As an interdisciplinary project for students of the Ecole Centrale Marseille, a joint team with my lab developed a demonstration version of a trinocular microscope. The aim is to introduce students to the principles of image formation, Fourier optics, and basic contrast filtering techniques in microscopy. This work follows a pioneering demonstration by Peter Evenett (Leeds, UK).
Two USB video cameras are used: the first one observes the image of the sample, the second is conjugated to the microscope objective’s back focal plane (Fourier plane). This allows a simultaneous monitoring of both direct and Fourier images.
As an example, the following picture shows the direct (left) and Fourier (right) images of gratings with two different pitches. Smaller pitches yield farer diffracted orders in Fourier space.
Different kind of filters can be set into the Fourier plane, direct observation on their influence on image formation can be inferred. In the following, a black mask is set in the back focal plane to suppress the central (non-diffracted) order. Only the first (plus and minus) diffracted orders are transmitted and contribute to the final image, giving a crisper contrast.
As member of the OMNT “materials and components for optics” committee, I regularly give a selection and a brief description of articles, that I found particularly relevant to the field. Here is my latest selection :
" Nano-optics from sensing to waveguiding"; Surbhi Lal, Stephan Link et Naomi J. Halas, Nature Photonics 1, 641-648 (2007).
The design and realization of metallic nanostructures with tunable plasmon resonances has been greatly advanced by combining a wealth of nanofabrication techniques with advances in computational electromagnetic design. Plasmonics — a rapidly emerging subdiscipline of nanophotonics — is aimed at exploiting both localized and propagating surface plasmons for technologically important applications, specifically in sensing and waveguiding. Here we present a brief overview of this rapidly growing research field.
"Label-free optical imaging of mitochondria in live cells"; David Lasne, Gerhard. A. Blab, Francesca De Giorgi, François Ichas, Brahim Lounis et Laurent Cognet, Optics Express 15, 14184-14193 (2007).
"Generation of single optical plasmons in metallic nanowires coupled to quantum dots"; A. V. Akimov, A. Mukherjee, C. L. Yu, D. E. Chang, A. S. Zibrov, P. R. Hemmer, H. Park & M. D. Lukin, Nature 450, 402-406 (2007).