Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 21

Search results for: femtosecond

21 Study on Fabrication of Surface Functional Micro and Nanostructures by Femtosecond Laser

Authors: Shengzhu Cao, Hui Zhou, Gan Wu, Lanxi Wanhg, Kaifeng Zhang, Rui Wang, Hu Wang


The functional micro and nanostructures, which can endow material surface with unique properties such as super-absorptance, hydrophobic and drag reduction. Recently, femtosecond laser ablation has been demonstrated to be a promising technology for surface functional micro and nanostructures fabrication. In this paper, using femtosecond laser ablation processing technique, we fabricated functional micro and nanostructures on Ti and Al alloy surfaces, test results showed that processed surfaces have 82%~96% absorptance over a broad wavelength range from ultraviolet to infrared. The surface function properties, which determined by micro and nanostructures, could be modulated by variation laser parameters. These functional surfaces may find applications in such areas as photonics, plasmonics, spaceborne devices, thermal radiation sources, solar energy absorbers and biomedicine.

Keywords: surface functional, micro and nanostructures, femtosecond laser, ablation

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20 Interaction of Tungsten Tips with Laguerre-Gaussian Beams

Authors: Abhisek Sinha, Debobrata Rajak, Shilpa Rani, Ram Gopal, Vandana Sharma


The interaction of femtosecond laser pulses with metallic tips has been studied extensively, and they have proved to be a very good source of ultrashort electron pulses. A study of the interaction of femtosecond Laguerre-Gaussian (LG) laser modes with Tungsten tips is presented here. Laser pulses of 35 fs pulse durations were incident on Tungsten tips, and their electron emission rates were studied for LG (l=1, p=0) and Gaussian modes. A change in the order of the interaction for LG beams is reported, and the difference in the order of interaction is attributed to ponderomotive shifts in the energy levels corresponding to the enhanced near-field intensity supported by numerical simulations.

Keywords: femtosecond, Laguerre-Gaussian, OAM, tip

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19 Generation of Ultra-Broadband Supercontinuum Ultrashort Laser Pulses with High Energy

Authors: Walid Tawfik


The interaction of intense short nano- and picosecond laser pulses with plasma leads to reach variety of important applications, including time-resolved laser induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS), soft x-ray lasers, and laser-driven accelerators. The progress in generating of femtosecond down to sub-10 fs optical pulses has opened a door for scientists with an essential tool in many ultrafast phenomena, such as femto-chemistry, high field physics, and high harmonic generation (HHG). The advent of high-energy laser pulses with durations of few optical cycles provided scientists with very high electric fields, and produce coherent intense UV to NIR radiation with high energy which allows for the investigation of ultrafast molecular dynamics with femtosecond resolution. In this work, we could experimentally achieve the generation of a two-octave-wide supercontinuum ultrafast pulses extending from ultraviolet at 3.5 eV to the near-infrared at 1.3 eV in neon-filled capillary fiber. These pulses are created due to nonlinear self-phase modulation (SPM) in neon as a nonlinear medium. The measurements of the generated pulses were performed using spectral phase interferometry for direct electric-field reconstruction. A full characterization of the output pulses was studied. The output pulse characterization includes the pulse width, the beam profile, and the spectral bandwidth. Under optimization conditions, the reconstructed pulse intensity autocorrelation function was exposed for the shorts possible pulse duration to achieve transform-limited pulses with energies up to 600µJ. Furthermore, the effect of variation of neon pressure on the pulse-width was studied. The nonlinear SPM found to be increased with the neon pressure. The obtained results may give an opportunity to monitor and control ultrafast transit interaction in femtosecond chemistry.

Keywords: femtosecond laser, ultrafast, supercontinuum, ultra-broadband

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18 Texturing of Tool Insert Using Femtosecond Laser

Authors: Ashfaq Khan, Aftab Khan, Mushtaq Khan, Sarem Sattar, Mohammad A Sheikh, Lin Li


Chip removal processes are one of key processes of the manufacturing industry where chip removal is conducted by tool inserts of exceptionally hard materials. Tungsten carbide has been extensively used as tool insert for machining processes involving chip removal processes. These hard materials are generally fabricated by single step sintering process as further modification after fabrication in these materials cannot be done easily. Advances in tool surface modification have revealed that advantages such as improved tribological properties and extended tool life can be harnessed from the same tool by texturing the tool rake surface. Moreover, it has been observed that the shape and location of the texture also influences the behavior. Although texturing offers plentiful advantages the challenge lies in the generation of textures on the tool surface. Extremely hard material such as diamond is required to process tungsten carbide. Laser is unique processing tool that does not have a physical contact with the material and thus does not wear. In this research the potential of utilizing laser for texturing of tungsten carbide to develop custom features would be studied. A parametric study of texturing of Tungsten Carbide with a femtosecond laser would be conducted to investigate the process parameters and establish the feasible processing window. The effect of fluence, scan speed and number of repetition would be viewed in detail. Moreover, the mechanism for the generation of features would also be reviewed.

