Created by sebastien.popoff on 13/05/2013
Subwavelength light focusing through a scattering medium
After the first experiment of light focusing through a scattering medium using wavefront shaping (see A pioneer experiment), the same group demonstrated in [I. M. Vellekoop et al., Nat. Photon., 4, 320, (2010)] that a random medium can improve the sharpness of the focus. The scattering in a medium behind a lens randomizes the direction of the light. The speckle pattern shows high spatial frequencies not allowed by the lens alone because of its finite numerical aperture. After optimization of the input wavefront, the focus spot obtained is sharper than the resolution limit of the lens. In these experiments, the intensity profile was always measured in the far field, i.e. at least several wavelengths away from the surface, where only the propagating waves contribute to the optical field. In the present paper, J. H. Park and his colleagues optimize the input wavefront impinging on turbid media to increase the intensity measured in the near field at a given position. Subwavelength focusing is achieved thanks to the contributions of the evanescent waves.
Created by sebastien.popoff on 24/04/2013
A pioneering experiment: Focusing through scattering media using wavefront shaping
In 2007 I.M. Vellekoop and A.P. Mosk published their work on the first demonstration of focusing light through a highly scattering medium. Most techniques to image or focus through scattering media relied on selecting only the part of the light that has not been scattered - the ballistic light. The ballistic signals decay exponentially with the thickness of the medium, limiting drastically the depth at which light can be focused. The idea developed by the authors is to use the scattered waves, that are randomly mixed, to focus light through the medium. A scattering sample illuminated by a coherent wave gives rise to a so-called speckle pattern, that results from the interference of the scattered waves. Using a spatial light modulator (SLM), the authors are able to control independently the phase of the different parts of the incident beam. Each segment gives an output seemingly random complex field. By testing different values of the phase for each segment, they are able to put in phase all the contributions, giving rise to a very bright focus spot.