The research in the nano-optics division aims to advance experimental and theoretical mastery of light-matter interaction at the nanometer scale. To do this, we combine concepts from quantum optics, laser spectroscopy, cryogenics, optical imaging, scanning probe technology and nanofluidics. Some of the current areas of research are:
Here, we are interested in fundamental optical processes at the single photon and single emitter level. Most of our work concerns solid-state samples and single organic molecules, but our findings are often generalizable to other systems such as atoms, quantum dots, color centers, etc. In particular, we are currently working on the detection of single ions in crystals.
In this area, we examine optical fields in metallic nanostructures and their interactions with the surrounding matter. In particular, we have been interested in the strong modification of the spontaneous emission, radiation pattern, and excitation cross section of emitters in the near field of plasmonic “antennas”.
Ultrasensitive Optical Nanoscopy:
The goal is to push the limits of spatial and temporal resolution in optical imaging. Furthermore, we explore various contrast mechanisms for extracting information and processing weak signals. In particular, we have developed an interferometric scheme for detecting scattering and absorption signals from tiny objects and single molecules even in the absence of fluorescence.
In this line of work, we apply our know-how to the detection, microscopy, tracking, and manipulation of biological nano-objects such as viruses and proteins. We are especially interested in transport and diffusion of these particles on and through biological membranes.