Keywords: laser, texturing, femtosecond, tungsten carbide

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17 Surface Characterization and Femtosecond-Nanosecond Transient Absorption Dynamics of Bioconjugated Gold Nanoparticles: Insight into the Warfarin Drug-Binding Site of Human Serum Albumin

Authors: Osama K. Abou-Zied, Saba A. Sulaiman


We studied the spectroscopy of 25-nm diameter gold nanoparticles (AuNPs), coated with human serum albumin (HSA) as a model drug carrier. The morphology and coating of the AuNPs were examined using transmission electron microscopy and dynamic light scattering. Resonance energy transfer from the sole tryptophan of HSA (Trp214) to the AuNPs was observed in which the fluorescence quenching of Trp214 is dominated by a static mechanism. Using fluorescein (FL) to probe the warfarin drug-binding site in HSA revealed the unchanged nature of the binding cavity on the surface of the AuNPs, indicating the stability of the protein structure on the metal surface. The transient absorption results of the surface plasmonic resonance (SPR) band of the AuNPs show three ultrafast dynamics that are involved in the relaxation process after excitation at 460 nm. The three decay components were assigned to the electron-electron (~ 400 fs), electron-phonon (~ 2.0 ps) and phonon-phonon (200–250 ps) interactions. These dynamics were not changed upon coating the AuNPs with HSA which indicates the chemical and physical stability of the AuNPs upon bioconjugation. Binding of FL in HSA did not have any measurable effect on the bleach recovery dynamics of the SPR band, although both FL and AuNPs were excited at 460 nm. The current study is important for a better understanding of the physical and dynamical properties of protein-coated metal nanoparticles which are expected to help in optimizing their properties for critical applications in nanomedicine.

Keywords: gold nanoparticles, human serum albumin, fluorescein, femtosecond transient absorption

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16 Creation of Ultrafast Ultra-Broadband High Energy Laser Pulses

Authors: Walid Tawfik


The interaction of high intensity ultrashort laser pulses with plasma generates many significant applications, including soft x-ray lasers, time-resolved laser induced plasma spectroscopy LIPS, and laser-driven accelerators. The development in producing of femtosecond down to ten femtosecond optical pulses has facilitates scientists with a vital tool in a variety of ultrashort phenomena, such as high field physics, femtochemistry and high harmonic generation HHG. In this research, we generate a two-octave-wide ultrashort supercontinuum pulses with an optical spectrum extending from 3.5 eV (ultraviolet) to 1.3 eV (near-infrared) using a capillary fiber filled with neon gas. These pulses are formed according to nonlinear self-phase modulation in the neon gas as a nonlinear medium. The investigations of the created pulses were made using spectral phase interferometry for direct electric-field reconstruction (SPIDER). A complete description of the output pulses was considered. The observed characterization of the produced pulses includes the beam profile, the pulse width, and the spectral bandwidth. After reaching optimization conditions, the intensity of the reconstructed pulse autocorrelation function was applied for the shorts pulse duration to achieve transform limited ultrashort pulses with durations below 6-fs energies up to 600μJ. Moreover, the effect of neon pressure variation on the pulse width was examined. The nonlinear self-phase modulation realized to be increased with the pressure of the neon gas. The observed results may lead to an advanced method to control and monitor ultrashort transit interaction in femtochemistry.

Keywords: supercontinuum, ultrafast, SPIDER, ultra-broadband

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15 Excited State Structural Dynamics of Retinal Isomerization Revealed by a Femtosecond X-Ray Laser

Authors: Przemyslaw Nogly, Tobias Weinert, Daniel James, Sergio Carbajo, Dmitry Ozerov, Antonia Furrer, Dardan Gashi, Veniamin Borin, Petr Skopintsev, Kathrin Jaeger, Karol Nass, Petra Bath, Robert Bosman, Jason Koglin, Matthew Seaberg, Thomas Lane, Demet Kekilli, Steffen Brünle, Tomoyuki Tanaka, Wenting Wu, Christopher Milne, Thomas A. White, Anton Barty, Uwe Weierstall, Valerie Panneels, Eriko Nango, So Iwata, Mark Hunter, Igor Schapiro, Gebhard Schertler, Richard Neutze, Jörg Standfuss


