Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors
Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button

Home > Press > Basque researchers turn light upside down

This is an illustration of waves propagating away from a point-like source. Left: Regular wave propagation. Right: Wave propagation on a hyperbolic metasurface.
CREDIT
P. Li, CIC nanoGUNE
This is an illustration of waves propagating away from a point-like source. Left: Regular wave propagation. Right: Wave propagation on a hyperbolic metasurface. CREDIT P. Li, CIC nanoGUNE

Abstract:
Optical waves propagating away from a point source typically exhibit circular (convex) wavefronts. "Like waves on a water surface when a stone is dropped", explains Peining Li, EU Marie Sklodowska-Curie fellow at nanoGUNE and first author of the paper. The reason of this circular propagation is that the medium through which light travels is typically homogenous and isotropic i.e. uniform in all directions.

Basque researchers turn light upside down

Gipuzkoa, Spain | Posted on February 23rd, 2018

Scientists had already theoretically predicted that specifically structured surfaces can turn the wavefronts of light upside down when it propagates along them. "On such surfaces, called hyberbolic metasurfaces, the waves emitted from a point source propagate only in certain directions and with open (concave) wavefronts", explains Javier Alfaro, PhD student at nanoGUNE and co-author of the paper. These unusual waves are called hyperbolic surface polaritons. Because they propagate only in certain directions, and with wavelengths that are much smaller than that of light in free space or standard waveguides, they could help to miniaturize optical devices for sensing and signal processing.

Now, the researchers developed such a metasurface for infrared light. It is based on boron nitride, a graphene-like 2D material, and was selected because of its capability to manipulate infrared light on extremely small length scales, which could be applied for the development of miniaturized chemical sensors or for heat management in nanoscale optoelectronic devices. On the other hand, the researchers succeeded to directly observe the concave wavefronts with a special optical microscope, which have been elusive so far.

Hyperbolic metasurfaces are challenging to fabricate because an extremely precise structuring on the nanometer scale is required. Irene Dolado, PhD student at nanoGUNE, and Saül Vélez, former postdoctoral researcher at nanoGUNE (now at ETH Zürich) mastered this challenge by electron beam lithography and etching of thin flakes of high-quality boron nitride provided by Kansas State University. "After several optimization steps, we achieved the required precision and obtained grating structures with gap sizes as small as 25 nm", Dolado says. "The same fabrication methods can also be applied to other materials, which could pave the way to realize artificial metasurface structures with custom-made optical properties", adds Saül Vélez.

To see how the waves propagate along the metasurface, the researchers used a state-of the-art infrared nanoimaging technique that was pioneered by the nanoptics group at nanoGUNE. They first placed an infrared gold nanorod onto the metasurface. "It plays the role of a stone dropped into water", says Peining Li. The nanorod concentrates incident infrared light into a tiny spot, which launches waves that then propagate along the metasurface. With the help of a so-called scattering-type scanning near-field microscope (s-SNOM) the researchers imaged the waves. "It was amazing to see the images. They indeed showed the concave curvature of the wavefronts that were propagating away form the gold nanorod, exactly as predicted by theory", says Rainer Hillenbrand, Ikerbasque Professor at nanoGUNE, who led the work.

The results promise nanostructured 2D materials to become a novel platform for hyberbolic metasurface devices and circuits, and further demonstrate how near-field microscopy can be applied to unveil exotic optical phenomena in anisotropic materials and for verifying new metasurface design principles.

###

The research has been mainly funded by individual fellowship grants of the European Union Marie Sklodowsca-Curie Actions and the pre-doctoral research grants program of the Basque and Spanish Governments, as well as by the National Science Foundation (USA), and has been carried out in line with nanoGUNEs projects within the EU's Graphene Flagship.

####

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 Links

RELATED JOURNAL ARTICLE:

Related News Press

News and information

Machine learning speeds modeling of experiments aimed at capturing fusion energy on Earth May 17th, 2019

Manipulating atoms one at a time with an electron beam: New method could be useful for building quantum sensors and computers May 17th, 2019

New surface treatment could improve refrigeration efficiency: A slippery surface for liquids with very low surface tension promotes droplet formation, facilitating heat transfer May 17th, 2019

Generating high-quality single photons for quantum computing: New dual-cavity design emits more single photons that can carry quantum information at room temperature May 17th, 2019

CEA-Leti Develops CMOS Process for High-Performance MicroLEDs That Could Overcome Display-Size Obstacles: New Concept Creates All-in-One RGB MicroLEDs, Eliminates Several Transfer Steps to Receiving Substrate & Boosts Performance May 16th, 2019

2 Dimensional Materials

New way to beat the heat in electronics: Rice University lab's flexible insulator offers high strength and superior thermal conduction May 16th, 2019

2D insulators with ferromagnetism are rare; researchers just identified a new one May 10th, 2019

Computing faster with quasi-particles May 10th, 2019

Possible Futures

Machine learning speeds modeling of experiments aimed at capturing fusion energy on Earth May 17th, 2019

Manipulating atoms one at a time with an electron beam: New method could be useful for building quantum sensors and computers May 17th, 2019

New surface treatment could improve refrigeration efficiency: A slippery surface for liquids with very low surface tension promotes droplet formation, facilitating heat transfer May 17th, 2019

Generating high-quality single photons for quantum computing: New dual-cavity design emits more single photons that can carry quantum information at room temperature May 17th, 2019

