel biomedical imaging modalities. We also point out that in certain cases ’non-optical’ ferromagnetic nanostructures may operate as magneto-plasmonic nanoantennas. This undesigned extra functionality capitalises on established optical characterisation techniques of magnetic nanomaterials and it may be useful for the integration of nanophotonics and nanomagnetism on a single chip.
The paper is accessible online.
7 February 2016:
CNBP researchers Peipei Jia (pictured), Philipp Reineck, Ivan Maksymov, Sabrina Heng and Daniel Stubing all attended the International Conference on Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (ICONN), in Canberra (7-11 February 2016).
Peipei Jia, CNBP Research Fellow, presented an invited talk on the topic ‘Large-area Gold Nanomembrane by Template Transfer with a Soluble Polymer’.
Philipp presented a poster on the nanoparticle comparison project, Daniel presented a poster titled “Reversible Ion Sensing With a Flip of a Switch”, while Ivan gave an oral talk on “Photoacoustic nanoantennae for intravascular imaging.”
Sabrina’s poster presentation was titled, “Microstructured Optical Fibers and Photoswitches: Light-Driven Sensors for Metal Ions.”
The event covered the areas of nanostructure growth, synthesis, fabrication, characterization, device design, theory, modeling, testing, applications, commercialisation, and health and safety aspects of nanotechnology.
Further information on the conference is available online.
9 December 2015:
Ivan Maksymov, CNBP researcher gave a talk on photoacoustic nanoantennae for intravascular imaging at the SPIE Micro+Nano Materials, Devices, and Systems conference, that took place in Sydney, Dec 9, 2015.
Conference information is available online.
1 December 2015:
CNBP researcher Ivan Maksymov gave a talk on photoacoustic nanoantennae for intravascular imaging at the Australian and New Zealand Conference on Optics and Photonics (ANZCOP), Adelaide, South Australia, December 1, 2015.
Additional conference information is available online.