Ultrafast isomerization of retinal is the primary step in a range of photoresponsive biological functions including vision in humans and ion-transport across bacterial membranes. We studied the sub-picosecond structural dynamics of retinal isomerization in the light-driven proton pump bacteriorhodopsin using an X-ray laser. Twenty snapshots with near-atomic spatial and temporal resolution in the femtosecond regime show how the excited all-trans retinal samples conformational states within the protein binding pocket prior to passing through a highly-twisted geometry and emerging in the 13-cis conformation. The aspartic acid residues and functional water molecules in proximity of the retinal Schiff base respond collectively to formation and decay of the initial excited state and retinal isomerization. These observations reveal how the protein scaffold guides this remarkably efficient photochemical reaction.

Keywords: bacteriorhodopsin, free-electron laser, retinal isomerization mechanism, time-resolved crystallography

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14 Self-Assembled Laser-Activated Plasmonic Substrates for High-Throughput, High-Efficiency Intracellular Delivery

Authors: Marinna Madrid, Nabiha Saklayen, Marinus Huber, Nicolas Vogel, Christos Boutopoulos, Michel Meunier, Eric Mazur


Delivering material into cells is important for a diverse range of biological applications, including gene therapy, cellular engineering and imaging. We present a plasmonic substrate for delivering membrane-impermeable material into cells at high throughput and high efficiency while maintaining cell viability. The substrate fabrication is based on an affordable and fast colloidal self-assembly process. When illuminated with a femtosecond laser, the light interacts with the electrons at the surface of the metal substrate, creating localized surface plasmons that form bubbles via energy dissipation in the surrounding medium. These bubbles come into close contact with the cell membrane to form transient pores and enable entry of membrane-impermeable material via diffusion. We use fluorescence microscopy and flow cytometry to verify delivery of membrane-impermeable material into HeLa CCL-2 cells. We show delivery efficiency and cell viability data for a range of membrane-impermeable cargo, including dyes and biologically relevant material such as siRNA. We estimate the effective pore size by determining delivery efficiency for hard fluorescent spheres with diameters ranging from 20 nm to 2 um. To provide insight to the cell poration mechanism, we relate the poration data to pump-probe measurements of micro- and nano-bubble formation on the plasmonic substrate. Finally, we investigate substrate stability and reusability by using scanning electron microscopy (SEM) to inspect for damage on the substrate after laser treatment. SEM images show no visible damage. Our findings indicate that self-assembled plasmonic substrates are an affordable tool for high-throughput, high-efficiency delivery of material into mammalian cells.

Keywords: femtosecond laser, intracellular delivery, plasmonic, self-assembly

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13 Application of Zeolite Nanoparticles in Biomedical Optics

Authors: Vladimir Hovhannisyan, Chen Yuan Dong


Recently nanoparticles (NPs) have been introduced in biomedicine as effective agents for cancer-targeted drug delivery and noninvasive tissue imaging. The most important requirements to these agents are their non-toxicity, biocompatibility and stability. In view of these criteria, the zeolite (ZL) nanoparticles (NPs) may be considered as perfect candidates for biomedical applications. ZLs are crystalline aluminosilicates consisting of oxygen-sharing SiO4 and AlO4 tetrahedral groups united by common vertices in three-dimensional framework and containing pores with diameters from 0.3 to 1.2 nm. Generally, the behavior and physical properties of ZLs are studied by SEM, X-ray spectroscopy, and AFM, whereas optical spectroscopic and microscopic approaches are not effective enough, because of strong scattering in common ZL bulk materials and powders. The light scattering can be reduced by using of ZL NPs. ZL NPs have large external surface area, high dispersibility in both aqueous and organic solutions, high photo- and thermal stability, and exceptional ability to adsorb various molecules and atoms in their nanopores. In this report, using multiphoton microscopy and nonlinear spectroscopy, we investigate nonlinear optical properties of clinoptilolite type of ZL micro- and nanoparticles with average diameters of 2200 nm and 240 nm, correspondingly. Multiphoton imaging is achieved using a laser scanning microscope system (LSM 510 META, Zeiss, Germany) coupled to a femtosecond titanium:sapphire laser (repetition rate- 80 MHz, pulse duration-120 fs, radiation wavelength- 720-820 nm) (Tsunami, Spectra-Physics, CA). Two Zeiss, Plan-Neofluar objectives (air immersion 20×∕NA 0.5 and water immersion 40×∕NA 1.2) are used for imaging. For the detection of the nonlinear response, we use two detection channels with 380-400 nm and 435-700 nm spectral bandwidths. We demonstrate that ZL micro- and nanoparticles can produce nonlinear optical response under the near-infrared femtosecond laser excitation. The interaction of hypericine, chlorin e6 and other dyes with ZL NPs and their photodynamic activity is investigated. Particularly, multiphoton imaging shows that individual ZL NPs particles adsorb Zn-tetraporphyrin molecules, but do not adsorb fluorescein molecules. In addition, nonlinear spectral properties of ZL NPs in native biotissues are studied. Nonlinear microscopy and spectroscopy may open new perspectives in the research and application of ZL NP in biomedicine, and the results may help to introduce novel approaches into the clinical environment.

