Report on plasmonic nanosensors published in Nature Communications

Optical nanosensors based on plasmonic nanoparticles have great potential for chemical and biological sensing applications, but their spectral detection resolution is severely constrained by their broad resonance linewidth, and their spatial sensing depth is limited to several tens of nanometres. In a collaboration with Prof. Markus Schmidt (now with IPHT Jena) and co-workers, we demonstrate that coupling a strong dipolar plasmonic resonance of a single metallic nanoparticle to the narrow bandwidth resonances of an optical microcavity may boost the sensing figure-of-merit by up to 36 times. Such a hybrid sensor can be used not only to locally monitor specific dynamic processes in biosensing, but also to remotely detect important film parameters in thin-film nanometrology. Reference: M. A. Schmidt, D. Y. Lei, L. Wondraczek, V. Nazabal, S. A. Maier: Hybrid nanoparticle?microcavity based plasmonic nanosensors with improved detection resolution and extended remote?sensing ability.Nature Comm. 3, art. no. 1108 (2012). doi: 10.1038/ncomms2109...
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Exploring stuctural heterogeneity of glasses

In a collaboration with Bernard Champagnon's research group at the Laboratoire de Physico-Chimie des Matériaux Luminescents, Université Lyon 1, we have been performing in-situ small angle X-ray scattering experiments at the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility (ESRF). The aim of the study is to demonstrate the dependence of structural heterogeneity of various glasses on fictive temperature and fictive pressure (e.g. S. Reibstein, et al., J. Chem. Phys 134, 204502). This work is financially supported by DFG, DAAD, BFHZ and ESRF....
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Work on glass-filled photonic crystal fiber highlighted in Nature Photonics

In a DFG-funded collaboration with M. Schmidt, N. Ganzow and P. St. J. Russell of Erlangen's Max Planck Institute for the Science of Light (MPL), we have been studying the process of filling various low-melting glasses into silica microcapillaries and photonic crystal fibers (PCF). Within this scope, photonic band gap guidance was recently demonstrated for chalcogenide-silica PCFs by Granzow et al. (N. Granzow, P. Uebel, M. A. Schmidt, A. S. Tverjanovich, L. Wondraczek, P. St. J. Russell: Bandgap guidance in hybrid chalcogenide-silica photonic crystal fibers. Opt. Letters 36, 2432-2434 (2011)). This work was now highlighted in Nature Photonics (Nature Photonics 5, 463 (2011)). We believe that these devices will have great potential for, e.g., the fabrication of ultra-broadband supercontinuum light sources. SEM-microgaph of the crosssection of a silica PCF device with tellurite-filled strands...
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Glass & Entropy: Looking back at the first two meetings

The idea to organize an international workshop dedicated to glass and entropy was born during the session "Thermodynamics, Rheology, and Glass Transition" held at the XXIst International Congress on Glass, Strasbourg 2007. There, controversial viewpoints and opinions on the entropy of the glassy state surfaced in a highly emotional scientific debate. Since then, none of the controversial issues could be resolved in a satisfactory way, and more and more researchers from different fields (glass and polymer sciences, statistical mechanics, computational simulation) agreed that there is a need to meet, on a regular and long-term basis, within the frame of a series of workshops specifically dedicated to glass and its entropy. As a consequence, representatives from Corning's European Technology Center, Avon, France spontaneously opted to sponsor the first international workshop on glass and entropy, and Profs. Lothar Wondraczek and Reinhard Conradt, both from Germany, agreed to organize and chair it. This first workshop was endorsed by the newly founded Technical Committee...
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