Intensity, phase, and polarization of electromagnetic fields can be tailored to form bespoke distributions. This spatial structure of light is an intriguing playground. It finds a wide range of applications in optical communications, sensing, imaging, and beyond. However, the real beauty of structured fields comes to light when considering strongly confined electromagnetic fields, which naturally feature complex three-dimensional distributions. These engineered light fields can be utilized, for example, to selectively excite individual nanosystems, extending the range of possible applications even further by enabling advanced single-particle spectroscopy, nanoscale traffic control, nano-metrology, and more.
In this talk, we introduce a novel scheme for ultra-precise particle localization and tracking, which is based on the interaction of structured light and individual nanoparticles. We show that by utilizing the strongly position-dependent scattering pattern as a ruler, we can retrieve the exact particle position from the far-field scattering signal. Besides the fundamental ingredients and recipe of this technique, we also highlight selected next steps and future plans. For instance, we also discuss the fundamental idea behind next generation camera technology to boost the capabilities of our nanometrology schemes. These novel pixels and cameras based on light-processing circuitry are jointly developed, together with other European and international experts, as part of the 'SuperPixels' project (https://www.superpixels.org/). They will allow for a simultaneous measurement of polarization and phase distributions in addition to light's intensity.
[This project has received partial funding from the European Commission Horizon 2020 research and innovation program under the Future and Emerging Technologies Open Grant Agreement Super-Pixels No. 829116]
Spring 2021 speakers organized by Prof. David A.B. Miller