Keywords: multiphoton microscopy, nanoparticles, nonlinear optics, zeolite

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12 Propagation of W Shaped of Solitons in Fiber Bragg Gratings

Authors: Mezghiche Kamel


We present solitary wave solutions for the perturbed nonlinear Schrodinger (PNLS) equation describing propagation of femtosecond light pulses through the fiber Bragg grating structure where the pulse dynamics is governed by the nonlinear-coupled mode (NLCM) equations. Using the multiple scale analysis, we reduce the NLCM equations into the perturbed nonlinear Schrodinger (PNLS) type equation. Unlike the reported solitary wave solutions of the PNLS equation, the novel ones can describe W shaped of solitons and their properties.

Keywords: fiber bragg grating, nonlinear-coupled mode equations, w shaped of solitons, PNLS

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11 Analysis of Evolution of Higher Order Solitons by Numerical Simulation

Authors: K. Khadidja


Solitons are stable solution of nonlinear Schrodinger equation. Their stability is due to the exact combination between nonlinearity and dispersion which causes pulse broadening. Higher order solitons are born when nonlinear length is N multiple of dispersive length. Soliton order is determined by the number N itself. In this paper, evolution of higher order solitons is illustrated by simulation using Matlab. Results show that higher order solitons change their shape periodically, the reason why they are bad for transmission comparing to fundamental solitons which are constant. Partial analysis of a soliton of higher order explains that the periodic shape is due to the interplay between nonlinearity and dispersion which are not equal during a period. This class of solitons has many applications such as generation of supercontinuum and the impulse compression on the Femtosecond scale. As a conclusion, the periodicity which is harmful to transmission can be beneficial in other applications.

Keywords: dispersion, nonlinearity, optical fiber, soliton

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10 Dispersion-Less All Reflective Split and Delay Unit for Ultrafast Metrology

Authors: Akansha Tyagi, Mehar S. Sidhu, Ankur Mandal, Sanjay Kapoor, Sunil Dahiya, Jan M. Rost, Thomas Pfeifer, Kamal P. Singh


An all-reflective split and delay unit is designed for dispersion free measurement of broadband ultrashort pulses using a pair of reflective knife edge prism for splitting and recombining of the measuring pulse. It is based on symmetrical wavefront splitting of the measuring pulse having two separate arms to independently shape both split parts. We have validated our delay line with NIR –femtosecond pulse measurement centered at 800 nm using second harmonic-Interferometric frequency resolved optical gating (SH-IFROG). The delay line is compact, easy to align and provides attosecond stability and precision and thus make it more versatile for wide range of applications in ultrafast measurements. We envision that the present delay line will find applications in IR-IR controlling for high harmonic generation (HHG) and attosecond IR-XUV pump-probe measurements with solids and gases providing attosecond resolution and wide delay range.

Keywords: HHG, nonlinear optics, pump-probe spectroscopy, ultrafast metrology

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9 Radiation Emission from Ultra-Relativistic Plasma Electrons in Short-Pulse Laser Light Interactions

Authors: R. Ondarza-Rovira, T. J. M. Boyd


Intense femtosecond laser light incident on over-critical density plasmas has shown to emit a prolific number of high-order harmonics of the driver frequency, with spectra characterized by power-law decays Pm ~ m-p, where m denotes the harmonic order and p the spectral decay index. When the laser pulse is p-polarized, plasma effects do modify the harmonic spectrum, weakening the so-called universal decay with p=8/3 to p=5/3, or below. In this work, appeal is made to a single particle radiation model in support of the predictions from particle-in-cell (PIC) simulations. Using this numerical technique we further show that the emission radiated by electrons -that are relativistically accelerated by the laser field inside the plasma, after being expelled into vacuum, the so-called Brunel electrons is characterized not only by the plasma line but also by ultraviolet harmonic orders described by the 5/3 decay index. Results obtained from these simulations suggest that for ultra-relativistic light intensities, the spectral decay index is further reduced, with p now in the range 2/3 ≤ p ≤ 4/3. This reduction is indicative of a transition from the regime where Brunel-induced plasma radiation influences the spectrum to one dominated by bremsstrahlung emission from the Brunel electrons.

