1. Giant nonlinear optical responses from photon-avalanching nanoparticles  Nature.com
  2. Engineers observe avalanches in nanoparticles for the first time  Phys.org
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Avalanche phenomena use steeply nonlinear dynamics to generate disproportionately large responses from small perturbations, and are found in a multitude of events and materials1. Photon avalanching enables technologies such as optical phase-conjugate imaging2, infrared quantum counting3 and efficient upconverted lasing4–6. However, the photon-avalanching mechanism underlying these optical applications has been observed only in bulk materials and aggregates6,7, limiting its utility and impact. Here we report the realization of photon avalanching at room temperature in single nanostructures—small, Tm3+-doped upconverting nanocrystals—and demonstrate their use in super-resolution imaging in near-infrared spectral windows of maximal biological transparency. Avalanching nanoparticles (ANPs) can be pumped by continuous-wave lasers, and exhibit all of the defining features of photon avalanching, including clear excitation-power thresholds, exceptionally long rise time at threshold, and a dominant excited-state absorption that is more than 10,000 times larger than ground-state absorption. Beyond the avalanching threshold, ANP emission scales nonlinearly with the 26th power of the pump intensity, owing to induced positive optical feedback in each nanocrystal. This enables the experimental realization of photon-avalanche single-beam super-resolution imaging7 with sub-70-nanometre spatial resolution, achieved by using only simple scanning confocal microscopy and without any computational analysis. Pairing their steep nonlinearity with existing super-resolution techniques and computational methods8–10, ANPs enable imaging with higher resolution and at excitation intensities about 100 times lower than other probes. The low photon-avalanching threshold and excellent photostability of ANPs also suggest their utility in a diverse array of applications, including sub-wavelength imaging7,11,12 and optical and environmental sensing13–15. Room-temperature photon avalanching realized in single thulium-doped upconverting nanocrystals enables super-resolution imaging at near-infrared wavelengths of maximal biological transparency and provides a material platform potentially suitable for other optical technologies.Room-temperature photon avalanching realized in single thulium-doped upconverting nanocrystals enables super-resolution imaging at near-infrared wavelengths of maximal biological transparency and provides a material platform potentially suitable for other optical technologies.

Giant nonlinear optical responses from photon-avalanching nanoparticles | Nature

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Researchers at Columbia Engineering report today that they have developed the first nanomaterial that demonstrates "photon avalanching," a process that is unrivaled in its combination of extreme nonlinear ...

Engineers observe avalanches in nanoparticles for the first time

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Columbia Engineering researchers report the first nanomaterial that demonstrates ''photon avalanching,'' a process that is unrivaled in its combination of extreme nonlinear optical behavior and efficiency. The realization of photon avalanching in nanoparticle form opens up a host of sought-after applications, from real-time super-resolution optical microscopy, precise temperature and environmental sensing, and infrared light detection, to optical analog-to-digital conversion and quantum sensing.Columbia Engineering researchers report the first nanomaterial that demonstrates ''photon avalanching,'' a process that is unrivaled in its combination of extreme nonlinear optical behavior and efficiency. The realization of photon avalanching in nanoparticle form opens up a host of sought-after applications, from real-time super-resolution optical microscopy, precise temperature and environmental sensing, and infrared light detection, to optical analog-to-digital conversion and quantum sensing.

Columbia engineers first to observe avalanches in nanoparticles | EurekAlert! Science News

Since the earliest microscopes, scientists have been on a quest to build instruments with finer and finer resolution to image a cell's proteins—the tiny machines that keep cells, and us, running. But ...

Shine on: Avalanching nanoparticles break barriers to imaging cells in real time

A new material called "avalanching nanoparticles" could lead to simple, high-resolution bioimaging of cells' tiny anatomy in real time.A new material called 'avalanching nanoparticles' co-designed by Berkeley Lab could lead to simple, high-resolution bioimaging in real time.

Avalanching Nanoparticles Image Cells in Real Time