Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors
Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button

Home > Press > Flatland optics with graphene

Abstract:
Researchers from CIC nanoGUNE, in collaboration with ICFO and Graphenea, introduce a platform technology based on optical antennas for trapping and controlling light with the one-atom-thick material graphene. The experiments show that the dramatically squeezed graphene-guided light can be focused and bent, following the fundamental principles of conventional optics. The work, published yesterday in Science, opens new opportunities for smaller and faster photonic devices and circuits.

Flatland optics with graphene

Usurbil, Spain | Posted on May 23rd, 2014

Optical circuits and devices could make signal processing and computing much faster. "However, although light is very fast it needs too much space", explains Rainer Hillenbrand, Ikerbasque Professor at nanoGUNE and UPV/EHU. In fact, propagating light needs at least the space of half its wavelength, which is much larger than state-of-the-art electronic building blocks in our computers. For that reason, a quest for squeezing light to propagate it through nanoscale materials arises.

The wonder material graphene, a single layer of carbon atoms with extraordinary properties, has been proposed as one solution. The wavelength of light captured by a graphene layer can be strongly shortened by a factor of 10 to 100 compared to light propagating in free space. As a consequence, this light propagating along the graphene layer - called graphene plasmon - requires much less space.

However, transforming light efficiently into graphene plasmons and manipulating them with a compact device has been a major challenge. A team of researchers from nanoGUNE, ICFO and Graphenea - members of the EU Graphene Flagship - now demonstrates that the antenna concept of radio wave technology could be a promising solution. The team shows that a nanoscale metal rod on graphene (acting as an antenna for light) can capture infrared light and transform it into graphene plasmons, analogous to a radio antenna converting radio waves into electromagnetic waves in a metal cable.

"We introduce a versatile platform technology based on resonant optical antennas for launching and controlling of propagating graphene plasmons, which represents an essential step for the development of graphene plasmonic circuits", says team leader Rainer Hillenbrand. Pablo Alonso-González, who performed the experiments at nanoGUNE, highlights some of the advantages offered by the antenna device: "the excitation of graphene plasmons is purely optical, the device is compact and the phase and wavefronts of the graphene plasmons can be directly controlled by geometrically tailoring the antennas. This is essential to develop applications based on focusing and guiding of light".

The research team also performed theoretical studies. Alexey Nikitin, Ikerbasque Research Fellow at nanoGUNE, performed the calculations and explains that "according to theory, the operation of our device is very efficient, and all the future technological applications will essentially depend upon fabrication limitations and quality of graphene".

Based on Nikitin´s calculations, nanoGUNE's Nanodevices group fabricated gold nanoantennas on graphene provided by Graphenea. The Nanooptics group then used the Neaspec near-field microscope to image how infrared graphene plasmons are launched and propagate along the graphene layer. In the images, the researchers saw that, indeed, waves on graphene propagate away from the antenna, like waves on a water surface when a stone is thrown in.

In order to test whether the two-dimensional propagation of light waves along a one-atom-thick carbon layer follow the laws of conventional optics, the researchers tried to focus and refract the waves. For the focusing experiment, they curved the antenna. The images then showed that the graphene plasmons focus away from the antenna, similar to the light beam that is concentrated with a lens or concave mirror.

The team also observed that graphene plasmons refract (bend) when they pass through a prism-shaped graphene bilayer, analogous to the bending of a light beam passing through a glass prism. "The big difference is that the graphene prism is only two atoms thick. It is the thinnest refracting optical prism ever", says Rainer Hillenbrand. Intriguingly, the graphene plasmons are bent because the conductivity in the two-atom-thick prism is larger than in the surrounding one-atom-thick layer. In the future, such conductivity changes in graphene could be also generated by simple electronic means, allowing for highly efficient electric control of refraction, among others for steering applications.

Altogether, the experiments show that the fundamental and most important principles of conventional optics also apply for graphene plasmons, in other words, squeezed light propagating along a one-atom-thick layer of carbon atoms. Future developments based on these results could lead to extremely miniaturized optical circuits and devices that could be useful for sensing and computing, among other applications.