Keywords: ultra-relativistic, laser-plasma interactions, high-order harmonic emission, radiation, spectrum

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8 Simulation of Mid Infrared Supercontinuum Generation in Silicon Germanium Photonic Waveguides for Gas Spectroscopy

Authors: Proficiency Munsaka, Peter Baricholo, Erich Rohwer


Pulse evolutions along the 5 cm long, 6.0 ×4.2 μm² cross-section silicon germanium (SiGe) photonic waveguides were simulated and compared with experiments. Simulations were carried out by solving a generalized nonlinear Schrodinger equation (GNLSE) for an optical pulse evolution along the length of the SiGe photonic waveguides by the split-step Fourier method (SSFM). The solution obtained from the SSFM gave the pulse envelope in both time and spectral domain calculated at each distance step along the propagation direction. The SiGe photonic waveguides were pumped in an anomalous group velocity dispersion (GVD) regime using a 4.7 μm, 210 fs femtosecond laser to produce a significant supercontinuum (SC). The simulated propagation of ultrafast pulse along the SiGe photonic waveguides produced an SC covering the atmospheric window (2.5-8.5 μm) containing the molecular fingerprints for important gases. Thus, the mid-infrared supercontinuum generation in SiGe photonic waveguides system can be commercialized for gas spectroscopy for detecting gases that include CO₂, CH₄, H₂O, SO₂, SO₃, NO₂, H₂S, CO, and NO at trace level using absorption spectroscopy technique. The simulated profile evolutions are spectrally and temporally similar to those obtained by other researchers. Obtained evolution profiles are characterized by pulse compression, Soliton fission, dispersive wave generation, stimulated Raman Scattering, and Four Wave mixing.

Keywords: silicon germanium photonic waveguide, supercontinuum generation, spectroscopy, mid infrared

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7 Check Red Blood Cells Concentrations of a Blood Sample by Using Photoconductive Antenna

Authors: Ahmed Banda, Alaa Maghrabi, Aiman Fakieh


Terahertz (THz) range lies in the area between 0.1 to 10 THz. The process of generating and detecting THz can be done through different techniques. One of the most familiar techniques is done through a photoconductive antenna (PCA). The process of generating THz radiation at PCA includes applying a laser pump in femtosecond and DC voltage difference. However, photocurrent is generated at PCA, which its value is affected by different parameters (e.g., dielectric properties, DC voltage difference and incident power of laser pump). THz radiation is used for biomedical applications. However, different biomedical fields need new technologies to meet patients’ needs (e.g. blood-related conditions). In this work, a novel method to check the red blood cells (RBCs) concentration of a blood sample using PCA is presented. RBCs constitute 44% of total blood volume. RBCs contain Hemoglobin that transfers oxygen from lungs to body organs. Then it returns to the lungs carrying carbon dioxide, which the body then gets rid of in the process of exhalation. The configuration has been simulated and optimized using COMSOL Multiphysics. The differentiation of RBCs concentration affects its dielectric properties (e.g., the relative permittivity of RBCs in the blood sample). However, the effects of four blood samples (with different concentrations of RBCs) on photocurrent value have been tested. Photocurrent peak value and RBCs concentration are inversely proportional to each other due to the change of dielectric properties of RBCs. It was noticed that photocurrent peak value has dropped from 162.99 nA to 108.66 nA when RBCs concentration has risen from 0% to 100% of a blood sample. The optimization of this method helps to launch new products for diagnosing blood-related conditions (e.g., anemia and leukemia). The resultant electric field from DC components can not be used to count the RBCs of the blood sample.

