ORC Seminars 2011

"Fiber-top technology: An idea on the tip of a fiber"

Speaker: Prof. Davide Iannuzzi, Associate Professor, ERC Fellow, Faculty of Exact Sciences, Department of Physics and Astronomy, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

Date: 8 June 2011

Time: 2pm

Venue: Building 53, seminar room 4025


In 2005, in the attempt to solve a technical problem in a quantum physics experiment, Professor Davide Iannuzzi introduced a novel approach for the development of all-optical micromachined sensors. The idea, which goes under the name of fiber-top technology, relies on the possibility of carving miniaturized mechanical pieces out of the cleaved end of an optical fiber: Light coupled to the opposite end of the fiber allows one to remotely detect any tiny movement of those mechanical parts, and hence, any event that has caused that movement.

In this talk, Professor Iannuzzi reviews the work that his team has done over the last 5 years on this subject, from an idea on the blackboard to a product in the market. Davide describes how, having solved severe cost issues, his team came up with a couple of original fabrication techniques that also enable new applications. He discusses his main results in fiber-top atomic force microscopy (also combined with scanning near field optical microscopy), chemical sensing, refractive index measurements, and other areas. After an outlook on future plans, Davide will conclude by looking back to the quantum physics experiment that originated the initial idea to show that fiber-top technology did indeed solve the technical problem for which it was invented.


Professor Davide Iannuzzi currently leads the IDEAS at the micron scale group at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (Netherlands), where he is employed as an Associate Professor. After his PhD in Physics at the University of Pavia (Italy), he worked for four years as a postdoctoral fellow at Bell Laboratories and Harvard University (USA), where he focused his research activity on the Casimir effect. He moved to Amsterdam in 2005, where he introduced what he called fiber-top technology a novel approach for the development of all-optical micromachined sensors fabricated on the tip of optical fibers.

In 2008, he received, among others, an ERC Starting Independent Research Grant to implement a project gravitating around this award winning invention. In parallel, he has been managing several experiments that investigate fundamental phenomena at the micron scale, such as the ongoing attempt to test dark energy chameleon theories with a table-top setup. He holds 5 patent applications and has co-authored more than 60 publications. In 2011, he co-founded and became CTO of Optics11 a company that produces and distributes fiber-top probes and instruments.

Copyright University of Southampton 2006