Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Photonics: Graphene's flexible future

Date:
December 10, 2012
Source:
The Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR)
Summary:
Theoretical calculations show graphene’s potential for controlling nanoscale light propagation on a chip.

Plots showing that surface plasmons are more confined when propagating along on a monolayer of graphene (G) than they are along a thin film of gold (Au).
Credit: 2012 A*STAR Institute of High Performance Computing

Theoretical calculations show graphene's potential for controlling nanoscale light propagation on a chip.

Semiconductors have revolutionized computing because of their efficient control over the flow of electrical currents on a single chip, which has led to devices such as the transistor. Working towards a similar tunable functionality for light, researchers from the A*STAR Institute of High Performance Computing (IHPC), Singapore, have shown how graphene could be used to control light at the nanometer scale, advancing the concept of photonic circuits on chips1.

Graphene, which is made from a single layer of carbon atoms, has excellent electronic properties; some of these are also useful in photonic applications. Usually, only metals are able to confine light to the order of a few nanometers, which is much smaller than the wavelength of the light. At the surface of metals, collective oscillations of electrons, so-called 'surface plasmons', act as powerful antennae that confine light to very small spaces. Graphene, with its high electrical conductivity, shows similar behavior to metals so can also be used for plasmon-based applications, explains Choon How Gan of IHPC, who led the research.

Gan and co-workers studied theoretically and computationally how surface plasmons travel along sheets of graphene. Even though graphene is a poorer conductor than a metal, so plasmon propagation losses are higher, it has several key advantages, says team member Hong Son Chu. "The key advantage that makes graphene an excellent platform for plasmonic devices is its large tunability that cannot be seen in the usual noble metals," he explains. "This tunability can be achieved in different ways, using electric or magnetic fields, optical triggers and temperature."

The team's calculations indicated that surface plasmons propagating along a sheet of graphene would be much more confined to a small space than they would traveling along a gold surface (see image). However, the team also showed that surface plasmons would travel far better between two sheets of graphene brought into close contact. Furthermore, by adjusting design parameters such as the separation between the sheets, as well as their electrical conductivity, much better control over surface plasmon properties is possible.

In the future, Gan and his co-workers plan to investigate these properties for applications. "We will explore the potential of graphene plasmonic devices also for the terahertz and mid-infrared regime," he explains. "In this spectral range, graphene plasmonic structures could be promising for applications such as molecular sensing, as photodetectors, or for optical devices that can switch and modulate light."

The A*STAR-affiliated researchers contributing to this research are from the Institute of High Performance Computing


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by The Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR). Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Choon How Gan, Hong Son Chu, Er Ping Li. Synthesis of highly confined surface plasmon modes with doped graphene sheets in the midinfrared and terahertz frequencies. Physical Review B, 2012; 85 (12) DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevB.85.125431

Cite This Page:

The Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR). "Photonics: Graphene's flexible future." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 10 December 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/12/121210080425.htm>.
The Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR). (2012, December 10). Photonics: Graphene's flexible future. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 18, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/12/121210080425.htm
The Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR). "Photonics: Graphene's flexible future." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/12/121210080425.htm (accessed April 18, 2014).

Share This



More Matter & Energy News

Friday, April 18, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Small Reactors Could Be Future of Nuclear Energy

Small Reactors Could Be Future of Nuclear Energy

AP (Apr. 17, 2014) After the Fukushima nuclear disaster, the industry fell under intense scrutiny. Now, small underground nuclear power plants are being considered as the possible future of the nuclear energy. (April 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Honda's New ASIMO Robot, More Human-Like Than Ever

Honda's New ASIMO Robot, More Human-Like Than Ever

AFP (Apr. 17, 2014) It walks and runs, even up and down stairs. It can open a bottle and serve a drink, and politely tries to shake hands with a stranger. Meet the latest ASIMO, Honda's humanoid robot. Duration: 00:54 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
German Researchers Crack Samsung's Fingerprint Scanner

German Researchers Crack Samsung's Fingerprint Scanner

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) German researchers have used a fake fingerprint made from glue to bypass the fingerprint security system on Samsung's new Galaxy S5 smartphone. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Porsche CEO Says Supercar Is Not Dead: Cue the Spyder 918

Porsche CEO Says Supercar Is Not Dead: Cue the Spyder 918

TheStreet (Apr. 16, 2014) The Porsche Spyder 918 proves that, in an automotive world obsessed with fuel efficiency, the supercar is not dead. Porsche North America CEO Detlev von Platen attributes the brand's consistent sales growth -- 21% in 2013 -- with an investment in new technology and expanded performance dynamics. The hybrid Spyder 918 has 887 horsepower and 944 lb-ft of torque, but it can run 18 miles on just an electric charge. The $845,000 vehicle is not a consumer-targeted vehicle but a brand statement. Video provided by TheStreet
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:
from the past week

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