The metasurface, thousands of V-shaped nanoantennas formed into an ultrathin gold foil, could make possible "planar photonics" devices and optical switches small enough to be integrated into computer chips for information processing, sensing and telecommunications, said Alexander Kildishev, associate research professor of electrical and computer engineering at Purdue University.
Researchers have created tiny holograms using a "metasurface" capable of the ultra-efficient control of light, representing a potential new technology for advanced sensors, high-resolution displays and information processing. To demonstrate the technology, researchers created a hologram of the word PURDUE smaller than 100 microns wide, or roughly the width of a human hair. (Xingjie Ni, Birck Nanotechnology Center) A publication-quality image is available at http://news.uns.purdue.edu/images/2013/kildishev-hologram.jpg
Credit: (Xingjie Ni, Birck Nanotechnology Center)
Laser light shines through the metasurface from below, creating a hologram 10 microns above the structure. (Xingjie Ni, Birck Nanotechnology Center) A publication-quality image is available at http://news.uns.purdue.edu/images/2013/kildishev-hologram2.jpg
Credit: (Xingjie Ni, Birck Nanotechnology Center)
Laser light shines through the nanoantennas, creating the hologram 10 microns above the metasurface. To demonstrate the technology, researchers created a hologram of the word PURDUE smaller than 100 microns wide, or roughly the width of a human hair.
"If we can shape characters, we can shape different types of light beams for sensing or recording, or for example pixels for 3-D displays. Another potential application is the transmission and processing of data inside chips for information technology," Kildishev said. "The smallest features -- the strokes of the letters -- displayed in our experiment are only 1 micron wide. This is a quite remarkable spatial resolution."
Findings are detailed in a research paper appearing on Friday (Nov. 15) in the journal Nature Communications.
Metasurfaces could make it possible to use single photons -- the particles that make up light -- for switching and routing in future computers. While using photons would dramatically speed up computers and telecommunications, conventional photonic devices cannot be miniaturized because the wavelength of light is too large to fit in tiny components needed for integrated circuits. Nanostructured metamaterials, however, are making it possible to reduce the wavelength of light, allowing the creation of new types of nanophotonic devices, said Vladimir M. Shalaev, scientific director of nanophotonics at Purdue's Birck Nanotechnology Center and a distinguished professor of electrical and computer engineering.
"The most important thing is that we can do this with a very thin layer, only 30 nanometers, and this is unprecedented," Shalaev said. "This means you can start to embed it in electronics, to marry it with electronics."
The layer is about 1/23rd the width of the wavelength of light used to create the holograms.
The Nature Communications article was co-authored by former Purdue doctoral student Xingjie Ni, who is now a postdoctoral researcher at the University of California, Berkeley; Kildishev; and Shalaev.
Under development for about 15 years, metamaterials owe their unusual potential to precision design on the scale of nanometers. Optical nanophotonic circuits might harness clouds of electrons called "surface plasmons" to manipulate and control the routing of light in devices too tiny for conventional lasers.
The researchers have shown how to control the intensity and phase – or timing – of laser light as it passes through the nanoantennas. Each antenna has its own "phase delay" -- how much light is slowed as it passes through the structure. Controlling the intensity and phase is essential for creating working devices and can be achieved by altering the V-shaped antennas.
The work is partially supported by U.S. Air Force Office of Scientific Research, Army research Office, and the National Science Foundation. Purdue has filed a provisional patent application on the concept.Writer: Emil Venere, 765-494-4709, firstname.lastname@example.org
Holography, a revolutionary 3D imaging technique, has been developed for storing and recovering the amplitude and phase of light scattered by objects. Later, single-beam computer-generated phase holography was proposed for restoring the wavefront from a given incidence. However, because the phase modulation depends on the light propagation inside the material, the thickness of phase holograms usually remains comparable to the wavelength. Here we experimentally demonstrate ultra-thin metasurface holograms that operate in the visible range whose thickness is only 30 nm (approximately 1/23 of the operational wavelength). To our knowledge, this is the thinnest hologram that can provide both amplitude and phase modulation in the visible wavelength range, which generates high-resolution low-noise images. Using this technique, not only the phase, but potentially the amplitude of the incident wave can be efﬁciently controlled–expanding the route to new applications of ultra-thin and surface-conﬁned photonic devices.
Note to Journalists: A copy of the article is available by contacting Nature at email@example.com or calling (212) 726-9231. (check phone number)
Emil Venere | EurekAlert!
Linear potentiometer LRW2/3 - Maximum precision with many measuring points
17.05.2017 | WayCon Positionsmesstechnik GmbH
First flat lens for immersion microscope provides alternative to centuries-old technique
17.05.2017 | Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences
The world's highest gain high power laser amplifier - by many orders of magnitude - has been developed in research led at the University of Strathclyde.
The researchers demonstrated the feasibility of using plasma to amplify short laser pulses of picojoule-level energy up to 100 millijoules, which is a 'gain'...
Staphylococcus aureus is a feared pathogen (MRSA, multi-resistant S. aureus) due to frequent resistances against many antibiotics, especially in hospital infections. Researchers at the Paul-Ehrlich-Institut have identified immunological processes that prevent a successful immune response directed against the pathogenic agent. The delivery of bacterial proteins with RNA adjuvant or messenger RNA (mRNA) into immune cells allows the re-direction of the immune response towards an active defense against S. aureus. This could be of significant importance for the development of an effective vaccine. PLOS Pathogens has published these research results online on 25 May 2017.
Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) is a bacterium that colonizes by far more than half of the skin and the mucosa of adults, usually without causing infections....
Physicists from the University of Würzburg are capable of generating identical looking single light particles at the push of a button. Two new studies now demonstrate the potential this method holds.
The quantum computer has fuelled the imagination of scientists for decades: It is based on fundamentally different phenomena than a conventional computer....
An international team of physicists has monitored the scattering behaviour of electrons in a non-conducting material in real-time. Their insights could be beneficial for radiotherapy.
We can refer to electrons in non-conducting materials as ‘sluggish’. Typically, they remain fixed in a location, deep inside an atomic composite. It is hence...
Two-dimensional magnetic structures are regarded as a promising material for new types of data storage, since the magnetic properties of individual molecular building blocks can be investigated and modified. For the first time, researchers have now produced a wafer-thin ferrimagnet, in which molecules with different magnetic centers arrange themselves on a gold surface to form a checkerboard pattern. Scientists at the Swiss Nanoscience Institute at the University of Basel and the Paul Scherrer Institute published their findings in the journal Nature Communications.
Ferrimagnets are composed of two centers which are magnetized at different strengths and point in opposing directions. Two-dimensional, quasi-flat ferrimagnets...
24.05.2017 | Event News
23.05.2017 | Event News
22.05.2017 | Event News
29.05.2017 | Earth Sciences
29.05.2017 | Life Sciences
29.05.2017 | Physics and Astronomy