Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Plasmonic crystal alters to match light-frequency source: Device is like a photonic crystal, but smaller and tunable

Date:
October 29, 2013
Source:
DOE/Sandia National Laboratories
Summary:
A plasma-containing crystal, tunable by varying a voltage, could increase the bandwidth of high-speed communication networks and generally enhance high-speed electronics.

Sandia National Laboratories researcher Greg Dyer aligns a plasma-containing crystal that is tunable by varying the voltage. The technology potentially could increase the bandwidth of high-speed communications networks.
Credit: Randy Montoya, Sandia National Laboratories

Gems are known for the beauty of the light that passes through them. But it is the fixed atomic arrangements of these crystals that determine the light frequencies permitted passage.

Now a Sandia-led team has created a plasmonic, or plasma-containing, crystal that is tunable. The effect is achieved by adjusting a voltage applied to the plasma. Because the crystal then is agile in transmitting terahertz light at varying frequencies, it could increase the bandwidth of high-speed communication networks and generally enhance high-speed electronics.

"Our experiment is more than a curiosity precisely because our plasma resonances are widely tunable," says Sandia researcher Greg Dyer, co-primary investigator of a recently published online paper in Nature Photonics, expected in print in November. "Usually, electromagnetically induced transparencies in more widely known systems like atomic gases, photonic crystals and metamaterials require tuning a laser's frequencies to match a physical system. Here, we tune our system to match the radiation source. It's inverting the problem, in a sense."

Photonic crystals are artificially built to allow transmission of specific wavelengths. Metamaterials require micron- or nano-sized bumps to tailor interactions between humanmade structures and light. The plasmonic crystal, with its ability to direct light like a photonic crystal, along with its sub-wavelength, metamaterial-like size, in effect hybridizes the two concepts. Its methods could be used to shrink the size of photonic crystals and to develop tunable metamaterials.

The crystal's electron plasma forms naturally at the interface of semiconductors with different band gaps. It sloshes between their atomically smooth boundaries that, properly aligned, form a crystal. Patterned metal electrodes allow its properties to be reconfigured, altering its light transmission range. In addition, defects intentionally mixed into the electron fluid allow light to be transmitted where the crystal is normally opaque.

However, this crystal won't be coveted for the beauty of its light. First, the crystal transmits in the terahertz spectrum, a frequency range invisible to the human eye. And scientists must tweak the crystal's two-dimensional electron gas to electronically vary its output frequencies, something casual crystal buyers probably won't be able to do.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by DOE/Sandia National Laboratories. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Gregory C. Dyer, Gregory R. Aizin, S. James Allen, Albert D. Grine, Don Bethke, John L. Reno, Eric A. Shaner. Induced transparency by coupling of Tamm and defect states in tunable terahertz plasmonic crystals. Nature Photonics, 2013; DOI: 10.1038/nphoton.2013.252

Cite This Page:

DOE/Sandia National Laboratories. "Plasmonic crystal alters to match light-frequency source: Device is like a photonic crystal, but smaller and tunable." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 29 October 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131029133757.htm>.
DOE/Sandia National Laboratories. (2013, October 29). Plasmonic crystal alters to match light-frequency source: Device is like a photonic crystal, but smaller and tunable. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 1, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131029133757.htm
DOE/Sandia National Laboratories. "Plasmonic crystal alters to match light-frequency source: Device is like a photonic crystal, but smaller and tunable." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131029133757.htm (accessed August 1, 2014).

Share This




More Matter & Energy News

Friday, August 1, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Tesla, Panasonic Ink Deal To Make Huge Battery 'Gigafactory'

Tesla, Panasonic Ink Deal To Make Huge Battery 'Gigafactory'

Newsy (July 31, 2014) The deal will help build a massive battery factory that Tesla says will produce 500,000 lithium batteries by 2020. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Britain Testing Driverless Cars on Roadways

Britain Testing Driverless Cars on Roadways

AP (July 30, 2014) British officials said on Wednesday that driverless cars will be tested on roads in as many as three cities in a trial program set to begin in January. Officials said the tests will last up to three years. (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
7 Ways to Use Toothpaste: Howdini Hacks

7 Ways to Use Toothpaste: Howdini Hacks

Howdini (July 30, 2014) Fresh breath and clean teeth are great, but have you ever thought, "my toothpaste could be doing more". Well, it can! Lots of things! Howdini has 7 new uses for this household staple. Video provided by Howdini
Powered by NewsLook.com
Smoked: 2015 Ducati Diavel Vs 2014 Chevy Corvette Stingray Drag Race

Smoked: 2015 Ducati Diavel Vs 2014 Chevy Corvette Stingray Drag Race

Cycle World (July 30, 2014) The Bonnier Motorcycle Group presents Smoked; a three part video series. In this episode the 2015 Ducati Diavel takes on the 2014 Chevy Corvette Stingray Video provided by Cycle World
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