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Engineers tune a nanoscale grating structure to trap and release a variety of light waves
Date:2/17/2009

er a wide spectrum."

Most of the initial work on this project has been theoretical, using mathematical equations and computer simulation. Bartoli's group has now moved to the next stage, which includes fabricating and characterizing the structures.

"It will be challenging," Gan says, "to achieve a grade of grating depths which range from very shallow to as much as 50 nanometers on a 200-nm substrate. To do this, we are using the focused ion beam milling facilities in the materials science and engineering department. We have already fabricated many structures and will now try to characterize the graded gratings with near-field scanning optical microscopy in Prof. Volkmar Dierolf's lab in the physics department.

"We are pursuing promising applications based on these structures. These include biosensing and bioimaging."

An article in the Feb. 14 issue of the British journal New Scientist said the results obtained by Bartoli's team "suggest that one day we might be able to slow down light long enough to store it as a 'rainbow' or colors an advance that would revolutionize computing and telecommunication networks."

Light is stored for a few pico-seconds in the grating structure, the New Scientist article notes. But this, according to physicist Ortwin Hess of the University of Surrey in the United Kingdom, "is quite significant for many applications."


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Contact: Kurt Pfitzer
kap4@lehigh.edu
610-758-3017
Lehigh University
Source:Eurekalert

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