Keywords: biomedical applications, photoconductive antenna, photocurrent, red blood cells, THz radiation

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6 Optimal Parameters of Two-Color Ionizing Laser Pulses for Terahertz Generation

Authors: I. D. Laryushin, V. A. Kostin, A. A. Silaev, N. V. Vvedenskii


Generation of broadband intense terahertz (THz) radiation attracts reasonable interest due to various applications, such as the THz time-domain spectroscopy, the probing and control of various ultrafast processes, the THz imaging with subwavelength resolution, and many others. One of the most promising methods for generating powerful and broadband terahertz pulses is based on focusing two-color femtosecond ionizing laser pulses in gases, including ambient air. For this method, the amplitudes of terahertz pulses are determined by the free-electron current density remaining in a formed plasma after the passage of the laser pulse. The excitation of this residual current density can be treated as multi-wave mixing: Аn effective generation of terahertz radiation is possible only when the frequency ratio of one-color components in the two-color pulse is close to irreducible rational fraction a/b with small odd sum a + b. This work focuses on the optimal parameters (polarizations and intensities) of laser components for the strongest THz generation. The optimal values of parameters are found numerically and analytically with the use of semiclassical approach for calculating the residual current density. For frequency ratios close to a/(a ± 1) with natural a, the strongest THz generation is shown to take place when the both laser components have circular polarizations and equal intensities. For this optimal case, an analytical formula for the residual current density was derived. For the frequency ratios such as 2/5, the two-color ionizing pulses with circularly polarized components practically do not excite the residual current density. However, the optimal parameters correspond generally to specific elliptical (not linear) polarizations of the components and intensity ratios close to unity.

Keywords: broadband terahertz radiation, ionization, laser plasma, ultrashort two-color pulses

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5 Precise Spatially Selective Photothermolysis Skin Treatment by Multiphoton Absorption

Authors: Yimei Huang, Harvey Lui, Jianhua Zhao, Zhenguo Wu, Haishan Zeng


Conventional laser treatment of skin diseases and cosmetic surgery is based on the principle of one-photon absorption selective photothermolysis which relies strongly on the difference in the light absorption between the therapeutic target and its surrounding tissue. However, when the difference in one-photon absorption is not sufficient, collateral damage would occur due to indiscriminate and nonspecific tissue heating. To overcome this problem, we developed a spatially selective photothermolysis method based on multiphoton absorption in which the heat generation is restricted to the focal point of a tightly focused near-infrared femtosecond laser beam aligned with the target of interest. A multimodal optical microscope with co-registered reflectance confocal imaging (RCM), two-photon fluorescence imaging (TPF), and second harmonic generation imaging (SHG) capabilities was used to perform and monitor the spatially selective photothermolysis. Skin samples excised from the shaved backs of euthanized NODSCID mice were used in this study. Treatments were performed by focusing and scaning the laser beam in the dermis with a 50µm×50µm target area. Treatment power levels of 200 mW to 400 mW and modulated pulse trains of different duration and period were experimented. Different treatment parameters achieved different degrees of spatial confinement of tissue alterations as visualized by 3-D RCM/TPF/SHG imaging. At 200 mW power level, 0.1 s pulse train duration, 4.1 s pulse train period, the tissue damage was found to be restricted precisely to the 50µm×50µm×10µm volume, where the laser focus spot had scanned through. The overlying epidermis/dermis tissue and the underneath dermis tissue were intact although there was light passing through these regions.

Keywords: multiphoton absorption photothermolysis, reflectance confocal microscopy, second harmonic generation microscopy, spatially selective photothermolysis, two-photon fluorescence microscopy

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4 Synthesis and Two-Photon Polymerization of a Cytocompatibility Tyramine Functionalized Hyaluronic Acid Hydrogel That Mimics the Chemical, Mechanical, and Structural Characteristics of Spinal Cord Tissue

Authors: James Britton, Vijaya Krishna, Manus Biggs, Abhay Pandit


Regeneration of the spinal cord after injury remains a great challenge due to the complexity of this organ. Inflammation and gliosis at the injury site hinder the outgrowth of axons and hence prevent synaptic reconnection and reinnervation. Hyaluronic acid (HA) is the main component of the spinal cord extracellular matrix and plays a vital role in cell proliferation and axonal guidance. In this study, we have synthesized and characterized a photo-cross-linkable HA-tyramine (tyr) hydrogel from a chemical, mechanical, electrical, biological and structural perspective. From our experimentation, we have found that HA-tyr can be synthesized with controllable degrees of tyramine substitution using click chemistry. The complex modulus (G*) of HA-tyr can be tuned to mimic the mechanical properties of the native spinal cord via optimization of the photo-initiator concentration and UV exposure. We have examined the degree of tyramine-tyramine covalent bonding (polymerization) as a function of UV exposure and photo-initiator use via Photo and Nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy. Both swelling and enzymatic degradation assays were conducted to examine the resilience of our 3D printed hydrogel constructs in-vitro. Using a femtosecond 780nm laser, the two-photon polymerization of HA-tyr hydrogel in the presence of riboflavin photoinitiator was optimized. A laser power of 50mW and scan speed of 30,000 μm/s produced high-resolution spatial patterning within the hydrogel with sustained mechanical integrity. Using dorsal root ganglion explants, the cytocompatibility of photo-crosslinked HA-tyr was assessed. Using potentiometry, the electrical conductivity of photo-crosslinked HA-tyr was assessed and compared to that of native spinal cord tissue as a function of frequency. In conclusion, we have developed a biocompatible hydrogel that can be used for photolithographic 3D printing to fabricate tissue engineered constructs for neural tissue regeneration applications.

