View by Category
Polarization-independent liquid-crystal (LC) phase modulators can significantly improve the efficiency and reduce the complexity of optical systems. However, achieving good polarization independence for LC phase modulators with a simple structure is difficult. A light-controlled azimuth angle (LCAA) process based on the optical rotatory effect of cholesteric liquid crystals (CLC) was developed for fabricating single-layer, multi-microdomain, orthogonally twisted (MMOT) structures. The developed LC phase modulator with a single-layer MMOT structure may have a low polarization dependence with a large phase depth. This device shows good potential for applications in optical communications, wearable devices, and displays.
Artificial helical microswimmers with shape-morphing capacities and adaptive locomotion have great potential for precision medicine and noninvasive surgery. However, current reconfigurable helical microswimmers are hampered by their low-throughput fabrication and limited adaptive locomotion. Here, a rotary holographic processing strategy (a helical femtosecond laser beam) is proposed to produce stimuli-responsive helical microswimmers (<100 μm) rapidly (<1 s). This method allows for the easy one-step fabrication of various microswimmers with controllable sizes and diverse bioinspired morphologies, including spirulina-, Escherichia-, sperm-, and Trypanosoma-like shapes. Owing to their shape-morphing capability, the helical microswimmers undergo a dynamic transition between tumbling and corkscrewing motions under a constant rotating magnetic field. By exploiting adaptive locomotion, helical microswimmers can navigate complex terrain and achieve targeted drug delivery. Hence, these microswimmers hold considerable promise for diverse precision treatments and biomedical applications.
The role of molecular junctions in nanoelectronics is most often associated with electronic transport; however, their precise characterisation hinders their widespread development. The interaction of light with molecular junctions is a supplementary factor for the development of molecular switches, but it has rarely been addressed. The influence of light interaction with molecular junctions on the response of molecules in the near field was demonstrated by properly characterising the optical angular momentum at the junctions. Consequently, the molecular switching dynamics were observed in the Raman signatures of the conducting molecules. The illumination geometry and voltage applied to the junction were changed to demonstrate numerically and experimentally how the Raman intensity can be turned ON and OFF with a difference of nearly five orders of magnitude. These molecular-scale operations result from the combined interaction of a current-induced electronic rearrangement in the molecular junction and a plasmonically enhanced electromagnetic field near the tip of the junction. This study of the effect of optical angular momentum on the near field of the molecular junction shows significant potential for the development of molecular electronics.
Probing the axis of a rotator is important in astrophysics, aerospace, manufacturing, machinery, automation, and virtual reality, etc. Existing optical solutions commonly require multiple sequential measurements via symmetry-broken light fields, which make them time-consuming, inefficient, and prone to accumulated errors. Herein, we propose the concept of a dual-point noncoaxial rotational Doppler effect (DNRDE) and demonstrate a one-shot detection technique to solve this problem. An on-demand synthetic orbital angular momentum (OAM) light beam impinges on a rotating scatterer surface, supporting dual-point rotational Doppler shifts, in which the information of the rotating axis is acquired by comparing these two frequency shifts with a prescribed threshold. The existence of arbitrary dual-point Doppler shifts enables the one-time direct identification of rotating axis orientations, which is fundamentally inaccessible in single-point detection. This robust detection technique is compatible with generalised synthetic OAM light fields by utilising optical modal filters. Compared with traditional approaches, our DNRDE-driven detection approach exhibits a four-fold enhancement in measurement speed, higher energy efficiency, and superior accuracy with a maximal absolute measurement error of 2.23°. The proposed dual-point detection method holds great promise for detecting rotating bodies in various applications, such as astronomical surveys and industrial manufacturing.
