Colloquium

Femtosecond laser interactions with materials: from micromachining to microsurgery, at Materials Science and Engineering Colloquium, Stanford University (Palo Alto, CA), Friday, October 31, 2008:
When femtosecond laser pulses are focused tightly into a transparent material, the intensity in the focal volume can become high enough to cause nonlinear absorption of laser energy. The absorption, in turn, can lead to permanent structural or chemical changes. Such changes can be used for micromachining bulk transparent materials. Applications include data storage and the writing of waveguides and waveguide splitters in bulk glass, and fabrication of micromechanical devices in polymers.

We have used this technique to manipulate sub-cellular structures inside live and fixed cells. Using...

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Extending silicon's reach: nonequlibrium doping using ultrafast lasers, at Physics Colloquium, University of Massachusetts, Lowell (Lowell, MA), Wednesday, October 22, 2008:
Silicon is the world's widely used semiconductor. As the building block of a photovoltaic cell, silicon offers the best combination of stability, efficiency, and manufacturability. However, as an indirect absorber of light, thick layers of highly-pure, expensive material are required for efficient light absorption and charge collection. Furthermore, silicon does not absorb in the infrared, a spectral region that contains about a quarter of the sun's radiation. In this talk, I will discuss non-equilibrium laser-doping techniques we have been developing in the Mazur group that attempt to... Read more about Extending silicon's reach: nonequlibrium doping using ultrafast lasers
The scientific approach to teaching: Research as a basis for course design, at Physics Colloquium, University of Iowa (Iowa City, IA), Monday, September 8, 2008:
Discussions of teaching -- even some publications -- abound with anecdotal evidence. Our intuition often supplants a systematic, scientific approach to finding out what works and what doesn't work. Yet, research is increasingly demonstrating that our gut feelings about teaching are often wrong. In this talk I will discuss some research my group has done on gender issues in science courses and on the effectiveness of classroom demonstrations.
Wrapping light around a hair, at Physics Colloquium, Pomona College (Claremont, CA), Tuesday, April 15, 2008:
Can light be guided by a fiber whose diameter is much smaller than the wavelength of the light? Can we mold the flow of light on the micrometer scale so it wraps, say, around a hair? Until recently the answer to these questions was ‘no’. We developed a technique for drawing long, free-standing silica wires with diameters down to 50 nm that have a surface smoothness at the atomic level and a high uniformity of diameter. Light can be launched into these silica nanowires by optical evanescent coupling and the wires allow low-loss single-mode operation. They can be bent sharply, making it... Read more about Wrapping light around a hair
Nonlinear optics at the nanoscale, at Physics Colloquium, University of Massachusetts Lowell (Lowell, MA), Wednesday, February 13, 2008:
We explore nonlinear optical phenomena at the nanoscale by launching femtosecond laser pulses into long silica nanowires. Using evanescent coupling between wires we demonstrate a number of nanophotonic devices. At high intensity the nanowires produce a strong supercontinuum over short interaction lengths (less than 20 mm) and at a very low energy threshold (about 1 nJ), making them ideal sources of coherent white-light for nanophotonic applications. The spectral broadening reveals an optimal fiber diameter to enhance nonlinear effects with minimal dispersion. We also present a device that... Read more about Nonlinear optics at the nanoscale
Wrapping light around a hair, at Physics Colloquium, McGill University (Montreal, Canada), Thursday, January 17, 2008:
Can light be guided by a fiber whose diameter is much smaller than the wavelength of the light? Can we mold the flow of light on the micrometer scale so it wraps, say, around a hair? Until recently the answer to these questions was ‘no’. We developed a technique for drawing long, free-standing silica wires with diameters down to 50 nm that have a surface smoothness at the atomic level and a high uniformity of diameter. Light can be launched into these silica nanowires by optical evanescent coupling and the wires allow low-loss single-mode operation. They can be bent sharply, making it... Read more about Wrapping light around a hair
Subcellular surgery and nanosurgery, at Baetjer Colloquium, Princeton University (Princeton, NJ), Friday, November 16, 2007:
We use femtosecond laser pulses to manipulate sub-cellular structures inside live and fixed cells. Using only a few nanojoules of laser pulse energy, we are able to selectively disrupt individual mitochondria in live bovine capillary epithelial cells, and cleave single actin fibers in the cell cytoskeleton network of fixed human fibro-blast cells. We have also used the technique to micromanipulate the neural network of C. Elegans, a small nematode. Our laser scalpel can snip individual axons without causing any damage to surrounding tissue, allowing us to study the function of individual... Read more about Subcellular surgery and nanosurgery
Wrapping light around a hair, at Baetjer Colloquium, Princeton University (Princeton, NJ), Thursday, November 15, 2007:
Can light be guided by a fiber whose diameter is much smaller than the wavelength of the light? Can we mold the flow of light on the micrometer scale so it wraps, say, around a hair? Until recently the answer to these questions was ‘no’. We developed a technique for drawing long, free-standing silica wires with diameters down to 50 nm that have a surface smoothness at the atomic level and a high uniformity of diameter. Light can be launched into these silica nanowires by optical evanescent coupling and the wires allow low-loss single-mode operation. They can be bent sharply, making it... Read more about Wrapping light around a hair
Subcellular surgery and nanosurgery, at Physics Colloquium, University of Kentucky (Lexington, KY), Thursday, October 25, 2007:
We use femtosecond laser pulses to manipulate sub-cellular structures inside live and fixed cells. Using only a few nanojoules of laser pulse energy, we are able to selectively disrupt individual mitochondria in live bovine capillary epithelial cells, and cleave single actin fibers in the cell cytoskeleton network of fixed human fibro-blast cells. We have also used the technique to micromanipulate the neural network of C. Elegans, a small nematode. Our laser scalpel can snip individual axons without causing any damage to surrounding tissue, allowing us to study the function of individual... Read more about Subcellular surgery and nanosurgery
Subcellular surgery and nanosurgery, at Physics Colloquium, University of British Columbia (Vancouver, BC, Canada), Friday, October 19, 2007:
We use femtosecond laser pulses to manipulate sub-cellular structures inside live and fixed cells. Using only a few nanojoules of laser pulse energy, we are able to selectively disrupt individual mitochondria in live bovine capillary epithelial cells, and cleave single actin fibers in the cell cytoskeleton network of fixed human fibro-blast cells. We have also used the technique to micromanipulate the neural network of C. Elegans, a small nematode. Our laser scalpel can snip individual axons without causing any damage to surrounding tissue, allowing us to study the function of individual... Read more about Subcellular surgery and nanosurgery

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