Welcome to the Dynamic Optical Systems Lab website!

Our research focuses on novel optical methods for three-dimensional light engineering, with applications in materials science, sensing, and biology. Key examples of our work in this area include the development of laser catapulting for additive micro-optics manufacturing, acousto-optofluidic systems for focusing and shaping the light at sub-microsecond time scales, and fast inertia free optical microscopes for unprecedented volumetric imaging speed and particle tracking.

Latest news

Ultrasonic endoscopes for DEEP light focusing

Dr. Duocastella has received an ERC-CoG for his project DEEP!

Acousto-optic systems for advanced microscopy

New paper published in Journal of Physics Photonics. In this article we review the operational principles, optical properties, and recent applications of acousto-optic systems for advanced microscopy, including random-access scanning, ultrafast confocal and multiphoton imaging, and fast inertia-free light-sheet microscopy.


We are happy to be part of Organvision, a technology proposal to image organoids in real-time and label-free, has been funded 3.7 million Euros by Horizon 2020 under the prestigious FET Open RIA program. The project comprises of 8 partners spread across 5 cities in 4 countries: Norway (Tromso), Germany (Hamburg, Berlin), Italy (Milan), and Spain (Barcelona).

Volumetric Lissajous confocal microscopy with tunable spatio-temporal resolution

New paper published in Biomedical Optics Express. Here, we developed volumetric Lissajous confocal microscopy to achieve unsurpassed 3D scanning speed with a tunable sampling rate. The system combines an acoustic liquid lens for fast focus translation with a resonant scanning mirror. Accordingly, the excitation beam follows a dynamic Lissajous trajectory enabling sub-millisecond acquisitions of image series containing 3D information at a sub-Nyquist sampling rate. By temporal accumulation and/or advanced interpolation algorithms, the volumetric imaging rate is selectable using a post-processing step at a desired spatiotemporal resolution. We demonstrate multicolor and calcium imaging over volumes of tens of cubic microns with 3D acquisitions speeds of 30 Hz and frame rates up to 5 kHz.

Variable optical elements for fast focus control

New review paper published in Nature Photonics! In this Review, we survey recent developments in the emerging field of high-speed variable z-focus optical elements, which are driving important innovations in advanced imaging and materials processing applications. Three-dimensional biomedical imaging, high-throughput industrial inspection, advanced spectroscopies, and other optical characterization and materials modification methods have made great strides forward in recent years due to precise and rapid axial control of light. Three state-of-the-art key optical technologies that enable fast z-focus modulation are reviewed, along with a discussion of the implications of the new developments in variable optical elements and their impact on technologically relevant applications.

Printability conditions for an all-solid-state laser transfer

New paper published in Applied Surface Science. Here, we present a theoretical and experimental study on the effects that film rigidity, elasticity, and plasticity play on laser catapulting. By combining the thermodynamic equations of the laser-generated propulsion force with the theory of thin plate bending, we derived an analytical model that fully describes the list of events responsible for disk ejection. The model is in good agreement with experiments using elastomers, polymers, and metals. A complete printability map based on the film mechanical parameters is reported, which can help to broaden the family of materials suitable for laser additive manufacturing.


Alessandro Zunino has won Best Presentation Award at SPIE Photonics West 2021!


Alessandro Zunino will present our work on encoded light-sheet microscopy in CLEO 2021!

Dr. Martí Duocastella has been invited to participate in the Europhotonics Spring School 2021

Dr. Salvatore Surdo will present our work on fast beam shaping in ICLO 2020!