Kyu Hyun Kim, Ph.D. candidate in electrical engineering, received an Emil Wolf Outstanding Student Paper Competition award at the 2013 OSA Frontiers in Optics conference for his work in microfluidic optomechanics. This award is presented to the best student presenter from around the world in each submission category.
Kyu Hyun’s research focuses on the use of light to excite vibrations in microfluidic devices. Until recently, either light or mechanical vibration has been used as probes in microfluidic resonance sensors. Mr. Kim was the first to demonstrate that both light and vibration could be used simultaneously in sensing. He did this by demonstrating that centrifugal radiation pressure of circulating light at the rim of a liquid-filled microcapillary excites its mechanical breathe mode.
While optomechanics by radiation pressure is typically done on solid phases of matter, researchers have suggested that going to non-solid phases of matter would open new horizons. Potential applications range from ultrasound mapping of a single living cell to fundamental quantum optomechanical experiments with superfluids.