Glass Micro- and Nanospheres : Physics and Applications book cover
1st Edition

Glass Micro- and Nanospheres
Physics and Applications

ISBN 9789814774635
Published August 28, 2019 by Jenny Stanford Publishing
362 Pages 20 Color & 106 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

This book summarizes the recent research and development in the field of glass micro- and nanospheres. With special focus on the physics of spherical whispering-gallery mode resonators, it presents selected examples of application of glass microspheres in biosensing, laser devices, and microwave engineering. Hollow microspheres also offer a perspective for hydrogen transport and storage. On the other hand, glass nanospheres are fundamental for a class of photonic crystals (e.g., direct and inverse opals), as well as for industrial composite materials. Both micro- and nanospheres find important applications in biomedicine. The book highlights examples of preparation techniques and applications, addresses recent challenges, and examines potential solutions. It addresses physicists, chemists, materials scientists, and engineers, working with glass materials on microcavities, on nanotechnologies, and on their applications.

Table of Contents

Glass Microspheres as Optical Resonators

Simone Berneschi, Francesco Chiavaioli, Andrea Barucci, Daniele Farnesi, Giancarlo C. Righini, Stefano Pelli, Silvia Soria, and Gualtiero Nunzi Conti


Theory of WGMs in Glass Microspheres


Glass Nanospheres and Photonic Crystals

Alexander Quandt, Maurizio Ferrari, and Andrea Chiappini

Introduction and Survey

Scattering of Light by Spherical Objects

Interference and Bragg Diffraction

Photonic Crystals

Summary and Outlook

Glass Nanospheres and Artificial Opals

A. Chiappini, C. Armellini, A. Carpentiero, L. Pasquardini, A. Vaccari, S. Pelli, V. Piccolo, A. Lukowiak, G. C. Righini, R. Ramponi, D. Zonta, and M. Ferrari


Synthesis of Dielectric Nanospheres

Artificial Opals by Self-Assembly Approach

Properties of Opals


Infiltrated Opals

Inverse Opals


Coating of Glass Microspheres

Davor Ristić, Mile Ivanda, Maurizio Ferrari, Andrea Chiappini, and Giancarlo C. Righini


Coating Methods

Low-Refractive-Index Coatings

High-Refractive-Index Coating: General Consideration

Modal Dispersion Tailoring

Coating for Sensing Applications

Fluorescent Layers for Lasing Application

Optically Passive Layers for Thermal Effects


Biomedical Sensing Applications of Microspherical Resonators

Silvia Soria, Simone Berneschi, Andrea Barucci, Alessandro Cosci, Daniele Farnesi, Gualtiero Nunzi Conti, Stefano Pelli, and Giancarlo C. Righini


Optical Label-Free Biomedical Sensors

Surface Functionalization

Biochemical Sensing with Passive Microspheres

Biochemical Sensing with Active Microspheres

Labeled versus Label-Free WGM Resonators

Conclusions and Outlook

Optical Frequency Conversion in Microspheres

Daniele Farnesi, Giancarlo C. Righini, Gualtiero Nunzi Conti, and Silvia Soria


Third-Harmonic and Third-Order Sum-Frequency Generation in WGMRs

Four-Wave Mixing

Stimulated Raman Scattering (SRS)


Applications of Optical WGM Microresonators to Microwaves and Millimeter Waves

Pierre-Henri Merrer and Olivier Llopis

Introduction: The Use of Optical Resonances in the Microwave Range

Laser Stabilization on a Sphere Resonance

Microwave and Millimeter-Wave Generation Using Optical Spheres


Applications of Glass Micro- and Nanospheres

Giancarlo C. Righini and Francesco Prudenzano


Microsphere Lasers

Glass Microspheres, Glass Beads, and Ball Lenses

Fillers for Composite Materials

Personal Care and Biomedical Applications

Energy Applications


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Giancarlo C. Righini is a physicist. He worked for almost 40 years at CNR, the National Research Council of Italy, in Florence and Rome, becoming research director of various organizations. After his retirement from CNR, he was director of the Enrico Fermi Centre in Rome (2012–2016). His interests concern optical holography, fiber and integrated optics, and glass materials. He has published over 500 papers and has been chair of several committees of international conferences. He was vice president of IUPAP and of ICO, cofounder and president of the Italian Society of Optics and Photonics (SIOF), secretary of EOS, and member of the board of directors of SPIE. He is chair of the Technical Committee on Glasses for Optoelectronics of the ICG, fellow of EOS, OSA, SIOF, and SPIE, and a meritorious member of SIF.


"The editor and his collaborating authors have written a state-of-the-art reference on micro- and nanospheres with applications in physics. This useful book should be of interest to graduate students in physics, optics and biomedical engineering as well as researchers involved with nanotechnology.

Beyond an introduction to whispering-gallery modes (WGMs), which are necessary for light coupling in glass microspheres as optical resonators, the reader can easily progress to applications in high-resolution biosensing for detecting molecules, viruses and biomarkers. Application-oriented readers will also benefit from a chapter on optical WGM micro-resonators applied to microwaves and millimeter waves, as well as from sections on energy applications of glass microspheres that address hydrogen storage and targets for nuclear fusion.

Additional topics include optical frequency conversion in microspheres, like third-order sum–frequency generation and chemical synthesis of dielectric nanospheres, such as gold silica nanospheres for artificial opals as well as coatings for sensing applications. Furthermore, the development of microsphere lasers, glass beads and ball lenses should attract a wide readership." - Axel Mainzer Koenig, CEO, Mainzer Koenig Research Associates, USA.

"Editor/author Righini (emer., Institute of Applied Physics, Florence) provides historical context for development of glass micro- and nanospheres in his brief introduction, followed by detailed and current overviews of their applications, presented in eight chapters, each coauthored with a different research group. Chapters cover theoretical concepts and a wide range of applications. These include technologies as common as glass beads for signals and road marking, and as “high tech” as whispering-gallery mode resonators or sensors for biomarker detection. This is not a “teaching” textbook, but it will be useful to the advanced scientist in any of the specific areas covered. Each chapter provides its own reference section, while the common index allows readers to quickly locate information about a specific topic throughout the book. Overall the text is well written and the print quality is high. However, a number of graphs, pictures, and subscripts in equations are far too small, and one can barely read the details shown. Several graphs could be improved through use of color to distinguish particular lines or sets of data points. The text is rich in formulas and equations. Unfortunately, none of the chapters provides a general index of abbreviations, and while most symbols are self-explanatory, some are simply not explained." - H. Giesche, Alfred University, USA