Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Penn Theorists To Create Optical Circuit Elements

Date:
September 28, 2005
Source:
University of Pennsylvania
Summary:
Engineers at the University of Pennsylvania have theorized a means of shrinking electronics so they could be run using light instead of electricity. Their circuit elements would take a beam of light on a path of gold to a miniaturized world of new electronics.

Inthe Aug. 26 issue of Physical Review Letters, currently online, thePenn theorists outline how familiar circuit elements -- inductors,capacitors and resistors could be created on the nanoscale (about abillionth of a meter) in order to operate using infrared or visiblelight. The Penn researchers describe how nanoscale particles of certainmaterials, depending on their unique optical properties, could work ascircuit elements. For example, nanoscale particles of certain metals,such as gold or silver, could perform the same function in manipulatingan "electric" current as an inductor does on a circuit board.

Opticalelectronics would make it possible to create faster computerprocessors, construct nanoscale antennas or build moreinformation-dense data- storage devices. Optical electronics could alsohave exotic applications that simply are not possible with conventionalelectronics, such as the ability to couple an electronic signal to anindividual molecule or the creation of biological circuits.

"Thewavelength of light can be measured in hundreds of nanometers and thetechnology is now available to create structures that would operate onthe same or smaller scale as the wavelength of light," wrote NaderEngheta, lead author, and H. Nedwill Ramsey, professor in theDepartment of Electrical and Systems Engineering of Penn's School ofEngineering and Applied Science. "Our work is theoretical, of course,but we do not foresee any sizable barriers to our plan to make thesecircuit elements in the near future."

Before they coulddescribe how to create optical circuit elements, Engheta, his coauthorsand students Alessandro Salandrino and Andrea Al had to first envisionhow nanoscale materials might interact with light. To do so they lookedat a property critical to basic wave interaction called permittivity,which describes how a particular substance affects electromagneticfields. If a small sphere is created, about a few tens of nanometersacross, they explained, light would affect it differently based on itspermittivity.

According to their models, the theoristsdemonstrated that nano-sized sphere made up of a nonmetallic materialsuch as glass with permittivity greater than zero would act like aminiaturized capacitor. A nano-sized sphere made up of a metallicmaterial such as gold or silver with a permittivity less than zerowould act like a miniaturized inductor. Either material could alsofunction like a miniaturized resistor, depending on how the opticalenergy is lost in it.

"So now we have three basic elements of acircuit," Enghata said. "Stacked one upon the other, you could createfairly advanced combinations of circuitry. It is even possible to usethese elements to create 'nano' transmission lines and 'nano' cables.

"Foryears, conventional circuit elements have been the basic building blocin making functional circuits at lower frequencies," Engheta said. "Butnow we have the tools to push back the limits of speed and power onelectronics. This technology could have innumerable applications forconsumer products, advanced instrumentation and even medicine."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Pennsylvania. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Pennsylvania. "Penn Theorists To Create Optical Circuit Elements." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 28 September 2005. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/09/050928081542.htm>.
University of Pennsylvania. (2005, September 28). Penn Theorists To Create Optical Circuit Elements. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/09/050928081542.htm
University of Pennsylvania. "Penn Theorists To Create Optical Circuit Elements." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/09/050928081542.htm (accessed October 21, 2014).

Share This



More Matter & Energy News

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Gulfstream G500, G600 Unveiling

Gulfstream G500, G600 Unveiling

Flying (Oct. 20, 2014) Watch Gulfstream's public launch of the G500 and G600 at their headquarters in Savannah, Ga., along with a surprise unveiling of the G500, which taxied up under its own power. Video provided by Flying
Powered by NewsLook.com
Japanese Scientists Unveil Floating 3D Projection

Japanese Scientists Unveil Floating 3D Projection

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Oct. 20, 2014) Scientists in Tokyo have demonstrated what they say is the world's first 3D projection that floats in mid air. A laser that fires a pulse up to a thousand times a second superheats molecules in the air, creating a spark which can be guided to certain points in the air to shape what the human eye perceives as an image. Matthew Stock reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Hey, Doc! Sewage, Beer and Food Scraps Can Power Chevrolet’s Bi-Fuel Impala

Hey, Doc! Sewage, Beer and Food Scraps Can Power Chevrolet’s Bi-Fuel Impala

3BL Media (Oct. 20, 2014) Hey, Doc! Sewage, Beer and Food Scraps Can Power Chevrolet’s Bi-fuel Impala Video provided by 3BL
Powered by NewsLook.com
What We Know About Microsoft's Rumored Smartwatch

What We Know About Microsoft's Rumored Smartwatch

Newsy (Oct. 20, 2014) Microsoft will reportedly release a smartwatch that works across different mobile platforms, has a two-day battery life and tracks heart rate. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins