Navigation Links
'Metasurfaces' to usher in new optical technologies
Date:3/14/2013

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. New optical technologies using "metasurfaces" capable of the ultra-efficient control of light are nearing commercialization, with potential applications including advanced solar cells, computers, telecommunications, sensors and microscopes.

The metasurfaces could make possible "planar photonics" devices and optical switches small enough to be integrated into computer chips for information processing and telecommunications, said Alexader Kildishev, associate research professor of electrical and computer engineering at Purdue University.

"I think we know enough at this point that we can realistically start to develop prototypes of devices for some applications," he said.

The promise of metasurfaces is described in an article appearing Friday (March 15) in the journal Science. The article was co-authored by Kildishev; Alexandra Boltasseva, an assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering; and Vladimir M. Shalaev, scientific director of nanophotonics at Purdue's Birck Nanotechnology Center and a distinguished professor of electrical and computer engineering.

The metasurfaces are extremely thin films of "metamaterials," assemblies that contain features, patterns or elements such as tiny antennas or alternating layers of oxides that enable an unprecedented control of light. Under development for about 15 years, the metamaterials owe their unusual potential to precision design on the scale of nanometers.

Optical nanophotonic circuits might harness clouds of electrons called "surface plasmons" to manipulate and control the routing of light in devices too tiny for conventional lasers.

The metasurfaces are typically created using electron-beam lithography or focused ion beam milling and may also be made of materials that are compatible with existing semiconductor manufacturing and industrial processes.

"That is one of the attractive features of metasurfaces," Kildishev said. "If we use certain types of plasmonic material, they can be integrated into existing semiconductor processes, which makes them practical for commercialization."

Plasmonic metamaterials are promising for various advances, including a possible "hyperlens" that could make optical microscopes 10 times more powerful; advanced chemical sensors; new types of light-harvesting systems for more efficient solar cells; computers and consumer electronics that use light instead of electronic signals to process information; and a cloak of invisibility.

The metasurfaces can be combined with thin sheets of carbon called graphene.

"If you apply voltage the optical properties of graphene change, and if you couple a graphene layer with a metasurface, these properties then change dramatically," Kildishev said.

Metasurfaces could make it possible to use single photons the tiny particles that make up light for switching and routing in future computers. While using photons would dramatically speed up computers and telecommunications, conventional photonic devices cannot be miniaturized because the wavelength of light is too large to fit in tiny components needed for integrated circuits.

Nanostructured metamaterials, however, could make it possible to reduce the size of photons and the wavelength of light, allowing the creation of new types of nanophotonic devices, Shalaev said.

Some of the new materials may have applications involving near-infrared light, the range of the spectrum critical for telecommunications and fiberoptics.

Other materials also might work for light in the visible range of the spectrum.

Unlike natural materials, metamaterials may possess an index of refraction less than one or less than zero. Refraction occurs as electromagnetic waves, including light, bend when passing from one material into another. It causes the bent-stick-in-water effect, which occurs when a stick placed in a glass of water appears crooked when viewed from the outside. Being able to create materials with an index of refraction that's negative or between one and zero promises a range of potential breakthroughs in a new field called transformation optics.

Development of new technologies using metamaterials has been hindered by two major limitations: too much light is "lost," or absorbed by metals such as silver and gold contained in the metamaterials, and the materials need to be more precisely tuned so that they possess the proper index of refraction.

Ultrathin metasurfaces made of novel low-loss plasmonic material components is a promising way to address this challenge. Researchers are working to replace silver and gold in materials that are created either by making semiconductors more metallic by adding metal impurities to them; or adding non-metallic elements to metals, in effect making them less metallic. Examples of these materials include transparent conducting oxides and titanium nitride, Boltasseva said.


'/>"/>

Contact: Emil Venere
venere@purdue.edu
765-494-4709
Purdue University
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology technology :

1. Bayer CropScience and MS Technologies’ Balance GT Soybean to Usher in Next Era of Performance and Weed Control
2. New spectroscopy method could lead to better optical devices
3. Optical Imaging Market Worth $1.9 Billion by 2018
4. Light-emitting triangles may have applications in optical technology
5. NISTs nanotubes on a chip may simplify optical power measurements
6. Optical microscopes lend a hand to graphene research
7. Physicists skirt thermal vibration, transfer optical signal via mechanical oscillator
8. C8 MediSensors Gains CE Mark Approval for the C8 MediSensors Optical Glucose Monitor(TM) System for People with Diabetes
9. Penn researchers make first all-optical nanowire switch
10. First 3-D nanoscale optical cavities from metamaterials
11. Optical Coatings: Technologies and Global Markets
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
'Metasurfaces' to usher in new optical technologies
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... AMRI, a global contract research, ... improve patient outcomes and quality of life, will now be offering its impurity ... to new regulatory requirements for all new drug products, including the finalization of ...
(Date:10/11/2017)... LINDA, CA (PRWEB) , ... October 11, 2017 ... ... to upregulate any gene in its endogenous context, enabling overexpression experiments and avoiding ... (CRISPRa) system with small RNA guides is transformative for performing systematic gain-of-function studies. ...
(Date:10/11/2017)... ... October 11, 2017 , ... Proscia Inc ... hosting a Webinar titled, “Pathology is going digital. Is your lab ready?” with ... adoption best practices and how Proscia improves lab economics and realizes an increase ...
(Date:10/11/2017)... ... October 11, 2017 , ... Disappearing forests and increased emissions are the ... million people each year. Especially those living in larger cities are affected by air ... one of the most pollution-affected countries globally - decided to take action. , “I ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
(Date:8/23/2017)... -- The general public,s help is being enlisted in what,s thought to be ... on the human body –and are believed to affect health.  ... The Microbiome Immunity Project is the largest study ... gut. The project's goal is to help advance scientific knowledge of the ... ...
(Date:6/30/2017)... Today, American Trucking Associations announced Seeing ... and eye tracking software, became the newest member ... "Artificial intelligence and advanced sensing algorithms ... driver,s attentiveness levels while on the road.  Drivers ... fatigue and prevent potential accidents, which could lead ...
(Date:5/23/2017)...  Hunova, the first robotic gym for the rehabilitation and functional motor ... Genoa, Italy . The first 30 robots will be ... USA . The technology was developed and patented at the ... spin-off Movendo Technology thanks to a 10 million euro investment from entrepreneur ... ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):