Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Tiny light box opens new doors into the nanoworld

11.06.2019

Researchers at Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden, have discovered a completely new way of capturing, amplifying and linking light to matter at the nanolevel. Using a tiny box, built from stacked atomically thin material, they have succeeded in creating a type of feedback loop in which light and matter become one. The discovery, which was recently published in Nature Nanotechnology, opens up new possibilities in the world of nanophotonics.

Photonics is concerned with various means of using light. Fibre-optic communication is an example of photonics, as is the technology behind photodetectors and solar cells. When the photonic components are so small that they are measured in nanometres, this is called nanophotonics.


Using a box built from stacked atomically thin layers of the material tungsten disulphide (see the atomic model), Chalmers researchers have succeeded in creating a type of feedback loop in which light and matter become one. This new concept involves two distinct processes being housed in the same nanodisk. The box has a diameter of only 100 nanometres (0.00001 centimetres) and opens the way to new fundamental research and more compact solutions in nanophotonics.

Credit: Denis Baranov/Yen Strandqvist/Chalmers University of Technology

In order to push the boundaries of what is possible in this tiny format, progress in fundamental research is crucial. The innovative 'light box' of the Chalmers researchers makes the alternations between light and matter take place so rapidly that it is no longer possible to distinguish between the two states. Light and matter become one.

"We have created a hybrid consisting of equal parts of light and matter. The concept opens completely new doors in both fundamental research and applied nanophotonics and there is a great deal of scientific interest in this," says Ruggero Verre, a researcher in the Department of Physics at Chalmers and one of the authors of the scientific article.

The discovery came about when Verre and his departmental colleagues Timur Shegai, Denis Baranov, Battulga Munkhbat and Mikael Käll combined two different concepts in an innovative way. Mikael Käll's research team is working on what are known as nanoantennas, which can capture and amplify light in the most efficient way.

Timur Shegai's team is conducting research into a certain type of atomically thin two-dimensional material known as TMDC material, which resembles graphene. It was by combining the antenna concept with stacked two-dimensional material that the new possibilities were created.

The researchers used a well-known TMDC material - tungsten disulphide - but in a new way. By creating a tiny resonance box - much like the sound box on a guitar - they were able to make the light and matter interact inside it. The resonance box ensures that the light is captured and bounces round in a certain 'tone' inside the material, thus ensuring that the light energy can be efficiently transferred to the electrons of the TMDC material and back again.

It could be said that the light energy oscillates between the two states - light waves and matter - while it is captured and amplified inside the box. The researchers have succeeded in combining light and matter extremely efficiently in a single particle with a diameter of only 100 nanometres, or 0.00001 centimetres.

This all-in-one solution is an unexpected advance in fundamental research, but can hopefully also contribute to more compact and cost-effective solutions in applied photonics.

"We have succeeded in demonstrating that stacked atomically thin materials can be nanostructured into tiny optical resonators, which is of great interest for photonics applications. Since this is a new way of using the material, we are calling this 'TMDC nanophotonics'. I am certain that this research field has a bright future," says Timur Shegai, Associate Professor in the Department of Physics at Chalmers and one of the authors of the article.

###

Read the scientific article Transition metal dichalcogenide nanodisks as high-index dielectric Mie nanoresonators in Nature Nanotechnology

For more information, contact:

Ruggero Verre, Researcher, Department of Physics, Chalmers University of Technology, +46 31 772 80 39, ruggero.verre@chalmers.se

Timur Shegai, Associate Professor, Department of Physics, Chalmers University of Technology, +46 31 772 31 23, timurs@chalmers.se

Mikael Käll, Professor and Head of the Division of Bionanophotonics, Department of Physics, Chalmers University of Technology, +46 31 772 31 39, mikael.kall@chalmers.se

Media Contact

Joshua Worth
joshua.worth@chalmers.se
46-317-726-379

 @chalmersuniv

http://www.chalmers.se/en/ 

Joshua Worth | EurekAlert!
Further information:
https://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/physics/news/Pages/Light-box-that-opens-new-doors-into-the-nanoworld.aspx
http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41565-019-0442-x

All articles from Materials Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: MPSD team discovers light-induced ferroelectricity in strontium titanate

Light can be used not only to measure materials’ properties, but also to change them. Especially interesting are those cases in which the function of a material can be modified, such as its ability to conduct electricity or to store information in its magnetic state. A team led by Andrea Cavalleri from the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter in Hamburg used terahertz frequency light pulses to transform a non-ferroelectric material into a ferroelectric one.

Ferroelectricity is a state in which the constituent lattice “looks” in one specific direction, forming a macroscopic electrical polarisation. The ability to...

Im Focus: Determining the Earth’s gravity field more accurately than ever before

Researchers at TU Graz calculate the most accurate gravity field determination of the Earth using 1.16 billion satellite measurements. This yields valuable knowledge for climate research.

The Earth’s gravity fluctuates from place to place. Geodesists use this phenomenon to observe geodynamic and climatological processes. Using...

Im Focus: Tube anemone has the largest animal mitochondrial genome ever sequenced

Discovery by Brazilian and US researchers could change the classification of two species, which appear more akin to jellyfish than was thought.

The tube anemone Isarachnanthus nocturnus is only 15 cm long but has the largest mitochondrial genome of any animal sequenced to date, with 80,923 base pairs....

Im Focus: Tiny light box opens new doors into the nanoworld

Researchers at Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden, have discovered a completely new way of capturing, amplifying and linking light to matter at the nanolevel. Using a tiny box, built from stacked atomically thin material, they have succeeded in creating a type of feedback loop in which light and matter become one. The discovery, which was recently published in Nature Nanotechnology, opens up new possibilities in the world of nanophotonics.

Photonics is concerned with various means of using light. Fibre-optic communication is an example of photonics, as is the technology behind photodetectors and...

Im Focus: Cost-effective and individualized advanced electronic packaging in small batches now available

Fraunhofer IZM is joining the EUROPRACTICE IC Service platform. Together, the partners are making fan-out wafer level packaging (FOWLP) for electronic devices available and affordable even in small batches – and thus of interest to research institutes, universities, and SMEs. Costs can be significantly reduced by up to ten customers implementing individual fan-out wafer level packaging for their ICs or other components on a multi-project wafer. The target group includes any organization that does not produce in large quantities, but requires prototypes.

Research always means trying things out and daring to do new things. Research institutes, universities, and SMEs do not produce in large batches, but rather...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

SEMANTiCS 2019 brings together industry leaders and data scientists in Karlsruhe

29.04.2019 | Event News

Revered mathematicians and computer scientists converge with 200 young researchers in Heidelberg!

17.04.2019 | Event News

First dust conference in the Central Asian part of the earth’s dust belt

15.04.2019 | Event News

 
Latest News

Concert of magnetic moments

14.06.2019 | Information Technology

Materials informatics reveals new class of super-hard alloys

14.06.2019 | Materials Sciences

New imaging modality targets cholesterol in arterial plaque

14.06.2019 | Medical Engineering

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>