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21/1/2013 Optical transport, sorting and semf-arrangement of micro-objects by a "tractor" beam21.1. 2013 Our colleagues demonstrated experimentally optical transport, sorting and self-arrangement of micro-objects using a "tractor" beam. Their paper about experimental verification of this principle has been published in the recent issue of prestigious scientific journal Nature Photonics.
Colleagues Oto Brzobohatý, Martin Šiler, Vítězslav Karásek, Lukáš Chvátal, Tomáš Čižmár a Pavel Zemánek presented an elegant experimental set-up that enables pulling of micro-objects against the photons flow - it reminds so-called tractor beam in the terminology of sci-fi series of Star Trek or Star Wars. Up to now they were able to transport objects over a distance of 50 micrometers (i.e. about by the diameter of a single hair). Obviously this result will not satisfy the space agencies but could please fans of micro-sci-fi.
The research team of the Group of optical micro-manipulation techniques. From the left L. Chvátal, M. Šiler, P. Zemánek, O. Brzobohatý, V. Karásek. T. Čižmár is our former colleague working at the University of St. Andrews now.
Johannes Kepler predicted in 17th century that the sun radiation pushes the comet tail away from the sun. Such so-called radiation pressure accelerates dust micro-particles along the propagation of sun rays. Although this force interaction is very weak, the photons come for free and therefore this cheap source of force attracted attention of sci-fi writers and scientists for many years. Several attempts have been made (JAXA, Planetary Society, NASA) to launch solar sailer upon earth orbit, unfurl its sail and propel it for free by sun photons.
The history of optical forces in the micro-world is slightly wilder. For more than 30 years there is a commercial tool available (i.e. optical tweezers), that uses tightly focused laser beam to confine nanoobjects or micro-objects (including living cells or microorganisms) near the beam focus. An object, spatially confined this way, follows the focus position if it is changed. This provides contactless manipulation with objects even behind transparent obstacles (e.g. microscope slide, cover slip, cell membrane). Manipulation with more objects can be reached employing more beam foci placed at various parts of the sample. These beam foci can exist in parallel (e.g. in holographic optical tweezers) or a single beam can be switched between various parts of the sample so fast that the objects can not displace out of the beam coverage while the object is not illuminated (see for example here).
Our colleagues presented a configuration that except pushing an object along the photons flow enables its transport against the photons flow over a distances of tens of micrometers.
The incident beam is reflected at the bottom mirror. The incident and reflected beams interfere and create a system of interference fringes that are separated vertically by about 200 nm and their lateral width is 70-100 micrometers. The sample is observed by a CCD camera through the bottom mirror. Colleagues newly demonstrated that the polarization of the incident beam determines whether the object will be pulled (to the left in the figure), pushed (to the right) or deflected to sides (i.e. towards us or away from us) by the beam. The mechanism works even in a beam where its optical intensity is uniform along the object motion. The direction of the force acting upon objects in the tractor beam is not only determined by the beam polarization but also by the size and structure of the micro-object. Thanks to this the tractor beam can be used for sorting of micro-objects according to their size, which colleagues also demonstrated experimentally. For now they focused on inanimated micro-objects but living cells will be investigated soon.
It is observed for some time that illuminated micro-objects interact with each other by scattered photons and form mutually bound structures - so called optically bound matter. Colleagues showed that such optically bound structures are formed also in their tractor beam configuration and move significantly faster against the photons flow than individual free objects. This offers future utilization in a form of transporting micro-robots propelled and self-assembled by light.
Reportages and Newspapers articles (In Czech):
13/7/2011 BAARA - Biological AutomAted Radiotracking SystemScientists from the Institute of Scientific Instruments ASCR, v.v.i. in collaboration with colleagues from Masaryk University and Charles University developed a new system that will enable more thorough monitoring of animal movement and migration using radio telemetry. BAARA (Biological AutomAted Radiotracking System), wouldsignificantly facilitate the work of zoologist and help to get huge amounts of data, about ten times higher than in manual data collection. The system is patent-pending and scientists count the fact that they offer it to commercial processing.
Newspaper articles (in Czech):
6/4/2011 Company Focus GmbH was awarded a price for the electron welder developed at ISIOn the intec trade fair, i.e. the 13th Trade fair for manufacturing, tool and special purpose machine construction, which was organized by Leipziger Messe GmbH in Leipzig and took place between March 1 and 4, company Focus GmbH was awarded a price for the electron welder developed at ISI. See http://www.leipziger-messe.de/LeMMon/intec_web_eng.nsf/
17/9/2010 Institute of Scientific Instruments at the 52 nd International Engineering FairThis year in Spetember 13 – 17, the Institute of Scientific Instruments of ASCR took part in the International Engineering Fair in Brno. The exhibiton stand number 23 in pavilion A was dedicated to technology transfer and it showed the visitors the fields of research which are currently executed at ISI. It was also a demonstration of how succesfully ISI and ASCR in general cooperates with industrial partners.
One of the most interesting showpieces shown at the stand was ”the equipment for contactless calibration of gauge blocks“. The apparatus was constructed due to cooperation with the Brno enterprise MESING. Its technological solution brings in a brand-new principle of contactless calibration of gauge blocks using a combination of white and laser beams. The uniqueness of this device was proved also by the fact that it was nominated for the Gold Medal MSV 2010 (see http://www.bvv.cz/i2000/Akce/b-msv.nsf/WWWAllPDocsID/IEXP-8998J3?OpenDocument&NAV=1).
In addition to the equipment for contactless calibration of gauge blocks, there were many showpieces at the stand, such as:
Has been written about us (in Czech):
29/7/2010 ISI in TV programme „Milénium“On 29 July 2010, a subject of „Milénium“, a futurologic magazine televised by the Czech television, was optical traps and optical tweezers. Because ISI is one of the top czech laboratories focused on this activities, prof. Pavel Zemánek, Ph.D., the leader of Optical micromanipulation techniques group, took part in live studio. There are many talks to members of the group and lots of examples of their work in the programme.
You can see the programme (in czech) at:
16/5/2010 Laser celebrates quinquagenaryFifty years ago – 16 May 1960, the very first laser was intorduced in the world. Theodore H. Maiman has been known as its constructor.
Although the Czechoslovakia and its science was limited by the the Iron Curtain at the time, czechoslovak scientists did not lag behind. In 1963, three different types of laser were put into operation in then Czechoslovak academy of science and Military research institute. And one of them – the first czechoslovak gas laser was constructed by the team led by Ing. František Petrů in Institute of Scientific Instruments.
Detailed information: PDF document - Laser oslaví v neděli padesáté narozeniny (In Czech)
The stone was laid by the chairman of Academy of Science of the Czech Republic , prof. Ing. Jiří Drahoš, DrSc. dr.h.c.; the delegate of the Minister of Education, Youth and Sports, Dr. David Uhlíř; the deputy governor of the South Moravian Region, Mgr. Václav Božek, CSc.; member of the Scientific Council of the ASCR, Ing. Ilona Müllerová, DrSc.; and the vice-rector of the Masaryk University , prof. MUDr. Ivan Rektor, CSc., and the vice-rector of the Brno University of Technology, prof. RNDr. Michal Kotoul, DrSc.. In their speeches they all declared deep satisfaction with the success of the project and wished good luck during its implementation.
The proceeding was opened by press conference, in the presence of press, TV and radio agents. As a consequence many information on the ALISI project could be found in many Czech journals.
30/3/2010 Article about ALISI project in the Lidove noviny newspaperThe article in the Research and development tabloid of the Lidove noviny newspaper talks about new research centres cofinanced by the Research and Development for Innovations Operational Programme from european funds. The project Application Laboratories of Advanced Microtechnologies and Nanotechnologies implemented by the Institute of Scientific Instruments of the ASCR, v.v.i. was introduced by Prof. RNDr. Pavel Zemánek, Ph.D. - director of ALISI.
24/11/2009Minister of Education, youth and sports Dr. Miroslava Kopicová signed the ISI grant from European operational programme Research and development for innovations entitled Application laboratories of advanced microtechnologies and nanotechnologies. The aim of the project is to build a research centre with modern equipment enabling complex diagnostics and procedures leading to new devices and systems based on methods of magnetic resonance spectroscopy and tomography, laser interferometry and spectroscopy, acquisition and analyses of biosignals, electron microscopy and lithography, electron and laser beam welding, magnetron sputtering and cryogenics. A broad range of imaging, diagnostic, analytical and measuring methods offer an approach to the objects and samples under investigation through various physical principles with differing level of precision, scale and resolution. Advanced micro- and nanotechnologies will focused on design and manufacturing of layers, structures and joints and their applications in technical practice. The existence of such centre will be a new impulse toward further broadening of cooperation with domestic and foreign industrial partners, universities, medical and research institutes. Many such partners supported this centre because it interlinks their application plans and scientific potential of ISI.
6/11/2009 Visitor's days at ISI AS CROn 5th and 6th November there were Visitor's days at the Institute of Scientific Instruments. 800 visitors visited our laboratories (ISI AS CR) and lectures (The Nicholas Copernicus Observatory and Planetarium in Brno).
14th – 18th September 2009, ISI ASCR exhibited in the International Engineering Fair (Trade Fairs Brno)Institute of Scientific Instruments of the ASCR participated in the International Engineering Fair held in 14th – 18th September in Brno. The ISI’s stand was filled with exhibits showing examples of co-operation between scientific teams and industry. The exhibition was part of the thematic project „Transfer of technology and innovations“ (In Czech) which was located in the pavilion A1 (In Czech). The project is a novelty of this year, proposing to help implement innovations to real production and boost up competitive advantage of the Czech industry.
More than 25 fair goods (In Czech) were exhibited on the ISI’s stand. This amount is only a fragment of what ISI scientists could offer to applications. The ISI show was not limited just by size of the stand area. The firm MESING Brno, a.s. exhibited a result of mutual collaboration – laser calibration bridge for length gauges.
JIC (The South Moravian Innovation Centre) colloquium (In Czech) was held on 16.9.2009 in the International Engineering Fair and made possibility to present innovative activity of ISI ASCR - project called Application and research laboratories of advanced microtechnologies and nanotechnologies.
Displayed fair goods:
Has been written about us:
18/5/2009 Award of the Learned Society of the Czech RepublicDavid Věčorek was awarded the 2009 Prize of the Learned Society of the Czech Republic in the category of the Grammar School Student Awards for his study „Processing of the heart-sound signal“. On June 15 2009, the study also won the third place in the Czech National Competition of Professional Activity of Secondary-School Students in the 02.Physics branch. David Věčorek, a student of the seventh form of the Eight-Year Grammar School in Brno-Řečkovice, elaborated his study in the scope of the Professional Activity of Secondary-School Students as a contribution to the development of the signal processing method for the research of haemodynamics in cardiology at the Institute of Scientific Instruments of the ASCR, v.v.i..
2/3/2009 The workshop „Precise measurements for nanotechnologies and industry“The specialized workshop „Precise measurements for nanotechnologies and industry“ took place 3rd December 2008 at the building of the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic in Prague. It was oriented to presentation of results of common research projects that Institute of Scientific Instruments ASCR, company Mesing and Czech metrology institute solve in the branch of precise laser measurement of lengths with nanometer resolution. Professor Václav Pačes – chairman of the Academy of Sciences – opened the workshop. The themes of the workshop were: news from the metrology research in CR and international consortium EURAMET and presentation of upcoming Central European Synchrotron Laboratory – CESLAB. The laboratory CESLAB is planned to build close the Brno city with financial support of European funds - Operational program “Research and Development for Innovations” (VaVpI in Czech).
