Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Optics: Nanotechnology's benefits brought into focus

Date:
August 31, 2013
Source:
The Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR)
Summary:
Conventional lenses, made of shaped glass, are limited in how precisely they can redirect beams of incoming light and make them meet at a point. Now, scientists have proposed a novel approach to 'superlens' systems that can surpass this classical limit of focusing light.

Conventional lenses, made of shaped glass, are limited in how precisely they can redirect beams of incoming light and make them meet at a point. Now, a team led by Zhengtong Liu at the A*STAR Institute of High Performance Computing, Singapore, has proposed a novel approach to 'superlens' systems that can surpass this classical limit of focusing light.

The team used numerical modeling to develop the design. Concentrating radiation into a smaller volume in this way enhances the interaction between light and matter, and thus the concept could prove useful in highly sensitive sensors of the future.

Light is a type of wave. Unlike the rise and fall in sea water at a beach, however, a light wave consists of oscillating electric and magnetic fields. The wavelength -- the distance a wave travels in one oscillation cycle -- imposes a limit on the minimum size to which light can be focused. However, this limit does not apply over small distances that are comparable to the wavelength, which is known as the near-field regime.

The researchers designed a silver nanostructure embedded in glass. Their device combined two separate elements. One component was a nanoantenna -- similar to the radio-frequency antennas used to detect television-carrying signals, but reduced in size to match the wavelength of optical radiation. The other component was a superlens made of a thin slab of silver. The purpose of the superlens was to move the light detected by the nanoantenna into an imaging plane. "Using nanoantennas to concentrate light is not a new idea," says Liu. "But by adding a superlens to translate the concentrated spot of light, we can overcome limitations imposed by the optical properties of the material."

Liu and co-workers mathematically modeled the optical response of this device to an incoming beam of red light. They then altered the dimensions of the structure to maximize the enhancement in electric field. In this way, they were able to show that a 20-nanometer-thick superlens, separated by 34 nanometers from an antenna made of two silver ellipses, could increase the electric field of light by a factor of 250.

Confining light into these super intense 'hot-spots' could prove a boon for optical detection systems. "Our concept is targeted at biomedical and chemical sensing applications," explains Liu. "The next step is to seek collaboration opportunities to actually make the sensor and test it in the field."


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. Liu, Z., Li, E., Shalaev, V. M. & Kildishev, A. V. Near field enhancement in silver nanoantenna-superlens systems. Applied Physics Letters, 101, 021109 (2012)

Cite This Page:

The Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR). "Optics: Nanotechnology's benefits brought into focus." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 31 August 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/08/130831110653.htm>.
The Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR). (2013, August 31). Optics: Nanotechnology's benefits brought into focus. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/08/130831110653.htm
The Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR). "Optics: Nanotechnology's benefits brought into focus." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/08/130831110653.htm (accessed July 22, 2014).

Share This




More Matter & Energy News

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Government Approves East Coast Oil Exploration

Government Approves East Coast Oil Exploration

AP (July 18, 2014) The Obama administration approved the use of sonic cannons to discover deposits under the ocean floor by shooting sound waves 100 times louder than a jet engine through waters shared by endangered whales and turtles. (July 18) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Sunken German U-Boat Clearly Visible For First Time

Sunken German U-Boat Clearly Visible For First Time

Newsy (July 18, 2014) The wreckage of the German submarine U-166 has become clearly visible for the first time since it was discovered in 2001. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Obama: U.S. Must Have "smartest Airports, Best Power Grid"

Obama: U.S. Must Have "smartest Airports, Best Power Grid"

Reuters - US Online Video (July 17, 2014) President Barak Obama stopped by at a lunch counter in Delaware before making remarks about boosting the nation's infrastructure. Mana Rabiee reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Crude Oil Prices Bounce Back After Falling Below $100 a Barrel

Crude Oil Prices Bounce Back After Falling Below $100 a Barrel

TheStreet (July 16, 2014) Oil Futures are bouncing back after tumbling below $100 a barrel for the first time since May yesterday. Jeff Grossman is the president of BRG Brokerage and trades at the NYMEX. Grossman tells TheStreet the Middle East is always a concern for oil traders. Oil prices were pushed down in recent weeks on Libya increasing its production. Supply disruptions in Iraq fading also contributed to prices falling. News from China's economic front showing a growth for the second quarter also calmed fears on its slowdown. Jeff Grossman talks to TheStreet's Susannah Lee on this and more on the Energy Department's Energy Information Administration (EIA) report. 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