Scattering of Sculpted Light in Intact Brain Tissue, with implications for Optogenetics.
ABSTRACT: Optogenetics uses light to control and observe the activity of neurons, often using a focused laser beam. As brain tissue is a scattering medium, beams are distorted and spread with propagation through neural tissue, and the beam's degradation has important implications in optogenetic experiments. To address this, we present an analysis of scattering and loss of intensity of focused laser beams at different depths within the brains of zebrafish larvae. Our experimental set-up uses a 488 nm laser and a spatial light modulator to focus a diffraction-limited spot of light within the brain. We use a combination of experimental measurements of back-scattered light in live larvae and computational modelling of the scattering to determine the spatial distribution of light. Modelling is performed using the Monte Carlo method, supported by generalised Lorenz-Mie theory in the single-scattering approximation. Scattering in areas rich in cell bodies is compared to that of regions of neuropil to identify the distinct and dramatic contributions that cell nuclei make to scattering. We demonstrate the feasibility of illuminating individual neurons, even in nucleus-rich areas, at depths beyond 100 μm using a spatial light modulator in combination with a standard laser and microscope optics.
Project description:Structured light, with spatially varying phase or polarization distributions, has given rise to many novel applications in fields ranging from optical communication to laser-based material processing. However the efficient and flexible generation of such beams from a compact laser source at practical output powers still remains a great challenge. Here we describe an approach capable of addressing this need based on the coherent combination of multiple tailored Gaussian beams emitted from a multicore fibre (MCF) amplifier. We report a proof-of-concept structured light generation experiment, using a cladding-pumped 7-core MCF amplifier as an integrated parallel amplifier array and a spatial light modulator (SLM) to actively control the amplitude, polarization and phase of the signal light input to each fibre core. We report the successful generation of various structured light beams including high-order linearly polarized spatial fibre modes, cylindrical vector (CV) beams and helical phase front optical vortex (OV) beams.
Project description:We analyse theoretically the spatiotemporal dynamics of two incoherent counterpropagating Airy beams interacting in a photorefractive crystal under focusing conditions. For a large enough nonlinearity strength the interaction between the two Airy beams leads to light-induced waveguiding. The stability of the waveguide is determined by the crystal length, the nonlinearity strength and the beam's intensities and is improved when comparing to the situation using Gaussian beams. We further identify the threshold above which the waveguide is no longer static but evolves dynamically either time-periodically or even chaotically. Above the stability threshold, each Airy-soliton moves erratically between privileged output positions that correspond to the spatial positions of the lobes of the counterpropagating Airy beam. These results suggest new ways of creating dynamically varying waveguides, optical logic gates and chaos-based computing.
Project description:We present a simple configuration incorporating a single polarization-sensitive phase-only liquid crystal spatial light modulator (LC-SLM) to facilitate polarization-insensitive spatial light modulation. The polarization-insensitive configuration is formed by a polarization beam splitter (PBS), a polarization-sensitive phase-only LC-SLM, a half-wave plate (HWP), and a mirror in a loop structure. We experimentally demonstrate polarization-insensitive spatial light modulations for incident linearly polarized beams with different polarization states and polarization-multiplexed beams. Polarization-insensitive spatial light modulations generating orbital angular momentum (OAM) beams are demonstrated in the experiment. The designed polarization-insensitive configuration may find promising applications in spatial light modulations accommodating diverse incident polarizations.
Project description:The index of refraction plays a decisive role in the design and classification of optical materials and devices; therefore, its proper and accurate determination is essential. In most refractive index (RI) sensing schemes, however, there is a trade-off between providing high-resolution measurements and covering a wide range of RIs. We propose and experimentally demonstrate a novel mechanism for sensing the index of refraction of a medium by utilizing the orbital angular momentum (OAM) of structured light. Using a superposition of co-propagating monochromatic higher-order Bessel beams with equally spaced longitudinal wavenumbers, in a comb-like setting, we generate non-diffracting rotating light structures in which the orientation of the beam's intensity profile is sensitive to the RI of the medium (here, a fluid). In principle, the sensitivity of this scheme can exceed ~2700°/RI unit (RIU) with a resolution of ~ 10-5 ?RIU. Furthermore, we show how the unbounded degrees of freedom associated with OAM can be deployed to offer a wide dynamic range by generating structured light that evolves into different patterns based on the change in RI. The rotating light structures are generated by a programmable spatial light modulator. This provides dynamic control over the sensitivity, which can be tuned to perform coarse or fine measurements of the RI in real time. This, in turn, allows high sensitivity and resolution to be achieved simultaneously over a very wide dynamic range, which is a typical trade-off in all RI sensing schemes. We thus envision that this method will open new directions in refractometry and remote sensing.