Microlenses or arrays are key elements in many applications. However, their construction methods involve multiple fabrication processes, thereby increasing the complexity and cost of fabrication. In this study, we demonstrate an optically anisotropic, electrically tunable liquid crystal (LC) microlens array using a simple, one-step fabrication method. The microlens array is formed via photopolymerization-induced phase separation inside a polymer/LC composite. It possesses both polarization-dependent and electrically tunable focusing and imaging properties. Without applying voltage, the microlens array has a natural focal length of 8 mm, which is a result of its inherent gradient refractive index profile. Upon applying voltage above the threshold, the LC molecules reorient along the electric field direction and the focal length of the microlens array gradually increases. Based on its superior properties, the microlens array is further used for integral imaging applications, demonstrating electrically tunable central depth plane. Such LC microlens arrays could find numerous potential applications owing to their advantageous features of being flat, ultra-thin, and tunable, including 3D displays, optical interconnects, and more.
With the advantages of large electro-optical coefficient, wide transparency window, and strong optical confinement, thin-film lithium niobate (TFLN) technique has enabled the development of various high-performance optoelectronics devices, ranging from the ultra-wideband electro-optic modulators to the high-efficient quantum sources. However, the TFLN platform does not natively promise lasers and photodiodes. This study presents an InP/InGaAs modified uni-traveling carrier (MUTC) photodiodes heterogeneously integrated on the TFLN platform with a record-high 3-dB bandwidth of 110 GHz and a responsivity of 0.4 A/W at a 1,550-nm wavelength. It is implemented in a wafer-level TFLN-InP heterogeneous integration platform and is suitable for the large-scale, multi-function, and high-performance TFLN photonic integrated circuits.
Multi-photon lithography has emerged as a powerful tool for photonic integration, allowing to complement planar photonic circuits by 3D-printed freeform structures such as waveguides or micro-optical elements. These structures can be fabricated with a high precision on the facets of optical devices and enable highly efficient package-level chip–chip connections in photonic assemblies. However, plain light transport and efficient coupling is far from exploiting the full geometrical design freedom offered by 3D laser lithography. Here, we extended the functionality of 3D-printed optical structures to manipulation of optical polarisation states. We demonstrate compact ultra-broadband polarisation beam splitters (PBSs) that can be combined with polarisation rotators and mode-field adapters into a monolithic 3D-printed structure, fabricated directly on the facets of optical devices. In a proof-of-concept experiment, we demonstrate measured polarisation extinction ratios beyond 11 dB over a bandwidth of 350 nm at near-infrared telecommunication wavelengths around 1550 nm. We demonstrate the viability of the device by receiving a 640 Gbit/s dual-polarisation data signal using 16-state quadrature amplitude modulation (16QAM), without any measurable optical-signal-to-noise-ratio penalty compared to a commercial PBS.
Two-photon polymerisation lithography enables the three-dimensional (3D)-printing of high-resolution micron- and nano-scale structures. Structures that are 3D-printed using proprietary resins are transparent and are suitable as optical components. However, achieving a mix of opaque and transparent structures in a single optical component is challenging and requires multiple material systems or the manual introduction of ink after fabrication. In this study, we investigated an overexposure printing process for laser decomposition, which typically produces uncontrollable and random ‘burnt’ structures. Specifically, we present a printing strategy to control this decomposition process, realising the on-demand printing of opaque or transparent structures in a single lithographic step using a single resin. Using this method, opaque structures can be printed with a minimum feature size of approximately 10 µm, which exhibit<15% transmittance at a thickness of approximately 30 µm. We applied this process to print an opaque aperture integrated with a transparent lens to demonstrate an improved imaging contrast.
Fabry–Perot (F–P)-based phase demodulation of heterodyne light-induced thermoelastic spectroscopy (H-LITES) was demonstrated for the first time in this study. The vibration of a quartz tuning fork (QTF) was detected using the F–P interference principle instead of an electrical signal through the piezoelectric effect of the QTF in traditional LITES to avoid thermal noise. Given that an Fabry–Perot interferometer (FPI) is vulnerable to disturbances, a phase demodulation method that has been demonstrated theoretically and experimentally to be an effective solution for instability was used in H-LITES. The sensitivity of the F–P phase demodulation method based on the H-LITES sensor was not associated with the wavelength or power of the probe laser. Thus, stabilising the quadrature working point (Q-point) was no longer necessary. This new method of phase demodulation is structurally simple and was found to be resistant to interference from light sources and the surroundings using the LITES technique.