Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Gold ’glitters’ in new ways at the nanoscale

06.01.2006


Researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Argonne National Laboratory have found that gold "shines" in a different way at the nanoscale, and the insights may lead to new optical chips for computers or for switches and routers in fiber networks.



The nanoscale refers to a size one-billionth of a meter, or about 70,000 times smaller than the width of a human hair. Materials that small exhibit entirely different properties from conventional materials. Specifically, temperature, electricity and magnetism are completely different from that of conventional materials, and could form the basis of new technologies.

The Argonne researchers examined the characteristics of photoluminescence – the emission of light when electrons are stimulated -- in gold nanorods, and found that they could control the wavelength of the light emitted by the material, making it possible to use as a light source inside an optical chip, allowing transmission of information through light. "The light emitted is dependent on the shape of the gold nanorods," said Gary Wiederrecht, Argonne scientist and leader of the research team.


The gold nanorods are about 20 nanometers wide and range from 70 to 300 nanometers long. The rod-like shape of the material is important, Wiederrecht explained, because the rod shape determines the energy of the collective electronic excitations that radiate light. Thus, photoluminescence at different wavelengths is achieved in nanorods of differing lengths. The rod shape also produces enhanced absorption of the illumination, increasing the light intensity and also concentrating that intensity to levels high enough to create luminescence. "The rods have strong absorption characteristics in the near-infrared range," Wiederrecht said. The experimenters used an ultrafast titanium-sapphire laser beam at 800 nanometers to create the photoluminescence.

The research is published in the Dec. 31, 2005, issue of Physical Review Letters.

While the research has future implications for technological advances, Wiederrecht is quick to explain that his group has done basic research -- an examination of the material for a fundamental understanding of its characteristics. The longer-term implications of the work include the ability to produce nanoscale light sources for faster and smaller optical devices and novel photoluminescent sensors.

"Because materials at the nanoscale behave so differently from conventional materials, we’re starting all over again, in a way, to understand how and why these nanomaterials function," Wiederrecht said.

Other members of the research team are lead author Alexandre Bouhelier of Argonne’s Chemistry Division and the Center for Nanoscale Materials and Renaud Bachelot, Gilles Lerondel , Sergei Kostcheev and Pascal Royer, all of the Laboratoire de Nanotechnologie et d’Instrumentation Optique in Troyes, France.

The nation’s first national laboratory, Argonne National Laboratory conducts basic and applied scientific research across a wide spectrum of disciplines, ranging from high-energy physics to climatology and biotechnology. Since 1990, Argonne has worked with more than 600 companies and numerous federal agencies and other organizations to help advance America’s scientific leadership and prepare the nation for the future. Argonne is managed by the University of Chicago for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science.

For more information, please contact Catherine Foster (630/252-5580 or cfoster@anl.gov) at Argonne.

Catherine Foster | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.anl.gov

More articles from Physics and Astronomy:

nachricht APEX takes a glimpse into the heart of darkness
25.05.2018 | Max-Planck-Institut für Radioastronomie

nachricht First chip-scale broadband optical system that can sense molecules in the mid-IR
24.05.2018 | Columbia University School of Engineering and Applied Science

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: Powerful IT security for the car of the future – research alliance develops new approaches

The more electronics steer, accelerate and brake cars, the more important it is to protect them against cyber-attacks. That is why 15 partners from industry and academia will work together over the next three years on new approaches to IT security in self-driving cars. The joint project goes by the name Security For Connected, Autonomous Cars (SecForCARs) and has funding of €7.2 million from the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research. Infineon is leading the project.

Vehicles already offer diverse communication interfaces and more and more automated functions, such as distance and lane-keeping assist systems. At the same...

Im Focus: Molecular switch will facilitate the development of pioneering electro-optical devices

A research team led by physicists at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) has developed molecular nanoswitches that can be toggled between two structurally different states using an applied voltage. They can serve as the basis for a pioneering class of devices that could replace silicon-based components with organic molecules.

The development of new electronic technologies drives the incessant reduction of functional component sizes. In the context of an international collaborative...

Im Focus: LZH showcases laser material processing of tomorrow at the LASYS 2018

At the LASYS 2018, from June 5th to 7th, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) will be showcasing processes for the laser material processing of tomorrow in hall 4 at stand 4E75. With blown bomb shells the LZH will present first results of a research project on civil security.

At this year's LASYS, the LZH will exhibit light-based processes such as cutting, welding, ablation and structuring as well as additive manufacturing for...

Im Focus: Self-illuminating pixels for a new display generation

There are videos on the internet that can make one marvel at technology. For example, a smartphone is casually bent around the arm or a thin-film display is rolled in all directions and with almost every diameter. From the user's point of view, this looks fantastic. From a professional point of view, however, the question arises: Is that already possible?

At Display Week 2018, scientists from the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Polymer Research IAP will be demonstrating today’s technological possibilities and...

Im Focus: Explanation for puzzling quantum oscillations has been found

So-called quantum many-body scars allow quantum systems to stay out of equilibrium much longer, explaining experiment | Study published in Nature Physics

Recently, researchers from Harvard and MIT succeeded in trapping a record 53 atoms and individually controlling their quantum state, realizing what is called a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

In focus: Climate adapted plants

25.05.2018 | Event News

Save the date: Forum European Neuroscience – 07-11 July 2018 in Berlin, Germany

02.05.2018 | Event News

Invitation to the upcoming "Current Topics in Bioinformatics: Big Data in Genomics and Medicine"

13.04.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

In focus: Climate adapted plants

25.05.2018 | Event News

Flow probes from the 3D printer

25.05.2018 | Machine Engineering

Less is more? Gene switch for healthy aging found

25.05.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>