Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors





Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button


android tablet pc

Home > Press > Engineers take plasmon lasers out of deep freeze

Abstract:
Researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, have developed a new technique that allows plasmon lasers to operate at room temperature, overcoming a major barrier to practical utilization of the technology.

Engineers take plasmon lasers out of deep freeze

Berkeley, CA | Posted on December 19th, 2010

The achievement, described Dec. 19 in an advanced online publication of the journal Nature Materials (*), is a "major step towards applications" for plasmon lasers, said the research team's principal investigator, Xiang Zhang, UC Berkeley professor of mechanical engineering and faculty scientist at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

"Plasmon lasers can make possible single-molecule biodetectors, photonic circuits and high-speed optical communication systems, but for that to become reality, we needed to find a way to operate them at room temperature," said Zhang, who also directs at UC Berkeley the Center for Scalable and Integrated Nanomanufacturing, established through the National Science Foundation's (NSF) Nano-scale Science and Engineering Centers program.

In recent years, scientists have turned to plasmon lasers, which work by coupling electromagnetic waves with the electrons that oscillate at the surface of metals to squeeze light into nanoscale spaces far past its natural diffraction limit of half a wavelength. Last year, Zhang's team reported a plasmon laser that generated visible light in a space only 5 nanometers wide, or about the size of a single protein molecule.

But efforts to exploit such advancements for commercial devices had hit a wall of ice.

"To operate properly, plasmon lasers need to be sealed in a vacuum chamber cooled to cryogenic temperatures as low as 10 kelvins, or minus 441 degrees Fahrenheit, so they have not been usable for practical applications," said Renmin Ma, a post-doctoral researcher in Zhang's lab and co-lead author of the Nature Materials paper.

In previous designs, most of the light produced by the laser leaked out, which required researchers to increase amplification of the remaining light energy to sustain the laser operation. To accomplish this amplification, or gain increase, researchers put the materials into a deep freeze.

To plug the light leak, the scientists took inspiration from a whispering gallery, typically an enclosed oval-shaped room located beneath a dome in which sound waves from one side are reflected back to the other. This reflection allows people on opposite sides of the gallery to talk to each other as if they were standing side by side. (Some notable examples of whispering galleries include the U.S. Capitol's Statuary Hall, New York's Grand Central Terminal, and the rotunda at San Francisco's city hall.)

Instead of bouncing back sound waves, the researchers used a total internal reflection technique to bounce surface plasmons back inside a nano-square device. The configuration was made out of a cadmium sulfide square measuring 45 nanometers thick and 1 micrometer long placed on top of a silver surface and separated by a 5 nanometer gap of magnesium fluoride.

The scientists were able to enhance by 18-fold the emission rate of light, and confine the light to a space of about 20 nanometers, or one-twentieth the size of its wavelength. By controlling the loss of radiation, it was no longer necessary to encase the device in a vacuum cooled with liquid helium. The laser functioned at room temperature.

"The greatly enhanced light matter interaction rates means that very weak signals might be observable," said Ma. "Lasers with a mode size of a single protein are a key milestone toward applications in ultra-compact light source in communications and biomedical diagnostics. The present square plasmon cavities not only can serve as compact light sources, but also can be the key components of other functional building-blocks in integrated circuits, such as add-drop filters, direction couplers and modulators."

Rupert Oulton, a former post-doctoral researcher in Zhang's lab and now a lecturer at Imperial College London, is the other co-lead author of the paper. Other co-authors are Volker Sorger, a UC Berkeley Ph.D. student in mechanical engineering, and Guy Bartal, a former research scientist in Zhang's lab.

The U.S. Air Force Office of Scientific Research and the NSF helped support this work.

(*) www.nature.com/nmat/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/nmat2919.html

####

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
Media contact:
Sarah Yang
(510) 643-7741


Source:
Xiang Zhang
(510) 225-8559

Copyright © University of California, Berkeley

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

Study finds long-term survival of human neural stem cells transplanted into primate brain April 23rd, 2014

High-Performance, Low-Cost Ultracapacitors Built with Graphene and Carbon Nanotubes: Future devices based on technology could bridge gap between batteries and conventional capacitors in portable electronics and hybrid electric vehicles April 23rd, 2014

Guo Lab Shows Potential of RNA as Heat-resistant Polymer Material for Nanoarchitectures April 23rd, 2014

National Space Society Congratulates SpaceX on the Success of CRS-3 and the First Flight of the Falcon 9R April 22nd, 2014

