NanoLight: light and matter at the nanoscale
Invisibility cloaks are related to solar energy new trends to fight global warming. And medieval rose windows can explain some aspects of nanomedicine, early diagnosis and noninvasive phototherapies. How? All these phenomena share a common ingredient: the interaction of light with nanomaterials. Come and fabricate your own nanoparticles and use them on a series of photonic challenges involving ultimately the interaction of light with living cells, at the core of cancer diagnosis and therapies.
Light usually refers to the visible part of the electromagnetic spectrum, plus the infrared (heat) and the near ultraviolet. Light waves, as any other electromagnetic radiation, transport energy and momentum. Being able to control the interaction of light with matter at the nanoscale allows the construction of materials to concentrate heat in very small places, or select specific wavelengths (colors) of an incoming white radiation. Roughly speaking, we can engineer materials to deal with energy and information with accuracy and precision unreachable before the arrival of nanotechnology.
In this course, we have focused on the interaction of light with metallic nanoparticles. You will understand how the free electrons on these nanoparticles resonate with the electric field of light, and how this resonance depends on the composition and more critically on the size and form of the nanoparticles. You will then be asked to solve a series of chained challenges –which go from aligning an optical experiment to being part of the process of nanofabrication– with the ultimate goal of controlling and measuring heat generation at the nanoscale.
A potential application of this technique is photothermal cancer therapy, in which cancerous cells are destroyed with concentrated heat, but during your stay at ICFO you will be also exposed to many other uses and features of the interaction of light and matter at the nanoscale, dealing with nanomedicine, solar cells, new materials, and even quantum information.
Physics, photonics, engineering, biomedicine
Lab coat, laptop