Optical Sciences

Biomolecules and nanostructures

The Optical Sciences group studies the interaction of light and matter at the nanoscale. We do this by exploring ways to shape light and its environment. It's what we call active and passive control. Our current focus is on the interaction of light with biomolecules and nanostructures. We are part of Twente University's Department of Science and Technology and member of the MESA+ institute.
We participate in the EU-COST actions MP1102: Coherent Raman microscopy (MicroCor) and CM1202: Supramolecular photocatalytic water splitting (PERSPECT-H2O)

 

NanoBit, a molecular optical switch




The goal of the project is to switch individual molecules by optical means. The molecules will be addressed using a near-field optical probe: a nanometer-sized optical source allowing highly localised excitation. The optical field will be modulated in amplitude, polarisation and wavelength with high frequency or alternatively ultra-short femto-second pulses will be delivered. Suitable molecules are being synthesised by supra-molecular chemists in a close collaboration within this project. Different switching routes will be investigated: orientational switching using electric field induced poling and subsequent polarisation sensitive detection, conformational switching based on photo-induced cis-trans isomerisation by two colour laser excitation, and finally switching of the molecular quantum yield.
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