Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Rice researchers gain new insight into nanoscale optics

15.09.2005


Findings may lead to advances in on-chip data transmission



New research from Rice University has demonstrated an important analogy between electronics and optics that will enable light waves to be coupled efficiently to nanoscale structures and devices.

The research is available online from the journal Nano Letters and will appear in an upcoming print edition.


"We’ve discovered a universal relationship between the behavior of light and electrons," said study co-author Peter Nordlander, professor of physics and astronomy and of electrical and computer engineering. "We believe the relationship can be exploited to create nanoscale antennae that convert light into broadband electrical signals capable of carrying approximately 1 million times more data than existing interconnects."

Both light and electrons share similar properties, at times behaving like waves, at other times like particles. Many interesting solid-state phenomena, such as the scattering of atoms off surfaces and the behavior of quantum devices, can be understood as wavelike electrons interacting with discrete, localized electrons. Now, Rice researchers have discovered and demonstrated a simple geometry where light behaves exactly as electrons do in these systems.

In recent years there has been intense interest in developing ways to guide and manipulate light at dimensions much smaller than optical wavelengths. Metals like gold and silver have ideal properties to accomplish this task. Special types of light-like waves, called plasmons, can be transmitted along the surfaces of metals in much the same way as light in conventional optical fibers.

When small metallic nanoparticles are positioned on the metal film, they behave like tiny antennae that can transmit or receive light; it is this behavior that has been found to mimic that of electrons. Until now, the coupling of light waves into extended nanoscale structures has been poorly understood.

Nordlander’s research was conducted under the auspices of Rice’s Laboratory for Nanophotonics (LANP), a multidisciplinary group that studies the interactions of light with nanoscale particles and structures. The study was co-authored by LANP Director Naomi Halas, the Stanley C. Moore Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering and professor of chemistry.The findings stem from a relatively new area of research called plasmonics, which is a major LANP research thrust.

In the latest research, Halas’ graduate student Nyein Lwin placed a tiny sphere of gold -- measuring about 50 nanometers in diameter, within just a few nanometers of a thin gold film. When a light excited a plasmon in the nanosphere, this plasmon was converted into a plasmon wave on the film, for certain specific film thicknesses.

The experiments confirmed theoretical work by Nordlander’s graduate student Fei Le, who showed that the interactions between thin-film surface plasmons and the plasmons of nearby nanoparticles were equivalent to the "standard impurity problem," a well-characterized phenomenon that condensed matter physicists have studied for more than four decades.

Other co-authors on the paper include Halas’s graduate student Jennifer Steele, now a Professor at Trinity University, and former Texas Instruments Visiting Professor Mikael Käll of Chalmers University of Technology in Gothenburg, Sweden.

Jade Boyd | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.rice.edu

More articles from Physics and Astronomy:

nachricht NASA detects solar flare pulses at Sun and Earth
17.11.2017 | NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center

nachricht Pluto's hydrocarbon haze keeps dwarf planet colder than expected
16.11.2017 | University of California - Santa Cruz

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: A “cosmic snake” reveals the structure of remote galaxies

The formation of stars in distant galaxies is still largely unexplored. For the first time, astron-omers at the University of Geneva have now been able to closely observe a star system six billion light-years away. In doing so, they are confirming earlier simulations made by the University of Zurich. One special effect is made possible by the multiple reflections of images that run through the cosmos like a snake.

Today, astronomers have a pretty accurate idea of how stars were formed in the recent cosmic past. But do these laws also apply to older galaxies? For around a...

Im Focus: Visual intelligence is not the same as IQ

Just because someone is smart and well-motivated doesn't mean he or she can learn the visual skills needed to excel at tasks like matching fingerprints, interpreting medical X-rays, keeping track of aircraft on radar displays or forensic face matching.

That is the implication of a new study which shows for the first time that there is a broad range of differences in people's visual ability and that these...

Im Focus: Novel Nano-CT device creates high-resolution 3D-X-rays of tiny velvet worm legs

Computer Tomography (CT) is a standard procedure in hospitals, but so far, the technology has not been suitable for imaging extremely small objects. In PNAS, a team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) describes a Nano-CT device that creates three-dimensional x-ray images at resolutions up to 100 nanometers. The first test application: Together with colleagues from the University of Kassel and Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht the researchers analyzed the locomotory system of a velvet worm.

During a CT analysis, the object under investigation is x-rayed and a detector measures the respective amount of radiation absorbed from various angles....

Im Focus: Researchers Develop Data Bus for Quantum Computer

The quantum world is fragile; error correction codes are needed to protect the information stored in a quantum object from the deteriorating effects of noise. Quantum physicists in Innsbruck have developed a protocol to pass quantum information between differently encoded building blocks of a future quantum computer, such as processors and memories. Scientists may use this protocol in the future to build a data bus for quantum computers. The researchers have published their work in the journal Nature Communications.

Future quantum computers will be able to solve problems where conventional computers fail today. We are still far away from any large-scale implementation,...

Im Focus: Wrinkles give heat a jolt in pillared graphene

Rice University researchers test 3-D carbon nanostructures' thermal transport abilities

Pillared graphene would transfer heat better if the theoretical material had a few asymmetric junctions that caused wrinkles, according to Rice University...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Ecology Across Borders: International conference brings together 1,500 ecologists

15.11.2017 | Event News

Road into laboratory: Users discuss biaxial fatigue-testing for car and truck wheel

15.11.2017 | Event News

#Berlin5GWeek: The right network for Industry 4.0

30.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

NASA detects solar flare pulses at Sun and Earth

17.11.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

NIST scientists discover how to switch liver cancer cell growth from 2-D to 3-D structures

17.11.2017 | Health and Medicine

The importance of biodiversity in forests could increase due to climate change

17.11.2017 | Studies and Analyses

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>