Tag Archives: RMIT

Nano ‘terminator style’ antennae

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.

The palette of the mind

12 July 2017:

Around fifty high performing Year 10 to Year 12 students from Australia and New Zealand came to RMIT on the 11th of July to listen to CNBP Chief Investigator Prof Andy Greentree present  a talk titled “Colour: the palette of the mind.”

The talk was a part of the Youth ANZAAS visit to RMIT University. Youth ANZAAS 2017 is organised by the Australian and New Zealand Association for the Advancement of Science and the Royal Society of New Zealand. It is is an annual residential international forum for science students still at school.

An abstract of Prof Greentree’s talk follows:

Colour is a complicated phenomenon! For most of us, most of the information we receive about the world comes from light, and that light is encoded by colour. This talk will explore colour. From the physics of light, to how we detect colour information, to the psychophysics of how our brain understands those signals to make sense of the world.

RMIT School of Science Research Day

10 July 2017:

The RMIT School of Science Research Day was held on July 10th, with several members of the RMIT Node presenting CNBP research.

Postgraduate students Daniel Stavrevski, Marco Capelli and Josef Worboys participated in the 3 Minute Thesis competition: Josef Worboys was awarded the winning prize  for his work related to ‘quantum correlations’, and will go on to the University level competition.

The day’s program was concluded with a poster session including posters from CNBP’s Philipp Reineck, Emma Wilson, Nafisa Zohora, Marco Capelli and Ashleigh Heffernan.

Neurophotonics Summer School

21 June 2017:

This years Neurophotonics Summer School held in Quebec, Canada, June 11-21, was attended by three CNBP members – Vicky Staikopoulos (University of Adelaide, pictured), Antony Orth (RMIT University) and Varun Sreenivasan (UNSW).

The school focuses on teaching physics and biology and how they can merge, and runs for 10 days and includes 14 lectures from world class speakers and 10 workshops that teach the latest technology in the bio-imaging of the central nervous system.

For the last 4 days of the summer school, students are given a project to participate in for direct hands-on experience which is then presented on the last day,  with prizes awarded for the top 3 presentations.

This year, equal second prize was given to Vicky Staikopoulos for her work on Digital Holographic Microscopy in red blood cells.


New Diamond and Nano Carbons conference

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.

European nanoparticle conference

10 May 2017:

Dr Philipp Reineck, CNBP Research Fellow, has given an invited  talk at the ENM Nanoparticle meeting in San Sebastian in Spain, 10 May 2017.

His talk was titled, ‘Near-IR fluorescent nanomaterials for bioimaging and sensing applications.’ Dr Reineck also chaired a workshop/session on nanoparticles for optical bioimaging.

Further information on the conference can be found online.

Best poster award

1 May 2017:

Dr Philipp Reineck, CNBP Researcher at RMIT University has won  best poster award at the 5th International Conference on Biophotonics (ICOB 2017), 30 April – 1 May 2017, Fremantle, Western Australia.

The poster reported on recent advances in the development and use of near-infrared fluorescent nanomaterials for biomedical imaging and sensing applications.

Dr Reineck was originally invited to give a short oral presentation about his poster, which was then selected as a ‘hot poster’ before the conference commenced. It then won ‘best poster’ resulting in a cash prize of $600 AUD.

During his short talk at ICOB, Philipp also discussed the potential of NIR fluorescent materials for wearables – for example, a watch that interrogates particles in bloodstream via near infrared light, to determine glucose levels.

Information about the ICOB conference is available online.

Synthesis of optical spectra

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.

Microscopy meet ‘big data’

22 March 2017:

Cell Systems has published an invited preview article authored by CNBP Research Fellow Dr Antony Orth along with collaborators from Harvard University and Massachussetts General Hospital.

The commentary article discusses how data-driven methods are poised to shake-up how we approach bio-microscopy. Microscopy-based assays can be made more informative and more predictive when paired with a library of reference images. The preview puts new results in this field into context and suggests further avenues of research.

The article is accessible online although a subscription is required.