Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors

Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button

Home > Press > Alternative materials could bring 'plasmonic' technologies

This graphic depicts a device created using "negatively refracting metamaterials" that could bring advances in applications including sensing, imaging, data storage, solar energy and optics. Purdue researchers are working on a range of options to overcome a fundamental obstacle in commercializing the materials. The small spheres at right represent a lattice of "meta-atoms" carefully designed and fabricated to produce a high-performance device.Birck Nanotechnology Center/Purdue University
This graphic depicts a device created using "negatively refracting metamaterials" that could bring advances in applications including sensing, imaging, data storage, solar energy and optics. Purdue researchers are working on a range of options to overcome a fundamental obstacle in commercializing the materials. The small spheres at right represent a lattice of "meta-atoms" carefully designed and fabricated to produce a high-performance device.

Birck Nanotechnology Center/Purdue University

Abstract:
Alternative Plasmonic Materials: Beyond Gold and Silver

Gururaj V. Naik,Vladimir M. Shalaev, and Alexandra Boltasseva *

1 School of Electrical & Computer Engineering and Birck Nanotechnology Center, Purdue University

Materials research plays a vital role in transforming breakthrough scientific ideas into next-generation technology. Similar to the way silicon revolutionized the microelectronics industry, the proper materials can greatly impact the field of plasmonics and metamaterials. Currently, research in plasmonics and metamaterials lacks good material building blocks in order to realize useful devices. Such devices suffer from many drawbacks arising from the undesirable properties of their material building blocks, especially metals. There are many materials, other than conventional metallic components such as gold and silver, that exhibit metallic properties and provide advantages in device performance, design flexibility, fabrication, integration, and tenability. This review explores different material classes for plasmonic and metamaterial applications, such as conventional semiconductors, transparent conducting oxides, perovskite oxides, metal nitrides, silicides, germanides, and 2D materials such as graphene. This review provides a summary of the recent developments in the search for better plasmonic materials and an outlook of further research directions.

Alternative materials could bring 'plasmonic' technologies

West Lafayette, IN | Posted on August 5th, 2013

Researchers are working on a range of options to overcome a fundamental obstacle in commercializing "plasmonic metamaterials" that could bring advanced optical technologies for more powerful computers, new cancer treatments and other innovations.

The materials could make it possible to harness clouds of electrons called "surface plasmons" to manipulate and control light. Plasmonic materials under development now rely on the use of metals such as gold and silver, which absorb too much light for devices to be practical and are said to be "lossy" for this reason. They also are not compatible with the complementary metal-oxide-semiconductor (CMOS) manufacturing process used to construct integrated circuits.

"However, there are many alternative materials other than conventional metallic components that exhibit metallic properties and provide advantages in device performance," said Gururaj V. Naik, who is involved in the research and received a doctoral degree in electrical and computer engineering last month from Purdue University.

Alternative materials range from specially "doped" semiconductors, to transparent electrically conductive oxides and ultrathin layers of carbon called graphene.

An article about the materials was featured on the June cover of the journal Advanced Materials. The article provided a summary of recent developments in the search for better plasmonic materials and an outlook of further research directions. It was authored by Naik, Alexandra Boltasseva, a Purdue University associate professor of electrical and computer engineering, and Vladimir M. Shalaev, scientific director of nanophotonics at Purdue's Birck Nanotechnology Center, a distinguished professor of electrical and computer engineering and a scientific adviser for the Russian Quantum Center.

Plasmonic materials are promising for various potential advances, including more powerful microscopes; 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; cancer treatment; data storage; and even a cloak of invisibility.

Shalaev and Boltasseva have formed a startup company, Nano-Meta Technologies Inc., based at the Purdue Research Park. The company recently received $1 million in first-round funding from the venture capital firm Quantum Wave Fund to advance its early-stage technology. Nano-Meta Technologies is focusing initially on two applications: a new type of magnetic storage technology for computers and a new cancer-treatment approach.

The researchers have proposed replacing metals in plasmonic materials with a host of alternatives, sidestepping the limitations of gold and silver.

"As far as I know we are the first to address this issue of lossy metals and come up with alternative materials," Shalaev said.

The researchers are working to replace silver and gold in materials that are created using two options: 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 zinc oxides and titanium nitride.

The Purdue researchers propose using titanium nitride instead of metals for the data-storage concept. Because it has a higher melting point than gold or silver, it is especially promising for the technology, which works by using heat to record information on a magnetic disk. Unlike gold and silver, titanium nitride is CMOS compatible. Nano-Meta Technologies is developing prototype hard-drive heads.

In the cancer-treatment concept, tiny titanium nitride nanoparticles might be injected into the bloodstream so that they accumulate in tumors. Clinicians might shine a certain wavelength of light on these nanoparticles from outside the body, causing the particles to heat up and killing the cancer cells.

Information about Nano-Meta Technologies is available online at www.nanometatech.com/home.php

"We are especially excited about using our materials to enable the next generation of ultra-high-capacity computer hard drives," said Don Stocks, vice president of business operations at Nano-Meta Technologies.

