Optics occupies an important position within the fields of nanosciences and nanotechnologies. Extensive work carried out in near-field optics in the 1990s led to the birth of a new and dynamic branch of optics, known as nano-optics. This booming field deals with the understanding, control and exploitation of light-material interactions on the nanometer scale (i.e. on a scale much smaller than the wavelength of the electromagnetic field involved). The ability to observe, manipulate, and structure light at this scale opens up vast potential for research and new applications.
The Laboratory of Nanotechnology, Instrumentation and Optics (LNIO) is tasked with the development of nano-optics, which addresses a number of technological, scientific and socio-economic challenges. Researchers at LNIO are working on new concepts and approaches, developing both innovative instrumentation and nanocharacterization and nanomanufacturing methods. Covering such fields as energy (lighting, photovoltaics, etc.), telecommunications, data storage, health and security, key socio-economic challenges are addressed through multidisciplinary research focus areas: plasmonics, integrated optics, optoelectronics, new spectroscopies and microscopies, multiphysics modeling, multi-functional nanosensors, nanobiophotonics and nanomaterials for photonics, photochemistry and photophysics.
LNIO also contributes to research carried out within the scope of the core interfaculty focus of Risk Management Science and Technologies (CNRS Joint Research Unit 6279). LNIO's work mainly concerns the study and development of micro-/nanosensors dedicated to the observation and surveillance of complex systems and their environments (detection and identiﬁcation of physical and biochemical components). Efforts within this framework cover such fields as optical marking, optical information security and energy risks.
In addition to upstream activities, the laboratory’s teams are also engaged in developing commercial applications for technology generated through the University’s research efforts, working in close collaboration with industry.
Furthermore, the laboratory is a key partner to the regional NANOMAT platform (www.nanomat.eu), dedicated to nanomanufacturing and nanocharacterization of materials, which ultimately aims to establish a profile at national and international level.
Head: Prof. Renaud Bachelot (email@example.com)
LNIO pursues six areas of research:
Activities in this area concern the fundamental study of light emission from nano-objects and the associated linear and non-linear processes. Studies focus in particular on radiative and non-radiative transfers between metal nanoparticles and molecules.
Projects in this field involve the study of local interactions between plasmonic nanosources and photosensitive molecular systems. Plasmonic systems (nanosources, nanoantennas, etc.) and photosensitive organic materials are manufactured and characterized. Research objectives include the development of active plasmonic systems, hybrid nanomaterials and molecular probes.
This area addresses the control of light-material interactions on the nanometer scale, including the development of new instrumentation (heterodyne SNOM, multi-scale SNOM, microphotoluminescence), integrated systems and components (SOI photonics and plasmonics, integrated spectrometers and associated sensors) and multifunctional photonic materials (zinc and silicon oxide, metamaterials).
Various modeling approaches are used to study the interaction between light and nano-objects, with a focus on the optics of metal nanostructures. Studies encompass comparisons between theory and experiments, the influence of the external environment (refractive index, gain medium, anisotropy), and optimization by solving the inverse problem.
The general issue addressed here is the organization of the membrane of living cells on the sub-micrometer scale. Researchers are developing imagery and spectroscopy tools dedicated to biophysics applications, such as Fluorescence Correlation Spectroscopy (FCS) in volumes of nanometric size.
Efforts are geared to producing nano-objects and nanostructured materials for nano-optics on the basis of two complementary approaches: top-down, using e-beam or optical lithography, RIE etching, etc.; and bottom-up, using chemical synthesis, self-assembly, surface functionalization, etc.