Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Photonics: Graphene’s flexible future

11.12.2012
Theoretical calculations show graphene’s potential for controlling nanoscale light propagation on a chip

Semiconductors have revolutionized computing because of their efficient control over the flow of electrical currents on a single chip, which has led to devices such as the transistor.


Plots showing that surface plasmons are more confined when propagating along on a monolayer of graphene (G) than they are along a thin film of gold (Au).



Copyright : 2012 A*STAR Institute of High Performance Computing

Working towards a similar tunable functionality for light, researchers from the A*STAR Institute of High Performance Computing (IHPC), Singapore, have shown how graphene could be used to control light at the nanometer scale, advancing the concept of photonic circuits on chips1.

Graphene, which is made from a single layer of carbon atoms, has excellent electronic properties; some of these are also useful in photonic applications. Usually, only metals are able to confine light to the order of a few nanometers, which is much smaller than the wavelength of the light.
At the surface of metals, collective oscillations of electrons, so-called ‘surface plasmons’, act as powerful antennae that confine light to very small spaces. Graphene, with its high electrical conductivity, shows similar behavior to metals so can also be used for plasmon-based applications, explains Choon How Gan of IHPC, who led the research.

Gan and co-workers studied theoretically and computationally how surface plasmons travel along sheets of graphene. Even though graphene is a poorer conductor than a metal, so plasmon propagation losses are higher, it has several key advantages, says team member Hong Son Chu. “The key advantage that makes graphene an excellent platform for plasmonic devices is its large tunability that cannot be seen in the usual noble metals,” he explains. “This tunability can be achieved in different ways, using electric or magnetic fields, optical triggers and temperature.”

The team’s calculations indicated that surface plasmons propagating along a sheet of graphene would be much more confined to a small space than they would traveling along a gold surface (see image). However, the team also showed that surface plasmons would travel far better between two sheets of graphene brought into close contact. Furthermore, by adjusting design parameters such as the separation between the sheets, as well as their electrical conductivity, much better control over surface plasmon properties is possible.

In the future, Gan and his co-workers plan to investigate these properties for applications. “We will explore the potential of graphene plasmonic devices also for the terahertz and mid-infrared regime,” he explains. “In this spectral range, graphene plasmonic structures could be promising for applications such as molecular sensing, as photodetectors, or for optical devices that can switch and modulate light.”

The A*STAR-affiliated researchers contributing to this research are from the Institute of High Performance Computing

Journal information

Gan, C. H., Chu, H. S. & Li, E. P. Synthesis of highly confined surface plasmon modes with doped graphene sheets in the midinfrared and terahertz frequencies. Physical Review B 85, 125431 (2012)

A*STAR Research | Research asia research news
Further information:
http://www.a-star.edu.sg
http://www.researchsea.com

More articles from Materials Sciences:

nachricht New design improves performance of flexible wearable electronics
23.06.2017 | North Carolina State University

nachricht Plant inspiration could lead to flexible electronics
22.06.2017 | American Chemical Society

All articles from Materials Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Can we see monkeys from space? Emerging technologies to map biodiversity

An international team of scientists has proposed a new multi-disciplinary approach in which an array of new technologies will allow us to map biodiversity and the risks that wildlife is facing at the scale of whole landscapes. The findings are published in Nature Ecology and Evolution. This international research is led by the Kunming Institute of Zoology from China, University of East Anglia, University of Leicester and the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research.

Using a combination of satellite and ground data, the team proposes that it is now possible to map biodiversity with an accuracy that has not been previously...

Im Focus: Climate satellite: Tracking methane with robust laser technology

Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.

Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...

Im Focus: How protons move through a fuel cell

Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.

As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...

Im Focus: A unique data centre for cosmological simulations

Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.

With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...

Im Focus: Scientists develop molecular thermometer for contactless measurement using infrared light

Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine

Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Plants are networkers

19.06.2017 | Event News

Digital Survival Training for Executives

13.06.2017 | Event News

Global Learning Council Summit 2017

13.06.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Touch Displays WAY-AX and WAY-DX by WayCon

27.06.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Drones that drive

27.06.2017 | Information Technology

Ultra-compact phase modulators based on graphene plasmons

27.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>