Dr. Giuseppe Emanuele Lio is a material scientist and research fellow at the National Institute of Optics and European Laboratory for Non-Linear Spectroscopy in Florence, Italy. He told us about working with lasers in his quest for new nano-devices.
I am working towards achieving hyper-resolution in two-photon direct laser writing. To perform this technique, I and my collaborators worked with a new kind of metamaterial called epsilon-near-zero optical nanocavities, which are able to greatly shrink the light beam and reduce the polymerized volume. This technique opens new opportunities in various fields of research, including non-invasive medical devices, processor architecture, and cancer treatment.
The high resolution obtained with this technique is crucial for industrial applications such as anti-counterfeiting and flat optics. Having reduced the voxel size, it was possible to fabricate microlabels to assure the authenticity of jewelry and luxury watches, for example, by including a desired label in the watch face. But it is not limited only to that. It opens new frontiers in high-precision surgical devices – it is possible to exploit this highly focused light beam to destroy cancer cells.
I am able to keep striving to solve problems related to new frontiers in science thanks to the incredible people who have followed me during my research career and throughout my entire life. I strongly believe that people devoted to science and technology research can improve the quality of our life and change the world.
Q: What kind of mindset do you need to achieve the Next Great Impossible?
A: It is extremely important to open my mind to new suggestions from everyone around me. I have a continuous exchange of ideas and advice with colleagues of mine. I’m very glad to have opened my mind to other points of view during this research. I also like to encourage new students to strive to realize their goals. I’d like to say to young scientists, don’t be afraid to take on a new challenge!