Prof. Zeev Zalevsky is Head of the Electro-Optics study program at the Faculty of Engineering and Director of the Nano Photonics Center at the Institute of Nanotechnology and Advanced Materials (BINA).
Zalevsky’s research focuses on the generation and manipulation of light for use in ultra-small applications for high-speed information processing and biological sensing. He has developed next-generation optical fibers for communication networks and medicine.
Zalevsky’s work is being applied to everything from satellite-based remote sensing to microscopy, as well as clinical ophthalmology. In the area of neuroscience, he has created a “nano-probe,” which transmits light and electrical signals to and from activity centers in the brain, in research conducted with Dr. Hamutal Slovin. In 2007, Zalevsky was awarded the Krill Prize for Excellence in Scientific Research in recognition of his contributions to this area.
Zalevsky improves conventional microscopy with “super-resolution,” a method that enhances the imaging capabilities of microscopes with low quality objective lenses.
This approach, developed in conjunction with Dr. Yuval Garini, involves projecting special color coding over the inspected sample that encodes the spatial information, and then measuring it with a spectrometer. Zalevsky’s lab also conducts wavelength encoding using special diffractive optical elements and a unique nano-photonic array.
Another innovation of Zalevsky’s, developed in conjunction with Dr. Dror Fixler, is a microscope system capable of imaging sub wavelength spatial features via nano particles that “flow” in proximity to the inspected sample.
His “nano-probe,” that transmits light and electrical signals to and from sensors in the brain, also includes super resolving elements for obtaining high quality imaging via a multi core fiber. By changing the distances of the lens positioned outside a patient’s body, as well as shifting the proximity to the camera, “optical zooming” is achieved.
Zalevsky and his team are developing in-fiber devices such as modulators, optical filters, transducers, sensors and information processors. They are also developing fiber-related devices with a tapering rig based on CO2 laser and controlled motors. Some of these are being developed for biomedical applications such as in-body imaging, with the nano-probe being used for continuous recording from multiple brain sites.
Zalevsky’s lab also works with planar devices, specifically in the field of silicon photonics – designing and characterizing nano-photonic optical processing devices such as all-optical logic gates, modulators and A/D converters.
Additional fields they are exploring include solar wavelength imaging and remote imaging, as well as the development of remote sensing devices for detecting biomedical information such as blood pressure, heart pulse shape and blood glucose levels.
Zalevsky recently patented a “thinner than hair” optical fiber that may be used as the basis for interference-resistant communication cables that are screened from the environment. The invention may also be applied to tasks in biomedicine, electronics and environmental sensing.
In another project, Zalevsky has constructed nanophotonic “modulators” fabricated on silicon chips that use either electrical voltage or the application of a magnetic force to control the intensity of light moving through optical communications systems. He has also developed a photonics-based tool for analyzing and manipulating radio frequency signals.
The group is particularly interested in expanding their research activities in the areas of biomedical optics and opto-genetics.