Project description:Heating on the microscale using focused lasers gave rise to recent applications, e.g., in biomedicine, biology and microfluidics, especially using gold nanoparticles as efficient nanoabsorbers of light. However, such an approach naturally leads to nonuniform, Gaussian-like temperature distributions due to the diffusive nature of heat. Here, we report on an experimental means to generate arbitrary distributions of temperature profiles on the micrometric scale (e.g. uniform, linear, parabolic, etc) consisting in illuminating a uniform gold nanoparticle distribution on a planar substrate using spatially contrasted laser beams, shaped using a spatial light modulator (SLM). We explain how to compute the light pattern and the SLM interferogram to achieve the desired temperature distribution, and demonstrate the approach by carrying out temperature measurements using quantitative wavefront sensing.
Project description:Propagation of light beams through scattering or multimode systems may lead to the randomization of the spatial coherence of the light. Although information is not lost, its recovery requires a coherent interferometric reconstruction of the original signals, which have been scrambled into the modes of the scattering system. Here we show that we can automatically unscramble optical beams that have been arbitrarily mixed in a multimode waveguide, undoing the scattering and mixing between the spatial modes through a mesh of silicon photonics tuneable beam splitters. Transparent light detectors integrated in a photonic chip are used to directly monitor the evolution of each mode along the mesh, allowing sequential tuning and adaptive individual feedback control of each beam splitter. The entire mesh self-configures automatically through a progressive tuning algorithm and resets itself after significantly perturbing the mixing, without turning off the beams. We demonstrate information recovery by the simultaneous unscrambling, sorting and tracking of four mixed modes, with residual cross-talk of -20?dB between the beams. Circuit partitioning assisted by transparent detectors enables scalability to meshes with a higher port count and to a higher number of modes without a proportionate increase in the control complexity. The principle of self-configuring and self-resetting in optical systems should be applicable in a wide range of optical applications.
Project description:We demonstrate the use of a phase-only spatial light modulator for the measurement of transverse spatial distributions of coincidence counts between twin photon beams, in a fully automated fashion. This is accomplished by means of the polarization dependence of the modulator, which allows the conversion of a phase pattern into an amplitude pattern. We also present a correction procedure, that accounts for unwanted coincidence counts due to polarization decoherence effects.
Project description:Light beams with extraordinary spatial structures, such as the Airy beam (AB), the Bessel-Gaussian beam (BGB) and the Laguerre-Gaussian beam (LGB), are widely studied and applied in many optical scenarios. We report on preparation of light beams with controllable spatial structures through sum frequency generation (SFG) using two Gaussian pump beams in a quasi-phase matching (QPM) crystal. The spatial structures, including multi-ring-like BGB, donut-like LGB, and super-Gaussian-like beams, can be controlled periodically via crystal phase mismatching by tuning the pump frequency or crystal temperature. This phenomenon has not been reported or discussed previously. Additionally, we present numerical simulations of the phenomenon, which agree very well with the experimental observations. Our findings give further insight into the SFG process in QPM crystals, provide a new way to generate light with unusual spatial structures, and may find applications in the fields of laser optics, all-optical switching, and optical manipulation and trapping.
Project description:Interaction of relativistic electron beams with high power lasers can both serve as a secondary light source and as a novel diagnostic tool for various beam parameters. For both applications, it is important to understand the dynamics of the inverse Compton scattering mechanism and the dependence of the scattered light's spectral properties on the interacting laser and electron beam parameters. Measurements are easily misinterpreted due to the complex interplay of the interaction parameters. Here we report the potential of inverse Compton scattering as an advanced diagnostic tool by investigating two of the most influential interaction parameters, namely the laser intensity and the electron beam emittance. Established scaling laws for the spectral bandwidth and redshift of the mean scattered photon energy are refined. This allows for a quantitatively well matching prediction of the spectral shape. Driving the interaction to a nonlinear regime, we spectrally resolve the rise of higher harmonic radiation with increasing laser intensity. Unprecedented agreement with 3D radiation simulations is found, showing the good control and characterization of the interaction. The findings advance the interpretation of inverse Compton scattering measurements into a diagnostic tool for electron beams from laser plasma acceleration.
Project description:Optical modulators can have high modulation speed and broad bandwidth, while being compact. However, these optical modulators usually work for low-intensity light beams. Here we present an ultrafast, plasma-based optical modulator, which can directly modulate high-power lasers with intensity up to 10(16)?W?cm(-2) to produce an extremely broad spectrum with a fractional bandwidth over 100%, extending to the mid-infrared regime in the low-frequency side. This concept relies on two co-propagating laser pulses in a sub-millimetre-scale underdense plasma, where a drive laser pulse first excites an electron plasma wave in its wake while a following carrier laser pulse is modulated by the plasma wave. The laser and plasma parameters suitable for the modulator to work are based on numerical simulations.