Chip Technology

Generating high-quality single photons for quantum computing: New dual-cavity design emits more single photons that can carry quantum information at room temperature May 17th, 2019

Skoltech researchers developed new perovskite-inspired semiconductors for electronic devices May 13th, 2019

2D insulators with ferromagnetism are rare; researchers just identified a new one May 10th, 2019

Computing faster with quasi-particles May 10th, 2019

Optical computing/Photonic computing

2D borophene gets a closer look: Rice, Northwestern find new ways to image, characterize unique material April 11th, 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

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

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

Nanoelectronics

From 2D to 1D: Atomically quasi '1D' wires using a carbon nanotube template: New bulk synthesis method for nanowires of molybdenum telluride for nanoelectronics April 19th, 2019

2D borophene gets a closer look: Rice, Northwestern find new ways to image, characterize unique material April 11th, 2019

Organic semiconductors: One transistor for all purposes March 22nd, 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

Discoveries

Manipulating atoms one at a time with an electron beam: New method could be useful for building quantum sensors and computers May 17th, 2019

New surface treatment could improve refrigeration efficiency: A slippery surface for liquids with very low surface tension promotes droplet formation, facilitating heat transfer May 17th, 2019

Generating high-quality single photons for quantum computing: New dual-cavity design emits more single photons that can carry quantum information at room temperature May 17th, 2019

CEA-Leti Develops CMOS Process for High-Performance MicroLEDs That Could Overcome Display-Size Obstacles: New Concept Creates All-in-One RGB MicroLEDs, Eliminates Several Transfer Steps to Receiving Substrate & Boosts Performance May 16th, 2019

Materials/Metamaterials

ZEN gets $1m grant for graphene-enhanced concrete project May 12th, 2019

Computing faster with quasi-particles May 10th, 2019

Coal could yield treatment for traumatic injuries: Rice, Texas A&M, UTHealth scientists discover coal-derived ‘dots’ are effective antioxidant April 25th, 2019

Multistep self-assembly opens door to new reconfigurable materials April 19th, 2019

Announcements

Machine learning speeds modeling of experiments aimed at capturing fusion energy on Earth May 17th, 2019

Manipulating atoms one at a time with an electron beam: New method could be useful for building quantum sensors and computers May 17th, 2019

New surface treatment could improve refrigeration efficiency: A slippery surface for liquids with very low surface tension promotes droplet formation, facilitating heat transfer May 17th, 2019

Generating high-quality single photons for quantum computing: New dual-cavity design emits more single photons that can carry quantum information at room temperature May 17th, 2019

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

Machine learning speeds modeling of experiments aimed at capturing fusion energy on Earth May 17th, 2019

Manipulating atoms one at a time with an electron beam: New method could be useful for building quantum sensors and computers May 17th, 2019

Generating high-quality single photons for quantum computing: New dual-cavity design emits more single photons that can carry quantum information at room temperature May 17th, 2019

New way to beat the heat in electronics: Rice University lab's flexible insulator offers high strength and superior thermal conduction May 16th, 2019

Tools

New Argonne coating could have big implications for lithium batteries May 14th, 2019

Nanoscale thermometers from diamond sparkles: A novel, non-invasive technique that uses quantum light to measure temperature at the nanoscale has been developed May 3rd, 2019

Sculpting Super-Fast Light Pulses: NIST Nanopillars Shape Light Precisely for Practical Applications May 3rd, 2019

Nanometrics Announces Participation in Upcoming Investor Conferences May 3rd, 2019

Grants/Sponsored Research/Awards/Scholarships/Gifts/Contests/Honors/Records

Manipulating atoms one at a time with an electron beam: New method could be useful for building quantum sensors and computers May 17th, 2019

New way to beat the heat in electronics: Rice University lab's flexible insulator offers high strength and superior thermal conduction May 16th, 2019

ZEN gets $1m grant for graphene-enhanced concrete project May 12th, 2019

Discovery may lead to new materials for next-generation data storage: Army-funded research demonstrates emergent chirality in polar skyrmions for the first time in oxide superlattices May 10th, 2019

Photonics/Optics/Lasers

Sculpting Super-Fast Light Pulses: NIST Nanopillars Shape Light Precisely for Practical Applications May 3rd, 2019

2D borophene gets a closer look: Rice, Northwestern find new ways to image, characterize unique material April 11th, 2019

New hybrid energy method could fuel the future of rockets, spacecraft for exploration: Nontraditional route shown to increase performance, burn rate April 9th, 2019

Nanoscribe is Technology Partner of the Research Project MiLiQuant: 3D microfabrication meets quantum technology - Miniaturized light sources for industrial use in the fields of quantum sensor technology and quantum imaging April 1st, 2019

Research partnerships

Manipulating atoms one at a time with an electron beam: New method could be useful for building quantum sensors and computers May 17th, 2019

New Argonne coating could have big implications for lithium batteries May 14th, 2019

Sculpting Super-Fast Light Pulses: NIST Nanopillars Shape Light Precisely for Practical Applications May 3rd, 2019

Exploring New Ways to Control Thermal Radiation April 29th, 2019

Printing/Lithography/Inkjet/Inks/Bio-printing/Dyes

No ink needed for these graphene artworks: Artist employs Rice University lab's laser-induced graphene as medium for ultramodern art May 3rd, 2019

Researchers grow cells in 'paper organs' May 1st, 2019

Tuneable reverse photochromes in the solid state April 3rd, 2019

New composite advances lignin as a renewable 3D printing material December 28th, 2018

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