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    ABSTRACT: We demonstrate that the surface second-harmonic generation can lead to the formation of nonlinear plasmonic whispering-gallery modes (WGMs) in microcavities made of metallic nanowires. Since these WGMs are excited by induced surface nonlinear dipoles, they can be generated even when they are not coupled to the radiation continuum. Consequently, the quality factor of these nonlinear modes can be as large as the theoretical limit imposed by the optical losses in the metal. Remarkably, our theoretical analysis shows that nonlinear plasmonic WGMs are characterized by fractional azimuthal modal numbers. This suggests that the plasmonic cavities investigated here can be used to generate multi-color optical fields with fractional angular momentum. Applications to plasmonic sensors are also discussed.
    Physical Review Letters 10/2013; 111(20).
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    ABSTRACT: Resistive switching offers a promising route to universal electronic memory, potentially replacing current technologies that are approaching their fundamental limits. In many cases switching originates from the reversible formation and dissolution of nanometre-scale conductive filaments, which constrain the motion of electrons, leading to the quantisation of device conductance into multiples of the fundamental unit of conductance, G0. Such quantum effects appear when the constriction diameter approaches the Fermi wavelength of the electron in the medium - typically several nanometres. Here we find that the conductance of silicon-rich silica (SiOx) resistive switches is quantised in half-integer multiples of G0. In contrast to other resistive switching systems this quantisation is intrinsic to SiOx, and is not due to drift of metallic ions. Half-integer quantisation is explained in terms of the filament structure and formation mechanism, which allows us to distinguish between systems that exhibit integer and half-integer quantisation.
    Scientific Reports 09/2013; 3:2708.
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    ABSTRACT: Objective. Detonation nanodiamond monolayer coatings are exceptionally biocompatible substrates for in vitro cell culture. However, the ability of nanodiamond coatings of different origin, size, surface chemistry and morphology to promote neuronal adhesion, and the ability to pattern neurons with nanodiamonds have yet to be investigated. Approach. Various nanodiamond coatings of different type are investigated for their ability to promote neuronal adhesion with respect to surface coating parameters and neurite extension. Nanodiamond tracks are patterned using photolithography and reactive ion etching. Main results. Universal promotion of neuronal adhesion is observed on all coatings tested and analysis shows surface roughness to not be a sufficient metric to describe biocompatibility, but instead nanoparticle size and curvature shows a significant correlation with neurite extension. Furthermore, neuronal patterning is achieved with high contrast using patterned nanodiamond coatings down to at least 10 µm. Significance. The results of nanoparticle size and curvature being influential upon neuronal adhesion has great implications towards biomaterial design, and the ability to pattern neurons using nanodiamond tracks shows great promise for applications both in vitro and in vivo.
    Journal of Neural Engineering 09/2013; 10(5):056022.
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    ABSTRACT: To address the question of surface oxidation in organic electronics the chemical composition at the surface of single crystalline rubrene is spatially profiled and analyzed using Time of Flight - Secondary Ion Mass Spectroscopy (ToF-SIMS). It is seen that a uniform oxide (C42H28O) covers the surface while there is an increased concentration of peroxide (C42H28O2) located at crystallographic defects. By analyzing the effects of different primary ions, temperature and sputtering agents the technique of ToF-SIMS is developed as a valuable tool for the study of chemical composition variance both at and below the surface of organic single crystals. The primary ion beams C603+ and Bi3+ are found to be most appropriate for mass spectroscopy and spatial profiling respectively. Depth profiling of the material is successfully undertaken maintaining the molecular integrity to a depth of ∼5 μm using an Ar cluster ion source as the sputtering agent.
    Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics 03/2013;
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    ABSTRACT: Ubiquitous in-network caching is one of the key aspects of information-centric networking (ICN) which has received widespread research interest in recent years. In one of the key relevant proposals known as Content-Centric Network-ing (CCN), the premise is that leveraging in-network caching to store content in every node along the delivery path can enhance content delivery. We question such an indiscriminate universal caching strategy and investigate whether caching less can actually achieve more. More specifically, we study the problem of en route caching and investigate if caching in only a subset of nodes along the delivery path can achieve better performance in terms of cache and server hit rates. We first study the behavior of CCN's ubiquitous caching and observe that even naïve random caching at a single intermediate node along the delivery path can achieve similar and, under certain conditions, even better caching gain. Motivated by this, we propose a centrality-based caching algorithm by exploiting the concept of (ego network) betweenness centrality to improve the caching gain and eliminate the uncertainty in the performance of the simplistic random caching strategy. Our results suggest that our solution can consistently achieve better gain across both syn-thetic and real network topologies that have different structural properties. We further find that the effectiveness of our solution is correlated to the precise structure of the network topology whereby the scheme is effective in topologies that exhibit power law betweenness distribution (as in Internet AS and WWW networks).
