Conventional methods for directional control of light, such as the use of mirrors, have significant limitations as they can cause wavelength-dependent losses or even complete absorption of light. In particular, at high levels of light power, the optical properties of solid-state materials are often limited. Instead, SOPHIMA employs non-contact methods for manipulating light by utilizing ultrasonic waves (Sono) to control light in gases. The project involves extensive fundamental research for developing novel methods, such as Sono-Photonic Light Waveguides, Phase Modulators, non-linear and active optical elements, as well as back-action-free optical methods for measuring acoustic phenomena and sensors in gases.
By integrating non-linear optics, laser physics, and electrical/ultrasound technology, SOPHIMA opens up a new field of research with great potential for scientific and industrial applications. The project aims to enable fundamental control and guidance of light in a novel and innovative way, thereby revolutionizing a multitude of applications in various fields.