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Focusing of light energy inside a scattering medium by controlling the time-gated multiple light scattering

Nature Photonicsvolume 12pages277283 (2018) | Download Citation


The efficient delivery of light energy is a prerequisite for the non-invasive imaging and stimulating of target objects embedded deep within a scattering medium. However, the injected waves experience random diffusion by multiple light scattering, and only a small fraction reaches the target object. Here, we present a method to counteract wave diffusion and to focus multiple-scattered waves at the deeply embedded target. To realize this, we experimentally inject light into the reflection eigenchannels of a specific flight time to preferably enhance the intensity of those multiple-scattered waves that have interacted with the target object. For targets that are too deep to be visible by optical imaging, we demonstrate a more than tenfold enhancement in light energy delivery in comparison with ordinary wave diffusion cases. This work will lay a foundation to enhance the working depth of imaging, sensing and light stimulation.

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This research was supported by IBS-R023-D1 and the Global Frontier Program (2014M3A6B3063710) through the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) funded by the Ministry of Science, ICT & Future Planning. It was also supported by the Korea Health Technology R&D Project (HI14C0748) funded by the Ministry of Health & Welfare, Republic of Korea. H.-G.P. acknowledges support from an NRF grant funded by the Korean government (MSIT) (no. 2009-0081565).

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Author notes

  1. These authors contributed equally: Seungwon Jeong, Ye-Ryoung Lee and Wonjun Choi.


  1. Center for Molecular Spectroscopy and Dynamics, Institute for Basic Science, Seoul, Korea

    • Seungwon Jeong
    • , Ye-Ryoung Lee
    • , Wonjun Choi
    • , Sungsam Kang
    • , Jin Hee Hong
    •  & Wonshik Choi
  2. Department of Physics, Korea University, Seoul, Korea

    • Seungwon Jeong
    • , Ye-Ryoung Lee
    • , Wonjun Choi
    • , Sungsam Kang
    • , Jin Hee Hong
    • , Jin-Sung Park
    • , Hong-Gyu Park
    •  & Wonshik Choi
  3. Department of Nano Science and Mechanical Engineering and Nanotechnology Research Center, Konkuk University, Chungbuk, Korea

    • Yong-Sik Lim


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Wonshik C., S.J., S.K. and Y.-R.L. conceived the experiment, and S.J. carried out the measurements. Experimental data were analysed by S.J., Y.-R.L. and Wonshik C. Y.-R.L. developed the theoretical framework and analysed FDTD simulation results with Wonshik C. Wonjun C. constructed the FDTD platform for computing the time-resolved reflection matrix and its eigenchannels, and ran the FDTD simulations. Y.-S.L. assisted in the design of the optical set-up. J.H.H. prepared biological tissues. J.-S.P. and H.-G.P. provided silver disks. S.J., Y.-R.L. and Wonshik C. prepared the manuscript. All authors contributed to finalizing the manuscript.

Competing interests

The authors declare no competing interests.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Wonshik Choi.

Supplementary information

  1. Supplementary Information

    Numerical and theoretical analyses, additional experimental data analysis, comparison of experimental data with the theoretical results, and further discussion on the proposed method.

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