Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Photonics: Plasmonics on the grid

09.06.2011
Periodic structures in organic light-emitters can efficiently enhance and replenish surface plasmon waves

The irradiation of a metal surface with light or electrons can result in the formation of coherent electronic oscillations called surface plasmons, an effect ideal for applications such as optical communications on optoelectronic chips.

Unfortunately, however, surface plasmons quickly lose their energy during transit, limiting their on-chip propagation distance. Jing Hua Teng at the A*STAR Institute of Materials Research and Engineering and co-workers from Nankai University and Nanyang Technological University under the Singapore-China Joint Research Program have now developed nanoscale structures that are able to replenish as well as guide surface plasmons on chips[1]. “These structures can be used as plasmonic sources for lab-on-a-chip applications,” says Teng.

At the resonance frequency, surface plasmons can generate intense light fields close to the surface, especially in metallic nanostructures. For this reason, surface plasmons have been widely studied for a variety of sensing and light-focusing applications. However, the electrical resistance of metals inevitably causes losses in the movements of the electronic currents involved in surface plasmons. It is therefore important to develop schemes that are able to regenerate surface plasmons as they travel along the surface of a chip.

One possibility is the use of organic light-emitting molecules such as rhodamine B. The researchers embedded molecules of rhodamine B in a polymer matrix that was then poured onto the surface of a silver film. To couple the light emission from rhodamine B to the surface plasmons, the polymer layer was structured into a periodic grating (pictured) matched to the resonance frequency of the plasmons. Adjusting the shape and periodicity of the grating allows the light emitted from the surface plasmons to be tailored.

Similar gratings are also used as mirrors in conventional on-chip semiconductor lasers. This structural similarity raises the possibility of combining the plasmonic effects demonstrated here with existing laser designs—an approach that could well lead to the realization of a plasmonic laser.

The advantage of a plasmonic laser over a semiconductor laser is that it can be made much smaller, which is important for the miniaturization of photonic circuits and on-chip sensing applications. “However, such lasers are difficult to fabricate,” says Teng. “A number of challenges remain, including how to sufficiently confine the surface plasmons between the mirrors in this kind of configuration and how to reduce the metal damping losses.”

Whether for applications in sensing or the on-chip manipulation of light, the potential of these gratings for replenishing plasmons represents an important step toward making plasmonics the key technology for photonic applications in nanoscience.

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

Journal information

[1] Zhang, D. G., Yuan, X. C. & Teng, J. H. Surface plasmon-coupled emission on metallic film coated with dye-doped polymer nanogratings. Applied Physics Letters 97, 231117 (2010).

Lee Swee Heng | Research asia research news
Further information:
http://www.research.a-star.edu.sg/research/6334
http://www.researchsea.com

More articles from Physics and Astronomy:

nachricht Ultra-compact phase modulators based on graphene plasmons
27.06.2017 | ICFO-The Institute of Photonic Sciences

nachricht Smooth propagation of spin waves using gold
26.06.2017 | Toyohashi University of Technology

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: 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

Ultra-compact phase modulators based on graphene plasmons

27.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

For a chimpanzee, one good turn deserves another

27.06.2017 | Life Sciences

Collapse of the European ice sheet caused chaos

27.06.2017 | Earth Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>