Govt.-Legislation/Regulation/Funding/Policy

High-Performance, Low-Cost Ultracapacitors Built with Graphene and Carbon Nanotubes: Future devices based on technology could bridge gap between batteries and conventional capacitors in portable electronics and hybrid electric vehicles April 23rd, 2014

Guo Lab Shows Potential of RNA as Heat-resistant Polymer Material for Nanoarchitectures April 23rd, 2014

Cloaked DNA nanodevices survive pilot mission: Successful foray opens door to virus-like DNA nanodevices that could diagnose diseased tissues and manufacture drugs to treat them April 22nd, 2014

Berkeley Lab Researchers Demonstrate First Size-based Chromatography Technique for the Study of Living Cells April 22nd, 2014

Possible Futures

Virus structure inspires novel understanding of onion-like carbon nanoparticles April 10th, 2014

Local girl does good March 22nd, 2014

Surface Characteristics Influence Cellular Growth on Semiconductor Material March 12th, 2014

The "Tipping Point" February 12th, 2014

Academic/Education

Global leader in solar cell manufacturing eyes New York for major expansion outside of Japan: CNSE and Solar Frontier Explore $700 Million Investment, Job Creation in New York State April 22nd, 2014

University of Waterloo Visits China to Strengthen Bonds With Research Partners April 21st, 2014

Director Wally Pfister joins UC Berkeley neuroengineers to discuss the science behind ‘Transcendence’ April 7th, 2014

First annual science week highlights STEM pipeline and partnerships: UB, SUNY Buffalo State and ECC team up with the City of Buffalo and its schools for April 7-11 events April 3rd, 2014

Nanomedicine

Study finds long-term survival of human neural stem cells transplanted into primate brain April 23rd, 2014

Cloaked DNA nanodevices survive pilot mission: Successful foray opens door to virus-like DNA nanodevices that could diagnose diseased tissues and manufacture drugs to treat them April 22nd, 2014

Berkeley Lab Researchers Demonstrate First Size-based Chromatography Technique for the Study of Living Cells April 22nd, 2014

Amino-functionalized carbon nanotubes act as a carrier for nerve growth factor April 21st, 2014

Nanoelectronics

Progress made in developing nanoscale electronics: New research directs charges through single molecules April 21st, 2014

Better solar cells, better LED light and vast optical possibilities April 12th, 2014

Catching the (Invisible) Wave: UC Santa Barbara researchers create a unique semiconductor that manipulates light in the invisible infrared/terahertz range, paving the way for new and enhanced applications April 11th, 2014

Nanotech Business Review 2013-2014 April 9th, 2014

Announcements

Study finds long-term survival of human neural stem cells transplanted into primate brain April 23rd, 2014

High-Performance, Low-Cost Ultracapacitors Built with Graphene and Carbon Nanotubes: Future devices based on technology could bridge gap between batteries and conventional capacitors in portable electronics and hybrid electric vehicles April 23rd, 2014

Guo Lab Shows Potential of RNA as Heat-resistant Polymer Material for Nanoarchitectures April 23rd, 2014

National Space Society Congratulates SpaceX on the Success of CRS-3 and the First Flight of the Falcon 9R April 22nd, 2014

Nanobiotechnology

Guo Lab Shows Potential of RNA as Heat-resistant Polymer Material for Nanoarchitectures April 23rd, 2014

Cloaked DNA nanodevices survive pilot mission: Successful foray opens door to virus-like DNA nanodevices that could diagnose diseased tissues and manufacture drugs to treat them April 22nd, 2014

Targeting cancer with a triple threat: MIT chemists design nanoparticles that can deliver three cancer drugs at a time April 15th, 2014

Biologists Develop Nanosensors to Visualize Movements and Distribution of Plant Stress Hormone April 15th, 2014

Photonics/Optics/Lasers

High-temperature plasmonics eyed for solar, computer innovation April 17th, 2014

Scientists Capture Ultrafast Snapshots of Light-Driven Superconductivity: X-rays reveal how rapidly vanishing 'charge stripes' may be behind laser-induced high-temperature superconductivity April 16th, 2014

Lumerical files a provisional patent that extends the standard eigenmode expansion propagation technique to better address waveguide component design. Lumerical’s EME propagation tool will address a wide set of waveguide applications in silicon photonics and integrated optics April 16th, 2014

Near-field Nanophotonics Workshop in Boston April 14th, 2014

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







© Copyright 1999-2014 7th Wave, Inc. All Rights Reserved PRIVACY POLICY :: CONTACT US :: STATS :: SITE MAP :: ADVERTISE