Discover the most talked about and latest scientific content & concepts.

Concept: Laser


Fluorescence using ultraviolet (UV) light has seen increased use as a tool in paleontology over the last decade. Laser-stimulated fluorescence (LSF) is a next generation technique that is emerging as a way to fluoresce paleontological specimens that remain dark under typical UV. A laser’s ability to concentrate very high flux rates both at the macroscopic and microscopic levels results in specimens fluorescing in ways a standard UV bulb cannot induce. Presented here are five paleontological case histories that illustrate the technique across a broad range of specimens and scales. Novel uses such as back-lighting opaque specimens to reveal detail and detection of specimens completely obscured by matrix are highlighted in these examples. The recent cost reductions in medium-power short wavelength lasers and use of standard photographic filters has now made this technique widely accessible to researchers. This technology has the potential to automate multiple aspects of paleontology, including preparation and sorting of microfossils. This represents a highly cost-effective way to address paleontology’s preparatory bottleneck.

Concepts: Fluorescence, Ultraviolet, Biology, Light, Electromagnetic radiation, Laser, Fluorescent lamp, Black light


Population surveys and species recognition for roosting bats are either based on capture, sight or optical-mechanical count methods. However, these methods are intrusive, are tedious and, at best, provide only statistical estimations. Here, we demonstrated the successful use of a terrestrial Light Detection and Ranging (LIDAR) laser scanner for remotely identifying and determining the exact population of roosting bats in caves. LIDAR accurately captured the 3D features of the roosting bats and their spatial distribution patterns in minimal light. The high-resolution model of the cave enabled an exact count of the visibly differentiated Hipposideros larvatus and their roosting pattern within the 3D topology of the cave. We anticipate that the development of LIDAR will open up new research possibilities by allowing researchers to study roosting behaviour within the topographical context of a cave’s internal surface, thus facilitating rigorous quantitative characterisations of cave roosting behaviour.

Concepts: Mathematics, Optics, Light, Laser, Cave, 3D scanner, LIDAR, Bathymetry


Small incision lenticule extraction or SMILE is a novel form of ‘flapless’ corneal refractive surgery that was adapted from refractive lenticule extraction (ReLEx). SMILE uses only one femtosecond laser to complete the refractive surgery, potentially reducing surgical time, side effects, and cost. If successful, SMILE could potentially replace the current, widely practiced laser in-situ keratomileusis or LASIK. The aim of this study is to evaluate whether SMILE is non-inferior to LASIK in terms of refractive outcomes at 3 months post-operatively.

Concepts: Surgery, Laser, Cornea, Ophthalmology, The Current, Refractive surgery, LASIK, Laser surgery


The coupling of distinct systems underlies nearly all physical phenomena. A basic instance is that of interacting harmonic oscillators, giving rise to, for example, the phonon eigenmodes in a lattice. Of particular importance are the interactions in hybrid quantum systems, which can combine the benefits of each part in quantum technologies. Here we investigate a hybrid optomechanical system having three degrees of freedom, consisting of a microwave cavity and two micromechanical beams with closely spaced frequencies around 32 MHz and no direct interaction. We record the first evidence of tripartite optomechanical mixing, implying that the eigenmodes are combinations of one photonic and two phononic modes. We identify an asymmetric dark mode having a long lifetime. Simultaneously, we operate the nearly macroscopic mechanical modes close to the motional quantum ground state, down to 1.8 thermal quanta, achieved by back-action cooling. These results constitute an important advance towards engineering of entangled motional states.

Concepts: Quantum mechanics, Physics, Laser, Interaction, Oscillation, Wave, Normal mode, Harmonic oscillator


This paper describes a microparticle delivery device that generates a plasma jet through laser ablation of a thin metal foil and uses the jet to accomplish particle delivery into soft living targets for transferring biological agents. Pure gold microparticles of 1 µm size were coated with a plasmid DNA, pIG121Hm, and were deposited as a thin layer on one surface of an aluminum foil. The laser (Nd:YAG, 1064 nm wavelength) ablation of the foil generated a plasma jet that carried the DNA coated particles into the living onion cells. The particles could effectively penetrate the target cells and disseminate the DNA, effecting the transfection of the cells. Generation of the plasma jet on laser ablation of the foil and its role as a carrier of microparticles was visualized using a high-speed video camera, Shimadzu HPV-1, at a frame rate of 500 kfps (2 µs interframe interval) in a shadowgraph optical set-up. The particle speed could be measured from the visualized images, which was about 770 m/s initially, increased to a magnitude of 1320 m/s, and after a quasi-steady state over a distance of 10 mm with an average magnitude of 1100 m/s, started declining, which typically is the trend of a high-speed, pulsed, compressible jet. Aluminum launch pad (for the particles) was used in the present study to make the procedure cost-effective, whereas the guided, biocompatible launch pads made of gold, silver or titanium can be used in the device during the actual clinical operations. The particle delivery device has a potential to have a miniature form and can be an effective, hand-held drug/DNA delivery device for biological applications.

