Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors

Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button

Home > Press > 'Cornell dots' make the world's tiniest laser

Schematic (not to scale) of the modified Cornell dot used to create the world's smallest laser. The particle, 44 nanometers in diameter, consists of a silica shell surrounding a 14-nanometer gold core. Energy bouncing between dye molecules and a plasmon oscillation in electrons in the gold amplifies the light output.

Provided/Wiesner Lab, Cornell University
Schematic (not to scale) of the modified Cornell dot used to create the world's smallest laser. The particle, 44 nanometers in diameter, consists of a silica shell surrounding a 14-nanometer gold core. Energy bouncing between dye molecules and a plasmon oscillation in electrons in the gold amplifies the light output. Provided/Wiesner Lab, Cornell University

Abstract:
Researchers have modified nanoparticles known as "Cornell dots" to make the world's tiniest laser -- so small it could be incorporated into microchips to serve as a light source for photonic circuits. The device may also have applications for sensors, solar collectors and in biomedicine.

'Cornell dots' make the world's tiniest laser

Ithaca, NY | Posted on August 18th, 2009

The original Cornell dots, created by Ulrich Wiesner, the Spencer T. Olin Professor of Engineering at Cornell, consist of a core of dye molecules enclosed in a silica shell to create an unusually luminous particle. The new work by researchers at Norfolk (Virginia) State University (NSU), Purdue University and Cornell uses what Wiesner calls "hybrid Cornell dots," which have a gold core surrounded by a silica shell in which dye molecules are embedded.

The research is reported in the Aug. 16 online issue of the journal Nature and will appear in a coming print issue.

Using nanoparticles 44 nanometers (nm -- one billionth of a meter or about three atoms in a row) wide, the device is the smallest nanolaser reported to date, and the first operating in visible light wavelengths, the researchers said.

"This opens an interesting playground in terms of miniaturization," said Wiesner. "For the first time we have a building block a factor of 10 smaller than the wavelength of light."

An optical laser this small is impossible because a laser develops its power by bouncing light back and forth in a tuned cavity whose length must be at least half the wavelength of the light to be emitted. In the first tests of the new device, the light emitted had a wavelength of 531 nm, in the green portion of the visible spectrum.

In a conventional laser, molecules are excited by an outside source of energy, which may be light, electricity or a chemical reaction. Some molecules spontaneously release their energy as photons of light, which bounce back and forth between two reflectors, in turn triggering more molecules to emit photons.

In the new device, dye molecules in the nanoparticle are excited by a pumping laser. A few molecules spontaneously release their added energy to generate a plasmon -- a wave motion of free electrons at an optical frequency -- in the gold core. In the tiny space, the dye molecules and the gold core are coupled by electric fields, explains Purdue co-author Vladimir Shalaev.

Oscillations of the plasmon in turn trigger more dye molecules to release their energy, which further pumps up the plasmon, creating a "spaser" (surface plasmon amplification by stimulated emission of radiation). When the energy of the system reaches a threshold the electric field collapses, releasing its energy as a photon. The size of the core -- 14 nm in diameter -- is chosen to set up a resonance that reinforces a wave corresponding to the desired 531 nm light output.

Tests at NSU indicate that the lasing effect occurs within each Cornell dot and is not a phenomenon of a collection of the nanoparticles working together, making this unquestionably the world's smallest laser.

"Some people argue that the ability to produce a surface plasmon in this way will be even more useful," added NSU professor and lead author Mikhail Noginov. It has been suggested that plasmons could be used to send signals across a microchip at the speed of light -- much faster than electrons in wires -- but in less space than photonic circuits need.

The idea of a spaser was first proposed in 2003 by physicists Mark Stockman at Georgia State University and David Bergman at Tel Aviv University. The theory behind the new approach was developed by Evgenii Narimanov at Purdue.

The work is funded by the National Science Foundation, with additional funding from the U.S. Army Research Office.

####

About Cornell University
Cornell University is a private university located in Ithaca, New York, USA, that is a member of the Ivy League.

With consistent top 15 rankings, Cornell is largely considered one of the preeminent Universities in the world. Cornell counts more than 255,000 living alumni, 28 Rhodes Scholars and 40 Nobel laureates affiliated with the university as faculty or students. The student body consists of over 13,000 undergraduate and 6,000 graduate students from all fifty states and one hundred and twenty-two countries. Cornell produces more graduates that go on to become doctors than any other university in the USA. It also produces the largest number of graduates in the life sciences who continue for Ph.D. degrees, and is ranked fourth in the world in producing the largest number of graduates who go on to pursue Ph.D.s at American institutions. Research is a central element of the university's mission; in 2006 Cornell spent $649 million on research and development. In 2007, Cornell ranked fifth among universities in the U.S. in fund-raising, collecting $406.2 million in private support.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
Media Contact:
Blaine Friedlander
(607) 254-8093


Cornell Chronicle:
Bill Steele
(607) 255-7164

Copyright © Cornell University

If you have a comment, please Contact us.

Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.

Bookmark:
Delicious Digg Newsvine Google Yahoo Reddit Magnoliacom Furl Facebook

Related News Press

News and information

Enhancing the sensing capabilities of diamonds with quantum properties: A simple method can give diamonds the special properties needed for quantum applications such as sensing magnetic fields September 24th, 2017

Quantum twisted Loong confirms the physical reality of wavefunctions September 23rd, 2017

Application of air-sensitive semiconductors in nanoelectronics: 2-D semiconductor gallium selenide in encapsulated nanoelectronic devices September 22nd, 2017

Researchers set time limit for ultrafast perovskite solar cells September 22nd, 2017

Possible Futures

Enhancing the sensing capabilities of diamonds with quantum properties: A simple method can give diamonds the special properties needed for quantum applications such as sensing magnetic fields September 24th, 2017

Application of air-sensitive semiconductors in nanoelectronics: 2-D semiconductor gallium selenide in encapsulated nanoelectronic devices September 22nd, 2017

Researchers set time limit for ultrafast perovskite solar cells September 22nd, 2017

DNA triggers shape-shifting in hydrogels, opening a new way to make 'soft robots' September 21st, 2017

Nanomedicine

Do titanium dioxide particles from orthopedic implants disrupt bone repair? September 16th, 2017

Arrowhead Hosts Investor & Analyst R&D Day to Introduce TRiM(TM) Platform and Lead RNAi-based Drug Candidates September 14th, 2017

Graphene based terahertz absorbers: Printable graphene inks enable ultrafast lasers in the terahertz range September 13th, 2017

Applications for the nanomedTAB are open until September 18th, 2017 September 13th, 2017

Sensors

Enhancing the sensing capabilities of diamonds with quantum properties: A simple method can give diamonds the special properties needed for quantum applications such as sensing magnetic fields September 24th, 2017

Leti Develops Proof of Concept to Test Wireless Systems in Aircraft: Will Present Results of Joint Project at AeroTech Conference And Exhibition in Fort Worth, Texas, Sept. 26-28 September 20th, 2017

Research shows how DNA molecules cross nanopores: Study could inform biosensors, manufacturing, and more September 5th, 2017

Leti and Partners in PiezoMAT Project Develop New Fingerprint Technology for Highly Reliable Security and ID Applications: Ultra-high Resolution Pressure Sensing Uses Matrices of Vertical Piezoelectric Nanowire To Reconstruct the Smallest Features of Human Fingerprints September 5th, 2017

Announcements

Enhancing the sensing capabilities of diamonds with quantum properties: A simple method can give diamonds the special properties needed for quantum applications such as sensing magnetic fields September 24th, 2017

Quantum twisted Loong confirms the physical reality of wavefunctions September 23rd, 2017

Application of air-sensitive semiconductors in nanoelectronics: 2-D semiconductor gallium selenide in encapsulated nanoelectronic devices September 22nd, 2017

Researchers set time limit for ultrafast perovskite solar cells September 22nd, 2017

Quantum Dots/Rods

New approach on research and design for CQD catalysts in World Scientific NANO August 2nd, 2017

Coupling a nano-trumpet with a quantum dot enables precise position determination July 14th, 2017

Graphene and quantum dots put in motion a CMOS-integrated camera that can see the invisible May 29th, 2017

The brighter side of twisted polymers: Conjugated polymers designed with a twist produce tiny, brightly fluorescent particles with broad applications May 16th, 2017

Nanobiotechnology

DNA triggers shape-shifting in hydrogels, opening a new way to make 'soft robots' September 21st, 2017

Do titanium dioxide particles from orthopedic implants disrupt bone repair? September 16th, 2017

Applications for the nanomedTAB are open until September 18th, 2017 September 13th, 2017

Magnetic cellular 'Legos' for the regenerative medicine of the future September 12th, 2017

Solar/Photovoltaic

Researchers set time limit for ultrafast perovskite solar cells September 22nd, 2017

Copper catalyst yields high efficiency CO2-to-fuels conversion: Berkeley Lab scientists discover critical role of nanoparticle transformation September 20th, 2017

Solar-to-fuel system recycles CO2 to make ethanol and ethylene: Berkeley Lab advance is first demonstration of efficient, light-powered production of fuel via artificial photosynthesis September 19th, 2017

Hydrogen power moves a step closer: Physicists are developing methods of creating renewable fuel from water using quantum technology September 15th, 2017

NanoNews-Digest
The latest news from around the world, FREE



  Premium Products
NanoNews-Custom
Only the news you want to read!
 Learn More
NanoTech-Transfer
University Technology Transfer & Patents
 Learn More
NanoStrategies
Full-service, expert consulting
 Learn More











ASP
Nanotechnology Now Featured Books




NNN

The Hunger Project