The Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) has awarded 86 innovative scientists a Vidi grant, of which eight to physicists: FOM postdoc Dr. Sameer Murthy, former FOM reseacrchers Dr. Steven Hoekstra, Dr. Wouter Roos, Dr. Brian Tighe and Dr. Jeroen van Tilburg, and Dr. Umut Gursoy, Dr. Stefanos Papanikolaou and Dr. Silke Weinfurtner. With this grant NWO gives talented researchers the opportunity to develop their own line of research and to build up their own research group. Each scientist receives a maximum amount of 800.000 Euros.
Researchers from the FOM Foundation, Leiden University, Eindhoven University of Technology and Philips Research have made a new type of laser. This laser makes use of light beams that are trapped on a metal surface, so called surface plasmons. As these trapped light beams are far more compact than light in free space, they offer the possibility of making ultrasmall lasers which can for example be used in computer screens. What makes the new system unique is that in various ways, the researchers have demonstrated that the laser light in their system really does originate from surface plasmons. They published their work on 13 May in Physical Review Letters.
Researchers from the FOM institute AMOLF and Philips Research have increased the light intensity of white LEDs in certain directions by up to sixty times. The physicists achieved this by combining the normal fluorescent layer in LEDs with a structure of metal nanoparticles. The results of their research were published on 10 May in the new journal Light: Science & Applications
from the Nature Publishing Group.