Concepts: DNA, Gene, Molecular biology, Organism, Laser, Plasmid, Aluminium, Gold


Graphene has received significant attention due to its excellent mechanical properties, which has resulted in the emergence of graphene-based nano-electro-mechanical system such as nanoresonators. The nonlinear vibration of a graphene resonator and its application to mass sensing (based on nonlinear oscillation) have been poorly studied, although a graphene resonator is able to easily reach the nonlinear vibration. In this work, we have studied the nonlinear vibration of a graphene resonator driven by a geometric nonlinear effect due to an edge-clamped boundary condition using a continuum elastic model such as a plate model. We have shown that an in-plane tension can play a role in modulating the nonlinearity of a resonance for a graphene. It has been found that the detection sensitivity of a graphene resonator can be improved by using nonlinear vibration induced by an actuation force-driven geometric nonlinear effect. It is also shown that an in-plane tension can control the detection sensitivity of a graphene resonator that operates both harmonic and nonlinear oscillation regimes. Our study suggests the design principles of a graphene resonator as a mass sensor for developing a novel detection scheme using graphene-based nonlinear oscillators.

Concepts: Laser, Resonator, Oscillation, Wave, Resonance, Acoustic resonance, Nonlinear system, Mechanical resonance


Second Harmonic Generation (SHG) microscopy recently appeared as an efficient optical imaging technique to probe unstained collagen-rich tissues like cornea. Moreover, corneal remodeling occurs in many diseases and precise characterization requires overcoming the limitations of conventional techniques. In this work, we focus on diabetes, which affects hundreds of million people worldwide and most often leads to diabetic retinopathy, with no early diagnostic tool. This study then aims to establish the potential of SHG microscopy for in situ detection and characterization of hyperglycemia-induced abnormalities in the Descemet’s membrane, in the posterior cornea.

Concepts: Optics, Diabetes mellitus, Laser, Diabetes, Cornea, Diabetic retinopathy, Nonlinear optics, Descemet's membrane


Combination of riboflavin/UVA cross-linking (CXL) and excimer laser ablation is a promising therapy for treating corneal ectasia. The cornea is strengthened by cross-linking, while the irregular astigmatism is reduced by laser ablation. This study aims to compare the efficacy of excimer laser ablation on porcine corneas with and without cross-linking.

Concepts: Laser, Cornea, Corneal transplantation, Refractive surgery, Contact lens, LASIK, Excimer laser, Keratoconus


A detailed study of high-field transient and direct-current (DC) transport in GaN-based Gunn diode oscillators is carried out using the commercial simulator Sentaurus Device. Applicability of drift-diffusion (DD) and hydrodynamic (HD) models to high-speed, high-frequency devices is discussed in depth, and the results of the simulations from these models are compared. It is shown, for a highly homogeneous device based on a short (2 mum) supercritically doped (1017 cm-3) GaN specimen, that the DD model is unable to correctly take into account some essential physical effects which determine the operation mode of the device. At the same time, the HD model is ideally suited to solve such problems due to its ability to incorporate non-local effects. We show that the velocity overshoot near the device contacts and space charge injection and extraction play a crucial role in defining the operation mode of highly homogeneous short diodes in both the transient regime and the voltage-controlled oscillation regime. The transient conduction current responses are fundamentally different in the DD and HD models. The DD current simply repeats the velocity-field (v-F) characteristics, and the sample remains in a completely homogeneous state. In the HD model, the transient current pulse with a full width at half maximum of approximately 0.2 ps is increased about twofold due to the carrier injection (extraction) into (from) the active region and the velocity overshoot. The electron gas is characterized by highly inhomogeneous distributions of the carrier density, the electric field and the electron temperature. The simulation of the DC steady states of the diodes also shows very different results for the two models. The HD model shows the trapped stable anodic domain in the device, while the DD model completely retains all features of the v-F characteristics in a homogeneous gas. Simulation of the voltage-controlled oscillator shows that it operates in the accumulation layer mode generating microwave signals at 0.3 to 0.7 THz. In spite of the fact that the known criterion of a Gunn domain mode n0L > (n0L)0 was satisfied, no Gunn domains were observed. The explanation of this phenomenon is given.

Concepts: Electron, Laser, Oscillation, Diode, Microwave, Electronic oscillator, Gunn diode, Tunnel diode


Beam profiles are commonly measured with complementary metal oxide semiconductors (CMOS) or charge coupled devices (CCD). The devices are fast and reliable but expensive. By making use of the fact that the Bayer-filter in commercial webcams is transparent in the near infra-red (>800 nm) and their CCD chips are sensitive up to about 1100 nm, we demonstrate a cheap and simple way to measure laser beam profiles with a resolution down to around ±1 μm, which is close to the resolution of the knife-edge technique.

Concepts: Electron, Light, Laser, Oxide, CMOS, Infrared, Light beam, Laser beam profiler