References
P. Alonso-González1, A.Y. Nikitin1,5, F. Golmar1,2, A. Centeno3, A. Pesquera3, S. Vélez1, J. Chen1, G. Navickaite4, F. Koppens4, A. Zurutuza3, F. Casanova 1,5, L.E. Hueso 1,5 eta R. Hillenbrand 1,5. "Controlling grapheme plasmons with resonant metal antennas and spatial conductivity patterns" Science (2014) DOI: 10.1126/science.1253202

####

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
Irati Kortabitarte

34-943-363-040

Copyright © Elhuyar Fundazioa

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

Fish-Inspired Material Changes Color Using Nanocolumns March 18th, 2019

New method to reduce uranium concentration in contaminated water March 18th, 2019

Converting biomass by applying mechanical force Nanoscientists discover new mechanism to cleave cellulose effectively and in an environmentally friendly way March 15th, 2019

Exotic “second sound” phenomenon observed in pencil lead: At relatively balmy temperatures, heat behaves like sound when moving through graphite, study reports March 15th, 2019

Quantum sensing method measures minuscule magnetic fields: MIT researchers find a new way to make nanoscale measurements of fields in more than one dimension March 15th, 2019

Graphene/ Graphite

Exotic “second sound” phenomenon observed in pencil lead: At relatively balmy temperatures, heat behaves like sound when moving through graphite, study reports March 15th, 2019

The moiré patterns of three layers change the electronic properties of graphene March 8th, 2019

Zips on the nanoscale: New method of synthesising nanographene on metal oxide surfaces March 5th, 2019

Chip Technology

Exotic “second sound” phenomenon observed in pencil lead: At relatively balmy temperatures, heat behaves like sound when moving through graphite, study reports March 15th, 2019

Pushing Past Limits: Junkai Jiang receives prestigious Ph.D. Student Fellowship from IEEE Electron Devices Society March 14th, 2019

Nanometrics Announces $80 Million Share Repurchase Program March 14th, 2019

When semiconductors stick together, materials go quantum: A new study led by Berkeley Lab reveals how aligned layers of atomically thin semiconductors can yield an exotic new quantum material March 12th, 2019

Sensors

Quantum sensing method measures minuscule magnetic fields: MIT researchers find a new way to make nanoscale measurements of fields in more than one dimension March 15th, 2019

Oxford Instruments and partners launch EU Horizon 2020 project ULISSES: Air sensors for everyone, everywhere March 7th, 2019

With nanopore sensing, VCU physics researchers detect subtle changes in single particles: The researchers' findings 'open the door to observe all kinds of interesting phenomenon on nanosurfaces,' an area of great interest to chemists February 21st, 2019

CEA-Leti & Stanford Target Edge-AI Apps with Breakthrough Memory Cell: Paper at ISSCC 2019 Presents Proof-of-Concept Multi-Bit Chip That Overcomes NVM’s Read/Write, Latency and Integration Challenges February 20th, 2019

Discoveries

Fish-Inspired Material Changes Color Using Nanocolumns March 18th, 2019

New method to reduce uranium concentration in contaminated water March 18th, 2019

Review of the recent advances of 2D nanomaterials in Lit-ion batteries March 15th, 2019

Converting biomass by applying mechanical force Nanoscientists discover new mechanism to cleave cellulose effectively and in an environmentally friendly way March 15th, 2019

Announcements

Fish-Inspired Material Changes Color Using Nanocolumns March 18th, 2019

New method to reduce uranium concentration in contaminated water March 18th, 2019

Converting biomass by applying mechanical force Nanoscientists discover new mechanism to cleave cellulose effectively and in an environmentally friendly way March 15th, 2019

Exotic “second sound” phenomenon observed in pencil lead: At relatively balmy temperatures, heat behaves like sound when moving through graphite, study reports March 15th, 2019

Interviews/Book Reviews/Essays/Reports/Podcasts/Journals/White papers

Fish-Inspired Material Changes Color Using Nanocolumns March 18th, 2019

New method to reduce uranium concentration in contaminated water March 18th, 2019

Review of the recent advances of 2D nanomaterials in Lit-ion batteries March 15th, 2019

Converting biomass by applying mechanical force Nanoscientists discover new mechanism to cleave cellulose effectively and in an environmentally friendly way March 15th, 2019

Photonics/Optics/Lasers

New blueprint for understanding, predicting and optimizing complex nanoparticles: Guidelines have the potential to transform the fields of optoelectronics, bio-imaging and energy harvesting March 1st, 2019

Hybrid material may outperform graphene in several applications: A structure comprising a molybdenum disulfide monolayer on an azobenzene substrate could be used to build a highly compactable and malleable quasi-two-dimensional transistor powered by light February 28th, 2019

Researchers move closer to practical photonic quantum computing: New method fills critical need to measure large-scale quantum correlation of single photons February 28th, 2019

AIM Photonics Attends OFC 2019—the Optical Networking and Communication Conference & Exhibition to Share World-Class Capabilities and Partnership Opportunity Updates February 28th, 2019

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



  Premium Products
NanoNews-Custom
Only the news you want to read!
 Learn More
NanoStrategies
Full-service, expert consulting
 Learn More











ASP
Nanotechnology Now Featured Books




NNN

The Hunger Project