Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Gold ‘necklaces’ add sparkle to information processing

19.05.2015

Researchers realize highly confined transport of light energy over long distances using networks of gold nanoparticles

A way to transport highly confined light energy over long distances using extended networks of partially fused gold nanoparticles has been demonstrated by an international team of researchers [1]. This demonstration raises the possibility of new options for information processing by realizing extremely miniaturized light guidance and may lead to advances in sensors and telecommunication systems.


A 750-nanometer-long network of gold nanoparticles (yellow). The colors around the network show where different colors of light are localized. © 2015 A*STAR Institute of Materials Research and Engineering

“Our approach has all the versatility that chemistry involving colloids offers and could be used to fabricate miniaturized optical networks,” explains Michel Bosman of the A*STAR Institute of Materials Research and Engineering in Singapore.

Light travels rapidly, making it a highly attractive medium for transmitting information. Currently, optical fibers are used to transport optical signals over long distances, but they are unsuitable on small scales as their dimensions cannot be shrunk much below the wavelength of light. One promising approach is to use light-induced oscillations of electrons (known as surface plasmons) on nanoparticles, but until now it had not been possible to couple plasmons between large numbers of touching nanoparticles.

Bosman, together with collaborators at CEMES in France and at Bristol in the United Kingdom, devised a way to propagate surface plasmons over long chains of gold nanoparticles. This allowed them to miniaturize the transport of highly confined light over distances that are long enough to be useful for optical circuits.

The researchers synthesized gold nanoparticles that were 12 nanometers in diameter and self-assembled them into networks by adding the compound mercaptoethanol. They then ‘welded’ the nanoparticles together by irradiating them with a high-energy electron beam.

The team investigated the light propagation properties of the networks using a technique known as electron energy-loss spectroscopy. These measurements demonstrated that the networks form pathways along which light energy can travel as surface plasmons (see image).

The results were much clearer than the researchers expected. “We were surprised to see that the surface plasmons were not weakened much by the grain boundaries that exist between neighboring nanoparticles,” says Bosman. “Our networks contain hundreds of grain boundaries, and yet the surface plasmons would oscillate across them mostly unhindered.”

In the future, the team hopes to produce designer networks using their nanoparticles. “Currently, we cannot control the design of our nanoparticle networks in detail,” says Bosman. “We intend to combine our technique with lithography to gain full control over their length and shape and form designed optical networks made with colloidal nanoparticles as building blocks.”

The A*STAR-affiliated researchers contributing to this research are from the Institute of Materials Research and Engineering

Reference

[1] Teulle, A., Bosman, M., Girard, C., Gurunatha, K. L., Li, M., Mann, S. & Dujardin, E. Multimodal plasmonics in fused colloidal networks. Nature Materials 14, 87–94 (2015).


Associated links
A*STAR Research article

A*STAR Research | ResearchSEA
Further information:
http://www.researchsea.com

More articles from Information Technology:

nachricht Cloud technology: Dynamic certificates make cloud service providers more secure
15.01.2018 | Technische Universität München

nachricht New discovery could improve brain-like memory and computing
10.01.2018 | University of Minnesota

All articles from Information Technology >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Artificial agent designs quantum experiments

On the way to an intelligent laboratory, physicists from Innsbruck and Vienna present an artificial agent that autonomously designs quantum experiments. In initial experiments, the system has independently (re)discovered experimental techniques that are nowadays standard in modern quantum optical laboratories. This shows how machines could play a more creative role in research in the future.

We carry smartphones in our pockets, the streets are dotted with semi-autonomous cars, but in the research laboratory experiments are still being designed by...

Im Focus: Scientists decipher key principle behind reaction of metalloenzymes

So-called pre-distorted states accelerate photochemical reactions too

What enables electrons to be transferred swiftly, for example during photosynthesis? An interdisciplinary team of researchers has worked out the details of how...

Im Focus: The first precise measurement of a single molecule's effective charge

For the first time, scientists have precisely measured the effective electrical charge of a single molecule in solution. This fundamental insight of an SNSF Professor could also pave the way for future medical diagnostics.

Electrical charge is one of the key properties that allows molecules to interact. Life itself depends on this phenomenon: many biological processes involve...

Im Focus: Paradigm shift in Paris: Encouraging an holistic view of laser machining

At the JEC World Composite Show in Paris in March 2018, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be focusing on the latest trends and innovations in laser machining of composites. Among other things, researchers at the booth shared with the Aachen Center for Integrative Lightweight Production (AZL) will demonstrate how lasers can be used for joining, structuring, cutting and drilling composite materials.

No other industry has attracted as much public attention to composite materials as the automotive industry, which along with the aerospace industry is a driver...

Im Focus: Room-temperature multiferroic thin films and their properties

Scientists at Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech) and Tohoku University have developed high-quality GFO epitaxial films and systematically investigated their ferroelectric and ferromagnetic properties. They also demonstrated the room-temperature magnetocapacitance effects of these GFO thin films.

Multiferroic materials show magnetically driven ferroelectricity. They are attracting increasing attention because of their fascinating properties such as...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

10th International Symposium: “Advanced Battery Power – Kraftwerk Batterie” Münster, 10-11 April 2018

08.01.2018 | Event News

See, understand and experience the work of the future

11.12.2017 | Event News

Innovative strategies to tackle parasitic worms

08.12.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Let the good tubes roll

19.01.2018 | Materials Sciences

How cancer metastasis happens: Researchers reveal a key mechanism

19.01.2018 | Health and Medicine

Meteoritic stardust unlocks timing of supernova dust formation

19.01.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>