Hot Nanostructures

21 - 25 October 2013

Venue: Lorentz Center@Oort

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Description and aim

Sub-micron-scale heat transfer, local heat generation and localized temperature fields are attracting a growing interest, motivated both by fundamental questions and by technological applications. The fast emergence of this field is, to a large extent, associated with the development of micro- and nano-technologies, and encompasses a quickly growing range of research areas from solid-state physics to life sciences and medicine.

Of particular interest are nanostructures and nanoparticles, which have many potential applications which include sensing, labeling, quantum optics, optical trapping and manipulation, fluorescence enhancement by antennas and single-molecule detection. In all these applications, light absorption by metals leads to significant heating of the structures and of their surroundings. This temperature rise is on one hand potentially harmful to delicate systems such as biological specimens, or to the metal structures themselves. On the other hand, it provides very sensitive detection methods, which can reach single-molecule sensitivity, and exciting new applications such as photothermal cancer therapy, thermophoretic manipulation, thermally driven swimmers, phononic circuitry or optically controlled chemistry.

Heat flow at nanoscales also poses many fundamental and theoretical questions, among which the dynamics in thermal non-equilibrium, the existence of effective temperatures and the applicability of Fourier’s law, the characteristics of nanoscale phase transitions, or the principles of driven systems. Overall, the study of hot nanostructures emerges as a strongly interdisciplinary field lying at the interface of physical chemistry, biophysics, and nanoscience.

The aim of the workshop is to bring together experimentalists, simulators and theorists working with nano-optics, colloidal systems, thermo- and photophoresis, to exchange ideas and establish a common language to address this new interdisciplinary field. The workshop follows a successful first symposium held in 2011 in Leipzig. The participants will discuss new experiments, applications and theoretical questions related to hot nanostructures.

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