16/2/2009 The winning of the competition for the best Ph.D thesisThe winner of the competition for the best Ph.D thesis announced by the Czechoslovak microscopy society for the year 2009 is Ing. Vilém Neděla for the Ph.D thesis "Detection of signal electrons in high pressure conditions of environmental scanning electron microscope".
7/11/2008 Visitor's days at ISI AS CROn 6th and 7th November there were Visitor's days at the Institute of scientific instruments. 830 visitors visited our laboratories.
1/10/2008 „Laser nano-comparator“ – Award for the common researchThe Institute of Scientific Instruments, company Mesing and Czech Metrology Institute presented the result of the common research – „Linear system with interferometer (Laser nano-comparator) for calibration of length sensors at the 50th International Engineering Fair in Brno (14.9. - 18.9. 2008). The editors of the Technický týdeník granted its prize, choosing along with editors of the periodical Automatizace the common team of researchers that performed the Laser nano-comparator at the fair. The team of Coherent lasers and interferometers of ISI firstly presented the unique method for active stabilization of position of laser beams which improves the reproducibility of calibration processes in the nanometer levels.
11/9/2008 Articles in Akademický bulletin
1/11/2007 Spin system simulation for NMRJaromír Bačovský (born in 1989), student of the high school in Brno-Řečkovice, became the winning laureate of the "Young Czech Head 2007" competition and the winner of the "Ingenium" award in Informatics and Communication.
Jaromír Bačovský participated in the research at the Institute of Scientific Instruments of the ASCR, v.v.i. Methods for magnetic resonance spectroscopic measurements are being developed there, aiming at the application in medical diagnostics of serious diseases and in the research of disease mechanisms. Contemporary medicine uses magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), based on the measurement of the properties of water, for the examination of tumours, articular, spinal, blood vessel defects or other disorders. However, this information is not always sufficient. For instance, it may not reliably determine whether a tumour is malignant or benign, or it does not reveal such tissue changes that do not affect the physical properties of the water contained in the tissue. The shortcomings of MRI may be overcome by spectroscopic measurements, which provide information about the concentration of some metabolites. By presenting a snapshot of the chemical processes ocurring in the cell, such measurements can reveal harmful processes present even in a seemingly normal tissue and can inform about the chemical nature of such changes. The student's work consisted in the calculation of the behaviour of hydrogen atom nuclei in the metabolite molecules. It should contribute to reliable measurement of such metabolites by spectroscopic imaging methods in clinical high-field MR systems (i.e. 3 Tesla or more).
18/10/2007 Visit of Mayo Genomics Research Center's directorOn 18th October director of Mayo Genomics Research Center Professor Eric D. Wieben, Ph.D. visited Institute of Scientific Instruments together with Dr. Tomáš Kára, director of ICRC Brno and deputy director of St. Anne's University Hospital Brno.
11/11/2006 Visitor's days at ISI AS CROn 9th and 10th November there were Visitor's days at the Institute of scientific instruments. 701 visitors visited our laboratories.
14/4/2006 Environmental scanning electron microscopy at ISI AS CREnvironmental scanning electron microscope (ESEM) creates new possibilities in the field of examination various types of specimens and their phases. Experimental and non-commercial environmental scanning electron microscope AQUASEM II was build at the ISI ASCR in cooperation with the TESCAN ltd. This microscope is equipped with unique differentially pumped chamber and temperature isolated hydration system with Peltier cooled specimen holder for observation highly wet and sensitive biological specimens. The main task of this microscope is to make possibilities and conditions for investigation and development of special detector systems for working in high pressure conditions and enable to carry out of complicate "in situ" dynamic experiments such as melting, solidification, dissolution and chemical reactions.
