Lasing spaser

  May 26/June 2, 2008
In 2003, researchers proposed making a device that would concentrate plasmons the same way laser concentrates light. A new proposal marries the plasmon spaser with a metamaterial to produce very thin chips that have built-in lasers.

Plasmons are particles of electron motion that form when light shines on metal surfaces. The 2003 theoretical device, the spaser, promises to concentrate plasmons and could be used to observe molecules and even burn nanoscale holes. Metamaterials are made up of tiny, periodic structures that can channel light in unusual ways.

The new theoretical device -- the lasing spaser -- uses the spaser to produce tightly focused laser beams. The device could be built in the form of a very thin chip. This would make it easier to produce computer chips and biochips with built-in lasers.

Research paper:
Lasing spaser
Nature Photonics, published online May 25, 2008

Researcher's homepage:
Group Zheludev

Related stories and briefs:
Silver bits channel nano light (using plasmons to channel light)
Photonic crystal lasers juiced (photonic crystal laser -- precursor of sorts)

Back to TRN May 26/June 2, 2008

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