The heat-assisted magnetic recording (HAMR) drives promise far greater capacity than is possible with current technology, he said.

"The most difficult challenge faced by the industry is identifying a robust and reliable plasmonic heat source with the necessary optical properties," Stocks said. "We believe we have a solution to this problem. Our CMOS-compatible plasmonic materials exhibit optical properties similar to gold with the added advantage of being very mechanically and thermally durable."

Lenses made of traditional materials can't focus light onto a spot smaller than half its wavelength. The company is developing nanostructured compounds that can concentrate light through plasmonic effects to bypass this hurdle, called the diffraction limit, which restricts the resolution of light microscopes and lithography.

Some new materials are showing promise in uses 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.

####

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
Writer:
Emil Venere
(765) 494-4709


Sources:
Vladimir Shalaev
(765) 494-9855


Alexandra Boltasseva
765-494-0301


Gururaj Naik


Don Stocks

Copyright © Purdue 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 Links

Related article in Technology Review magazine:

Related News Press

News and information

Shape matters when light meets atom: Mapping the interaction of a single atom with a single photon may inform design of quantum devices December 4th, 2016

UTSA study describes new minimally invasive device to treat cancer and other illnesses: Medicine diffusion capsule could locally treat multiple ailments and diseases over several weeks December 3rd, 2016

Novel Electrode Structure Provides New Promise for Lithium-Sulfur Batteries December 3rd, 2016

Research Study: MetaSOLTM Shatters Solar Panel Efficiency Forecasts with Innovative New Coating: Coating Provides 1.2 Percent Absolute Enhancement to Triple Junction Solar Cells December 2nd, 2016

Nanomedicine

UTSA study describes new minimally invasive device to treat cancer and other illnesses: Medicine diffusion capsule could locally treat multiple ailments and diseases over several weeks December 3rd, 2016

Nanobiotix Provides Update on Global Development of Lead Product NBTXR3: Seven clinical trials across the world: More than 2/3 of STS patients recruited in the “act.in.sarc” Phase II/III trial: Phase I/II prostate cancer trial now recruiting in the U.S. November 28th, 2016

From champagne bubbles, dance parties and disease to new nanomaterials: Understanding nucleation of protein filaments might help with Alzheimer's Disease and type 2 Diabetes November 24th, 2016

Nanopolymer-modified protein array can pinpoint hard-to-find cancer biomarker November 17th, 2016

Optical computing/Photonic computing

Shape matters when light meets atom: Mapping the interaction of a single atom with a single photon may inform design of quantum devices December 4th, 2016

New method for analyzing crystal structure: Exotic materials called photonic crystals reveal their internal characteristics with new method November 30th, 2016

Novel silicon etching technique crafts 3-D gradient refractive index micro-optics November 28th, 2016

Single photon converter -- a key component of quantum internet November 28th, 2016

Discoveries

Shape matters when light meets atom: Mapping the interaction of a single atom with a single photon may inform design of quantum devices December 4th, 2016

UTSA study describes new minimally invasive device to treat cancer and other illnesses: Medicine diffusion capsule could locally treat multiple ailments and diseases over several weeks December 3rd, 2016

Novel Electrode Structure Provides New Promise for Lithium-Sulfur Batteries December 3rd, 2016

Research Study: MetaSOLTM Shatters Solar Panel Efficiency Forecasts with Innovative New Coating: Coating Provides 1.2 Percent Absolute Enhancement to Triple Junction Solar Cells December 2nd, 2016

Materials/Metamaterials

Inside tiny tubes, water turns solid when it should be boiling: MIT researchers discover astonishing behavior of water confined in carbon nanotubes November 30th, 2016

From champagne bubbles, dance parties and disease to new nanomaterials: Understanding nucleation of protein filaments might help with Alzheimer's Disease and type 2 Diabetes November 24th, 2016

Uncovering the secrets of friction on graphene: Sliding on flexible graphene surfaces has been uncharted territory until now November 23rd, 2016

2-D material a brittle surprise: Rice University researchers finds molybdenum diselenide not as strong as they thought November 14th, 2016

Announcements

Shape matters when light meets atom: Mapping the interaction of a single atom with a single photon may inform design of quantum devices December 4th, 2016

UTSA study describes new minimally invasive device to treat cancer and other illnesses: Medicine diffusion capsule could locally treat multiple ailments and diseases over several weeks December 3rd, 2016

Novel Electrode Structure Provides New Promise for Lithium-Sulfur Batteries December 3rd, 2016

Research Study: MetaSOLTM Shatters Solar Panel Efficiency Forecasts with Innovative New Coating: Coating Provides 1.2 Percent Absolute Enhancement to Triple Junction Solar Cells December 2nd, 2016

Photonics/Optics/Lasers

Shape matters when light meets atom: Mapping the interaction of a single atom with a single photon may inform design of quantum devices December 4th, 2016

Controlled electron pulses November 30th, 2016

New method for analyzing crystal structure: Exotic materials called photonic crystals reveal their internal characteristics with new method November 30th, 2016

Novel silicon etching technique crafts 3-D gradient refractive index micro-optics November 28th, 2016

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