11/4/2006 Laser measurement in the "nanoworld"Measurement in the "nanoworld" can be compared to microscopy. There are microscopes and microscopic techniques able to see more than the traditional light microscope with lenses. They can acquire images of even single atoms. When such a microscope should be more than only an apparatus for producing images, if it is to measure the dimensions of the very small objects precisely there is the task for the laser interferometry. Measurements of lengths and dimensions in general is the only method with direct link to the definition of the unit of length - the metre which is defined through the speed of light. Our effort is directed to the problem how to measure precisely downto nanometers. When, e. g. one of those high-resolution microscope is equipped with such an interferometric measuring system it will be possible not only to see, but also to measure precisely small structures (nanostructures), very thin films and topology and roughness of fine surfaces. All this is of great significance in microelectronics, precision mechanics and machining and for special technologies.
7/4/2006 Optical sortingCo-operating groups of prof. P. Zemanek from ISI and prof. K. Dholakia from University of St. Andrews presented a unique method that uses only light to separate objects of different sizes immersed in water medium. This method does not need fluid flow but the mixture of objects smaller than micrometer is illuminated by an optical conveyor belt created from two counter-propagating evanescent fields. Self-sorting of the objects is based on different sensitivity of objects of various sizes to moving optical pattern. Objects of some sizes are dragged by the travelling field, however objects of other sizes would stay uninfluenced. Therefore the beam coming opposite to the conveyor belt motion is more intensive and so the insensitive objects are pushed away. This mechanism of "optical Cinderella" separates both object sizes to opposite sides and the smallest achieved difference between both separated objects was 60 nm.
6/4/2006 Hard thin filmsAn impact test has been used to evaluate the impact resistance of nanostructured hard coatings using system developed at the Institute of Scientific Instruments in collaboration with Brno University of Technology. After the test, wear scars are evaluated by means of scanning electron microscope, spectral analyses and profilometer. The impact test offers an important new method for determination of the fracture toughness of hard thin coatings.
15/10/2005 Prof. Armin Delong has been awarded by the "Czech Head"Former director of ISI AS CR, Prof. Armin Delong, has been awarded by the National Award Česká hlava (Czech Head) for outstanding achievements in the science and technology. Professor Delong is the founder of the electron microscopy in the Czech Republic and devoted more than 50 years to the research and development of electron microscopes. Highly respected are his original works concerning holographic imaging, emission electron microscopy and slow-electron microscopy. For his perpetual achievements he was awarded by the City Brno price in 2001 and by the Price of the Czechoslovak Microscopy Society in 2004.
1/1/2006 Optical conveyor beltAn optical conveyor belt for moving sub-micron objects has been achieved by collaborating teams at the ISI Brno and at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland headed by P. Zemanek and K. Dholakia, respectively. The set-up used a special type of non-diffracting laser light that forms a very narrow beam existing over long distance without changing its width ("optical lace"). Two such counter-propagating interfering laser beams establish up a standing wave pattern which can suspend and hold tiny polystyrene spheres of just the right size. Change in phase of one of them causes the movement of the whole standing structure (of the "optical knots on the optical lace") and consequently the precise repositioning of the confined microobjects is achieved.
19/5/2005 An easy way how to detect increased risk of sudden cardiac deathThe ISI Brno team headed by P. Jurák in cooperation with medical teams from St. Anne's University Hospital Brno and Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN, USA have presented original non-invasive and cheep method for detection of blood circulation control disorders. Excitation with 0.1Hz paced breathing and heart rate - blood pressure - respiration phase computing helps detect increased risk of sudden cardiac death in patients with chronic heart failure, ischemic heart disease, syncopal states, heart rhythm failure and hypertension.
11/5/2005 Supermicroscope looking into nano-worldGroup headed by Dr. I. Müllerová has developed a new type of electron microscope, which employs very slow electrons for imaging of specimen surfaces. This unique method enables one to examine at high resolution various, until now not observable properties of materials, for example of new aluminum-based alloys being developed in Japanese companies.