Keywords: 3D printing, hyaluronic acid, photolithography, spinal cord injury

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3 Liver Regeneration of Small in situ Injury

Authors: Ziwei Song, Junjun Fan, Jeremy Teo, Yang Yu, Yukun Ma, Jie Yan, Shupei Mo, Lisa Tucker-Kellogg, Peter So, Hanry Yu


Liver is the center of detoxification and exposed to toxic metabolites all the time. It is highly regenerative after injury, with the ability to restore even after 70% partial hepatectomy. Most of the previous studies were using hepatectomy as injury models for liver regeneration study. There is limited understanding of small-scale liver injury, which can be caused by either low dose drug consumption or hepatocyte routine metabolism. Although these small in situ injuries do not cause immediate symptoms, repeated injuries will lead to aberrant wound healing in liver. Therefore, the cellular dynamics during liver regeneration is critical for our understanding of liver regeneration mechanism. We aim to study the liver regeneration of small-scale in situ liver injury in transgenic mice labeling actin (Lifeact-GFP). Previous studies have been using sample sections and biopsies of liver, which lack real-time information. In order to trace every individual hepatocyte during the regeneration process, we have developed and optimized an intravital imaging system that allows in vivo imaging of mouse liver for consecutive 5 days, allowing real-time cellular tracking and quantification of hepatocytes. We used femtosecond-laser ablation to make controlled and repeatable liver injury model, which mimics the real-life small in situ liver injury. This injury model is the first case of its kind for in vivo study on liver. We found that small-scale in situ liver injury is repaired by the coordination of hypertrophy and migration of hepatocytes. Hypertrophy is only transient at initial phase, while migration is the main driving force to complete the regeneration process. From cellular aspect, Akt/mTOR pathway is activated immediately after injury, which leads to transient hepatocyte hypertrophy. From mechano-sensing aspect, the actin cable, formed at apical surface of wound proximal hepatocytes, provides mechanical tension for hepatocyte migration. This study provides important information on both chemical and mechanical signals that promote liver regeneration of small in situ injury. We conclude that hypertrophy and migration play a dominant role at different stages of liver regeneration.

Keywords: hepatocyte, hypertrophy, intravital imaging, liver regeneration, migration

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2 Real-Space Mapping of Surface Trap States in Cigse Nanocrystals Using 4D Electron Microscopy

Authors: Riya Bose, Ashok Bera, Manas R. Parida, Anirudhha Adhikari, Basamat S. Shaheen, Erkki Alarousu, Jingya Sun, Tom Wu, Osman M. Bakr, Omar F. Mohammed


This work reports visualization of charge carrier dynamics on the surface of copper indium gallium selenide (CIGSe) nanocrystals in real space and time using four-dimensional scanning ultrafast electron microscopy (4D S-UEM) and correlates it with the optoelectronic properties of the nanocrystals. The surface of the nanocrystals plays a key role in controlling their applicability for light emitting and light harvesting purposes. Typically for quaternary systems like CIGSe, which have many desirable attributes to be used for optoelectronic applications, relative abundance of surface trap states acting as non-radiative recombination centre for charge carriers remains as a major bottleneck preventing further advancements and commercial exploitation of these nanocrystals devices. Though ultrafast spectroscopic techniques allow determining the presence of picosecond carrier trapping channels, because of relative larger penetration depth of the laser beam, only information mainly from the bulk of the nanocrystals is obtained. Selective mapping of such ultrafast dynamical processes on the surfaces of nanocrystals remains as a key challenge, so far out of reach of purely optical probing time-resolved laser techniques. In S-UEM, the optical pulse generated from a femtosecond (fs) laser system is used to generate electron packets from the tip of the scanning electron microscope, instead of the continuous electron beam used in the conventional setup. This pulse is synchronized with another optical excitation pulse that initiates carrier dynamics in the sample. The principle of S-UEM is to detect the secondary electrons (SEs) generated in the sample, which is emitted from the first few nanometers of the top surface. Constructed at different time delays between the optical and electron pulses, these SE images give direct and precise information about the carrier dynamics on the surface of the material of interest. In this work, we report selective mapping of surface dynamics in real space and time of CIGSe nanocrystals applying 4D S-UEM. We show that the trap states can be considerably passivated by ZnS shelling of the nanocrystals, and the carrier dynamics can be significantly slowed down. We also compared and discussed the S-UEM kinetics with the carrier dynamics obtained from conventional ultrafast time-resolved techniques. Additionally, a direct effect of the state trap removal can be observed in the enhanced photoresponse of the nanocrystals after shelling. Direct observation of surface dynamics will not only provide a profound understanding of the photo-physical mechanisms on nanocrystals’ surfaces but also enable to unlock their full potential for light emitting and harvesting applications.

