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Photonic Resonance Absorption Microscope

Taylor Canady and Nantao Li

Brian Cunningham Laboratory

Funded by the NIH and the IGB

Many different disorders and health conditions are diagnosed by accurately detecting the presence or quantity of a compound or molecule in a blood sample. The invention of faster, cheaper, or more portable devices empowers health providers and diverse populations to make health care more accessible.

One such device now in development uses a surface made of photonic crystal, a substance that alters the flow of light in the same way as the iridescent scales on a butterfly’s wing. This simulation shows how the presence of a tiny particle on such a detecting surface influences that flow of light. The design of this piece is a reminder of the dimensionality of light’s movement and the power of visual information.

The installation of this piece included 3D glasses for the viewers to so the nanoparticles dimensionally pop from the surface of the work, as well as an actual photonic crystal framed.