Cafe Scientifique Orlando is a gathering of scientifically-inclined people in Central Florida, who meet at a cafe, coffee house, pub, or nonacademic location to discuss events and ideas in the world of science. We enjoy beer and wine, and we use plain language to talk about extraordinary ideas.

Full Title: 
Sharpening the focus of laser beams for nano-scale fabrication, imaging, and information storage
Kuebler, Stephen M.
Wednesday, 6 October 2010 - 7:00pm - 8:30pm
717 W. Smith Street
Postal Code:
United States

This talk is somewhat more technical than we usually have at Cafe Sci.

The easy, not-very-accurate description is: Light behaves a lot like a wave, and lasers are concentrated light waves that travel with the waves in lock-step. When we want to use laser light to etch very precisely, about as small as the wave’s length, calculation of how to use those waves is really hard or impossible, so Dr Kuebler will talk about how he tries to solve that problem.

More accurately, the talk will introduce mathematical techniques that can be used to design optics that improve the focus of a laser beam. There are wide-ranging applications in imaging, nano-fabrication, and optical data storage. The challenge is that many targeted 2D and 3D distributions of the focused beam are not themselves “solutions to the wave equation” — which means that they cannot be achieved in practice. However, one can use mathematical techniques to find solutions that come closest to satisfying the constraints associated with the targeted distribution, even though not all can be satisfied simultaneously. The talk will illustrate how math, optics, and chemistry can be combined to solve problems in nano-scale interdisciplinary research.

Stephen M. Kuebler joined the faculty at the University of Central Florida in August of 2003 as an Assistant Professor through a joint appointment with the Department of Chemistry and CREOL. Kuebler earned a BS degree in chemistry and a BA degree in German from Tulane University. He was awarded a Marshall Fellowship and a National Science Foundation Fellowship to pursue graduate research in chemistry at the University of Oxford. There he earned the DPhil degree for his studies of the third-order nonlinear optical properties of molecular materials with Professors Robert G. Denning and Malcolm L. H. Green. Before joining UCF, Kuebler worked as a postdoctoral researcher at Caltech and later at the University of Arizona, with Professors Joseph W. Perry and Seth R. Marder, investigating the photophysics, photochemistry, and applications of two-photon absorbers. In 2008 he was awarded an NSF CAREER Award and promoted to Associate Professor. His broader interests include the physical and chemical properties of optical and electronic materials and their development for new technologies.

Dr Keubler presented earlier at Cafe Sci.

Past Café Scientifique Events

Race to the Moon 18 November, 2014 - 18:30 downtown library
Good Bacteria 9 September, 2014 - 18:30 downtown library
Marine Ecosystems 8 August, 2014 - 18:30 downtown library
Solar System 7 July, 2014 - 18:30 downtown library
Robotics 6 June, 2014 - 18:30 downtown library
Cloud Computing 13 May, 2014 - 18:30 downtown library
Nanoscience 8 April, 2014 - 18:30 downtown library
Fire Ants 11 March, 2014 - 18:30 downtown library
Food Preservation 5 March, 2014 - 19:00 Eden Bar at...
Marine Mammals 11 February, 2014 - 18:30 downtown library
Bees 14 January, 2014 - 18:30 downtown library
Frankenfood 10 December, 2013 - 18:30 downtown library

Topics We'd Love to See

What are some topics you’d like to have? Tell us in your comments below. See our full schedule to know what we’ve had and plan to have, before adding something new.

Additionally, if you are a scientific expert interested in presenting a topic, please email us.