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 SF State astronomer searches for signs of life on Wolf 1061 exoplanet
20.01.2017 | San Francisco State University

nachricht Molecule flash mob
19.01.2017 | Technische Universität Wien

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: Traffic jam in empty space

New success for Konstanz physicists in studying the quantum vacuum

An important step towards a completely new experimental access to quantum physics has been made at University of Konstanz. The team of scientists headed by...

Im Focus: How gut bacteria can make us ill

HZI researchers decipher infection mechanisms of Yersinia and immune responses of the host

Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...

Im Focus: Interfacial Superconductivity: Magnetic and superconducting order revealed simultaneously

Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.

While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...

Im Focus: Studying fundamental particles in materials

Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales

Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...

Im Focus: Designing Architecture with Solar Building Envelopes

Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.

As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Sustainable Water use in Agriculture in Eastern Europe and Central Asia

19.01.2017 | Event News

12V, 48V, high-voltage – trends in E/E automotive architecture

10.01.2017 | Event News

2nd Conference on Non-Textual Information on 10 and 11 May 2017 in Hannover

09.01.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Helmholtz International Fellow Award for Sarah Amalia Teichmann

20.01.2017 | Awards Funding

An innovative high-performance material: biofibers made from green lacewing silk

20.01.2017 | Materials Sciences

Ion treatments for cardiac arrhythmia — Non-invasive alternative to catheter-based surgery

20.01.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>