Created by sebastien.popoff on 16/07/2013

Talks Wavefront shaping

Spatio-temporal control of light in complex media

PhD defense Sébastien Popoff

December 14th 2011

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Control of random lasing by wavefront shaping of the pump

[N. Bachelard et al., Phys. Rev. Lett., 109, (2012)]

[M. Leonetti et al., Appl. Phys. Lett., 102, (2013)]

[N. Bachelard et al., arXiv, 1303.1398, (2013)]

[T. Hirsch et al., Phys. Rev. Lett., 111, (2013)]


While conventional lasers use mirrors to confine light in a cavity with gain to achieve spontaneous emission, random lasers take advantage of multiple scattering to trap light in a disordered medium [1]. Such lasers do not require to carefully tune the geometry of the cavity, which greatly simplifies their design. They are potentially cheaper and more robust in the presence of perturbations (temperature, vibration). The resulting emission spectrums and radiation patterns are broad but mainly uncontrolled. In recent studies [2-5] different groups demonstrated numerically and experimentally the modulation of the spatial profile of the pump to control the spectrum [2-4] or the emission pattern [5].

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A noninvasive measure of the transmission matrix in scattering media using the photo-acoustic effect

[T. Chaigne et al., Nat. Photon., 8, (2013)]

Optical wavefront shaping allows imaging or focusing of light in strongly scattering media at a depth where usual microscopy techniques fail. However, wavefront shaping techniques usually require captors (like a CCD array) or probes (like fluorescent entities) to guide the focusing of light or to characterize the system for imaging purposes. Recently, [X. Xu, H. Liu and L.V. Wang, Nat. Photon., 5, 154, (2011)] and [X. Xu, H. Liu and L.V. Wang, Nat. Photon., 7, 300, (2013)]  (see Retrieving an optical scale resolution with light focusing guided by ultrasound) have shown how to use ultrasound to noninvasively guide light focusing in a scattering medium. This method uses an iterative optimization scheme for focusing on each target. This limits the applications for imaging due to the time requirements. In this paper, the authors use the photo-acoustic effect to measure the transmission matrix that links the optical field on the surface of a spatial light modulator (SLM) modulating the input light to the optical field on different points inside a scattering medium. This knowledge of this matrix allows selective focusing on multiple points and detection of targets buried in the medium.

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Subwavelength light focusing through a scattering medium

[J. H. Park et al., Nat. Photon., (2013)]

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.

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