Researchers from Vrije Universiteit Brussel and Harvard University have succeeded in shaping the optical near-field, which is light that sticks to surfaces. To manipulate near-field light on a surface, the researchers have now developed a component in which light moves through a waveguide. In this component, the light bounces back and forth. After each bounce, the light changes shape and propagates with a different spatial pattern.
"The research opens the door to unprecedented mastery of this powerful, largely unexplored type of light. There is great potential for particle manipulation, molecular detection, and optical communication", says Vincent Ginis, lead author and professor at Vrije Universiteit Brussel and guest professor at Harvard. The research is published in the renowned journal Science.