    Computer Communications 02/2013;
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    ABSTRACT: The design of a new non-invasive hybrid microwave-optical tissue oxygenation probe is presented, which consists of a microwave biocompatible antenna and an optical probe. The microwave antenna is capable of inducing localised heat in the deep tissue, causing tissue blood flow and therefore tissue oxygenation to change. These changes or thermal responses are measured by the optical probe using near-infrared spectroscopy. Thermal responses provide important information on thermoregulation in human tissue. The first prototype of the biocompatible antenna was developed and placed on the human calf for in vivo experiments. The measured results include oxy-, deoxy- and total haemoglobin concentration changes (ΔHbO2/ΔHHb/ΔHbT), tissue oxygenation index and the normalised tissue haemoglobin index for two human subjects. Both ΔHbO2 and ΔHbT show an increase during 5 min of microwave exposure. The thermal response, defined as the ratio of the increase in ΔHbT to the time duration, is 7.7 μM/s for subject 1 (fat thickness = 6.8 mm) and 18.9 μM/s for subject 2 (fat thickness = 5.0 mm), which may be influenced by the fat thicknesses. In both subjects, ΔHbO2 and ΔHbT continued to increase for approximately another 70 s after the microwave antenna was switched off.
    Advances in experimental medicine and biology 01/2013; 789:371-7.
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    ABSTRACT: This paper presents a study of quartz sand grain surface textures using atomic force microscopy (AFM) to image the surface. Until now scanning electron microscopy (SEM) has provided the primary technique used in the forensic surface texture analysis of quartz sand grains as a means of establishing the provenance of the grains for forensic reconstructions. The ability to independently corroborate the grain type classifications is desirable and provides additional weight to the findings of SEM analysis of the textures of quartz grains identified in forensic soil/sediment samples. AFM offers a quantitative means of analysis that complements SEM examination, and is a non-destructive technique that requires no sample preparation prior to scanning. It therefore has great potential to be used for forensic analysis where sample preservation is highly valuable. By taking quantitative topography scans, it is possible to produce 3D representations of microscopic surface textures and diagnostic features for examination. Furthermore, various empirical measures can be obtained from analysing the topography scans, including arithmetic average roughness, root-mean-square surface roughness, skewness, kurtosis, and multiple Gaussian fits to height distributions. These empirical measures, combined with qualitative examination of the surfaces can help to discriminate between grain types and provide independent analysis that can corroborate the morphological grain typing based on the surface textures assigned using SEM. Furthermore, the findings from this study also demonstrate that quartz sand grain surfaces exhibit a statistically self-similar fractal nature that remains unchanged across scales. This indicates the potential for a further quantitative measure that could be utilised in the discrimination of quartz grains based on their provenance for forensic investigations.
    Forensic science international 10/2012;
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    ABSTRACT: Resistive switching in a metal-free silicon-based material offers a compelling alternative to existing metal oxide-based resistive RAM (ReRAM) devices, both in terms of ease of fabrication and of enhanced device performance. We report a study of resistive switching in devices consisting of non-stoichiometric silicon-rich silicon dioxide thin films. Our devices exhibit multi-level switching and analogue modulation of resistance as well as standard two-level switching. We demonstrate different operational modes that make it possible to dynamically adjust device properties, in particular two highly desirable properties: nonlinearity and self-rectification. This can potentially enable high levels of device integration in passive crossbar arrays without causing the problem of leakage currents in common line semi-selected devices. Aspects of conduction and switching mechanisms are discussed, and scanning tunnelling microscopy (STM) measurements provide a more detailed insight into both the location and the dimensions of the conductive filaments.
    Nanotechnology 10/2012; 23(45):455201.
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    ABSTRACT: A simple chemical route to fabricating highly linear, well-aligned and unbranched one-dimensional arrays of silver nanoparticles with ultra-high aspect ratios is demonstrated. Starting with a polydisperse nanoparticle material, the application of ultrasound was found to promote digestive ripening and induce a thiolate-driven self-assembly process. The assembly method discovered has been extended to other systems, with initial findings showing the successful templating of gold nanoparticles into chains using Cu(I)-thiolates. This opens the possibility of a generic route which can be applied to many nanoparticle systems.
    Advanced Materials 08/2012; 24(38):5227-35.
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    ABSTRACT: We have modelled the experimental system based on the sub-wavelength aperture probe employed in our previous work for terahertz (THz) surface plasmon wave imaging on a bowtie antenna. For the first time we demonstrate the accuracy of the proposed interpretation of the images mapped by the probe. The very good agreement between numerical and experimental results proves that the physical quantity detected by the probe is the spatial derivative of the electric field normal component. The achieved understanding of the near-field probe response allows now a correct interpretation of the images and the distribution of the electric field to be extracted. We have also carried out the first assessment of the probe invasiveness and found that the pattern of the surface plasmon wave on the antenna is not modified significantly by the proximity of the probe. This makes the experimental system an effective tool for near-field imaging of THz antennas and other metallic structures.
    Optics Express 07/2012; 20(14):16023-31.
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