Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Nano-optics: Light moves in the right direction

12.09.2013
An experimental demonstration of light scattering controlled by silicon nanoparticles augurs well for the development of integrated optical circuits

Optical fibers are now delivering ultrafast internet connections to homes across the world. By replacing electronics-based technologies with architectures that process pulses of light, a similar leap in speed might also be possible for other forms of information handling.


Researchers can make a single silicon nanoparticle forward- or backward-scatter different colors of light, as shown in the direction denoted by ‘K’.

Copyright : 2013 A*STAR Data Storage Institute

To realize this potential, scientists must first develop novel devices that are capable of controlling the flow of light at the nanometer scale.

Such a device may now be within reach. Yuan Hsing Fu at the A*STAR Data Storage Institute and co]workers have demonstrated a unique optical effect in nanoparticles that allows them to control the direction in which visible light scatters1.

Miniaturization is key to the success of modern-day electronics: complicated circuitry must be made to fit into portable devices. Likewise, the hardware for processing optical signals must also be miniaturized. In this field, known as photonics, the design of optical components requires an entirely new approach.

The effect demonstrated by Fu and co-workers reveals how nanoparticles can be used to scatter light controllably in the visible spectral range. The researchers first designed a method to measure the scattering, and then fired light at tiny spheres of silicon. When the beam hit a sphere, some scattered backward and some scattered forward. The researchers also showed that it is possible to control the ratio of movement in the two directions by changing the diameter of the nanosphere.

Using silicon spheres with diameters of between 100 and 200 nanometers, the team observed that the amount of forward-scattered light varied from being roughly equal to the amount that was backward-scattered to being six times more intense. They also found that the effect could split the light according to wavelength: for example, nanoparticles of a particular size that backscattered predominantly green light also forward scattered mainly yellow radiation (see image).

The researchers chose silicon over the more conventional choice of a metal such as gold because it reduces energy loss and can influence both the electric and magnetic components of light. The epreferentialf scattering of radiation arises because of the mutual interaction between the electric and magnetic resonances of the nanosphere.

This effect is analogous to that of a radio-frequency antenna. gThe experimental proof of such relatively simple nano-optical systems with both an electric and magnetic response in the optical spectral range could pave the way to scaling the optical nano-antenna concept down to a single nanoparticle,h says Fu. Optical nanoscale antennas could be useful for improving solar cells and might form a crucial building block for integrated optical circuits.

The A*STAR-affiliated researchers contributing to this research are from the Data Storage Institute

References

Fu, Y. H., Kuznetsov, A. I., Miroshnichenko, A. E., Yu, Y. F. & Lukfyanchuk, B. Directional visible light scattering by silicon nanoparticles. Nature Communications 4, 1527 (2013)

A*STAR Research | Research asia research news
Further information:
http://www.research.a-star.edu.sg/research/6743
http://www.researchsea.com

All articles from Physics and Astronomy >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: LaserTAB: More efficient and precise contacts thanks to human-robot collaboration

At the productronica trade fair in Munich this November, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be presenting Laser-Based Tape-Automated Bonding, LaserTAB for short. The experts from Aachen will be demonstrating how new battery cells and power electronics can be micro-welded more efficiently and precisely than ever before thanks to new optics and robot support.

Fraunhofer ILT from Aachen relies on a clever combination of robotics and a laser scanner with new optics as well as process monitoring, which it has developed...

Im Focus: The pyrenoid is a carbon-fixing liquid droplet

Plants and algae use the enzyme Rubisco to fix carbon dioxide, removing it from the atmosphere and converting it into biomass. Algae have figured out a way to increase the efficiency of carbon fixation. They gather most of their Rubisco into a ball-shaped microcompartment called the pyrenoid, which they flood with a high local concentration of carbon dioxide. A team of scientists at Princeton University, the Carnegie Institution for Science, Stanford University and the Max Plank Institute of Biochemistry have unravelled the mysteries of how the pyrenoid is assembled. These insights can help to engineer crops that remove more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere while producing more food.

A warming planet

Im Focus: Highly precise wiring in the Cerebral Cortex

Our brains house extremely complex neuronal circuits, whose detailed structures are still largely unknown. This is especially true for the so-called cerebral cortex of mammals, where among other things vision, thoughts or spatial orientation are being computed. Here the rules by which nerve cells are connected to each other are only partly understood. A team of scientists around Moritz Helmstaedter at the Frankfiurt Max Planck Institute for Brain Research and Helene Schmidt (Humboldt University in Berlin) have now discovered a surprisingly precise nerve cell connectivity pattern in the part of the cerebral cortex that is responsible for orienting the individual animal or human in space.

The researchers report online in Nature (Schmidt et al., 2017. Axonal synapse sorting in medial entorhinal cortex, DOI: 10.1038/nature24005) that synapses in...

Im Focus: Tiny lasers from a gallery of whispers

New technique promises tunable laser devices

Whispering gallery mode (WGM) resonators are used to make tiny micro-lasers, sensors, switches, routers and other devices. These tiny structures rely on a...

Im Focus: Ultrafast snapshots of relaxing electrons in solids

Using ultrafast flashes of laser and x-ray radiation, scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (Garching, Germany) took snapshots of the briefest electron motion inside a solid material to date. The electron motion lasted only 750 billionths of the billionth of a second before it fainted, setting a new record of human capability to capture ultrafast processes inside solids!

When x-rays shine onto solid materials or large molecules, an electron is pushed away from its original place near the nucleus of the atom, leaving a hole...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

“Lasers in Composites Symposium” in Aachen – from Science to Application

19.09.2017 | Event News

I-ESA 2018 – Call for Papers

12.09.2017 | Event News

EMBO at Basel Life, a new conference on current and emerging life science research

06.09.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Fraunhofer ISE Pushes World Record for Multicrystalline Silicon Solar Cells to 22.3 Percent

25.09.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Usher syndrome: Gene therapy restores hearing and balance

25.09.2017 | Health and Medicine

An international team of physicists a coherent amplification effect in laser excited dielectrics

25.09.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>