Keywords: 4D scanning ultrafast microscopy, charge carrier dynamics, nanocrystals, optoelectronics, surface passivation, trap states

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1 InAs/GaSb Superlattice Photodiode Array ns-Response

Authors: Utpal Das, Sona Das


InAs/GaSb type-II superlattice (T2SL) Mid-wave infrared (MWIR) focal plane arrays (FPAs) have recently seen rapid development. However, in small pixel size large format FPAs, the occurrence of high mesa sidewall surface leakage current is a major constraint necessitating proper surface passivation. A simple pixel isolation technique in InAs/GaSb T2SL detector arrays without the conventional mesa etching has been proposed to isolate the pixels by forming a more resistive higher band gap material from the SL, in the inter-pixel region. Here, a single step femtosecond (fs) laser anneal of the T2SL structure of the inter-pixel T2SL regions, have been used to increase the band gap between the pixels by QW-intermixing and hence increase isolation between the pixels. The p-i-n photodiode structure used here consists of a 506nm, (10 monolayer {ML}) InAs:Si (1x10¹⁸cm⁻³)/(10ML) GaSb SL as the bottom n-contact layer grown on an n-type GaSb substrate. The undoped absorber layer consists of 1.3µm, (10ML)InAs/(10ML)GaSb SL. The top p-contact layer is a 63nm, (10ML)InAs:Be(1x10¹⁸cm⁻³)/(10ML)GaSb T2SL. In order to improve the carrier transport, a 126nm of graded doped (10ML)InAs/(10ML)GaSb SL layer was added between the absorber and each contact layers. A 775nm 150fs-laser at a fluence of ~6mJ/cm² is used to expose the array where the pixel regions are masked by a Ti(200nm)-Au(300nm) cap. Here, in the inter-pixel regions, the p+ layer have been reactive ion etched (RIE) using CH₄+H₂ chemistry and removed before fs-laser exposure. The fs-laser anneal isolation improvement in 200-400μm pixels due to spatially selective quantum well intermixing for a blue shift of ~70meV in the inter-pixel regions is confirmed by FTIR measurements. Dark currents are measured between two adjacent pixels with the Ti(200nm)-Au(300nm) caps used as contacts. The T2SL quality in the active photodiode regions masked by the Ti-Au cap is hardly affected and retains the original quality of the detector. Although, fs-laser anneal of p+ only etched p-i-n T2SL diodes show a reduction in the reverse dark current, no significant improvement in the full RIE-etched mesa structures is noticeable. Hence for a 128x128 array fabrication of 8μm square pixels and 10µm pitch, SU8 polymer isolation after RIE pixel delineation has been used. X-n+ row contacts and Y-p+ column contacts have been used to measure the optical response of the individual pixels. The photo-response of these 8μm and other 200μm pixels under a 2ns optical pulse excitation from an Optical-Parametric-Oscillator (OPO), shows a peak responsivity of ~0.03A/W and 0.2mA/W, respectively, at λ~3.7μm. Temporal response of this detector array is seen to have a fast response ~10ns followed typical slow decay with ringing, attributed to impedance mismatch of the connecting co-axial cables. In conclusion, response times of a few ns have been measured in 8µm pixels of a 128x128 array. Although fs-laser anneal has been found to be useful in increasing the inter-pixel isolation in InAs/GaSb T2SL arrays by QW inter-mixing, it has not been found to be suitable for passivation of full RIE etched mesa structures with vertical walls on InAs/GaSb T2SL.

Keywords: band-gap blue-shift, fs-laser-anneal, InAs/GaSb T2SL, Inter-pixel isolation, ns-Response, photodiode array

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