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Modern optical devices require constant tuning of their light interaction settings. Lenses need to change focus, lidars have to emit and receive light at different angles. For that purpose, there exist various mechanical apparatuses that shift lenses, rotate reflectors, and move emitters. But what if they all were to become unnecessary? An international research team that includes staff members of ITMO University and the University of Exeter have proposed a new metamaterial capable of changing its optical properties without any mechanical input. This development could result in a significant improvement in the reliability of complex optical devices while making them cheaper to manufacture. The study was featured on the cover of the May 2020 issue of Optica.
One of the most renowned scientists of our generation, John Ioannidis, came to St. Petersburg to deliver an open lecture at ITMO University. The hour-long talk focused on the shortcomings of contemporary medical research and how clinical testing can be made trustworthy again by putting the “evidence” back into “evidence-based medicine”. ITMO.NEWS provides the highlights of the lecture.
Chief Editor of Nature Photonics Oliver Graydon on Russian Science, Researcher’s Path and Ways to Start Publishing in World’s Leading Journals
For over ten years now, Oliver Graydon has been working as the Chief Editor of Nature Photonics, the most prestigious international journal specializing in original research in the field of optics and photonics. The expert has recently visited ITMO University, where he attended the laboratories of the International Research Center of Nanophotonics and Metamaterials, learned more about the work done by the university’s young scientists, and participated in a tour of the Museum of Optics. In this interview with ITMO.NEWS, Oliver Graydon talked about how Russian science has been changing in the recent years and what surprised him most in St. Petersburg, and also gave advice to young researchers wishing to start publishing in major science journals.
Physicists from ITMO University, Ioffe Institute, and the Australian National University have examined a new mechanism of producing high-quality optical resonators. It is based on the mutual destructive interference of two low-quality optical states in one resonator allowing for secure “trapping” of light in various materials even at small scale. The theoretical results of this study were confirmed experimentally, laying the basis for new miniature devices: effective sensors, optical filters and nonlinear light sources. The research was published in SPIE Advanced Photonics.
Scientific journals are an important communication tool for researchers as they allow authors to publish their findings and the society to learn about the latest advances in science and technology. Among the most dominant databases are Web of Science and Scopus, but they aren’t always available. In this material, we’ll tell you about some other Russian and international resources that can replace the aforementioned database giants.
Researchers from ITMO University developed a method to enhance the activity of enzymes by using radio frequency radiation. The method requires making a special complex consisting of enzymes and magnetic nanoparticles. The particles can adsorb radio emission and convert it to heat, resulting in enzymatic processes acceleration by more than four times. At the same time, the particles-covered enzyme becomes more resistant to high temperatures. Such method can be used to create radio-controlled biochemical systems, as well as to adjust metabolism in living organisms. The results are published in ACS Biomaterials Science & Engineering.
Scientists from ITMO University developed a novel optical method of measuring reagent delivery rates for “labs on a chip”. The method is based on a dynamic interaction between a nanoantenna and luminescent molecules as the distance between them affects light intensity. Processed mathematically, these light dynamics help determine the flow speed. This method can also be used for measuring temperature and identifying flow types. The research was published in Laser & Photonics Reviews, making the front cover of the issue.
Researchers from ITMO University created a new kind of magnetic nanospheres for drug delivery. Due to the unique combination of synthesis methods, the size of these magnetite-based nanospheres can be easily regulated. At the same time, the nanospheres are not damaging to cells. The scientists proved the new material’s effectiveness in a range of experiments on dissolving model plasma clots. The results were published in Applied Materials & Interfaces.
Physicists have managed to create an experimental structure with a strong toroidal dipole response of the electromagnetic field over a wide frequency range. This response is associated with a special configuration of electromagnetic currents causing high concentration of the field. A special dielectric metalattice was created to produce and measure the response. The results can be used to create non-scattering materials, as well as to effectively control electromagnetic fields. The research was published in Advanced Optical Materials.
The Springer Nature Publishing House has recently updated the Nature Index (the reference period is from April 1, 2017 to March 31, 2018). The index tracks contributions to articles published in a group of highly selective science journals at the institutional and national level. ITMO University is among the top ten Russian scientific organizations and the second among Russian universities.