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Plasmonic Nanophotonics and Optoelectronics

This project is aimed at developing new classes of metal-dielectric nanostructured materials and their applications in photonics and optoelectronics. Metal nanostructures are capable of supporting various plasmon modes, which can result in high local fields and thus in dramatic enhancement of optical responses. Such plasmonic nanostructures act like optical nanoantennas accumulating and building up the electromagnetic energy in small nanometer scale areas [1-3].

Geometrically ordered metal nanostructures, such as periodic arrays of metal nanoparticles, arrays of holes in metal films, and metal nano-wire meshes are fabricated and evaluated for tunable optical responses with frequency-, polarization-, and angle-selective enhancements. These materials may also be developed as robust photonic crystals with large and scaleable band gaps due to their negative dielectric permittivities. We design and fabricate periodic metal nanostructures as photonic devices for guiding light with unprecedented density and performance.

Applications include:

  • plasmonic band-gap materials;
  • light-gated optical transmitters, which will allow us to control photons with photons and develop photonic nano-circuits;
  • plasmon-enhanced QED control of spontaneous emission for surface-enhanced coherent spectroscopies;
  • plasmon-enhanced nonlinear photodetectors and other optoelectronic devices;
  • novel "left-handed" plasmonic nanomaterials, which have a negative refractive index and untapped potential for photonics.

Project team: Dr. V. P. Drachev, W. Cai, R. Bakker, H.-K. Yuan, U. Chettiar, C.-W. Chang, Prof. M. Melloch, Prof. A. Wei, Prof. A. Weiner, and Prof. V. M. Shalaev.

Supported by: NSF-NIRT, NASA.

Keywords: photonics, optoelectronics, plasmonic nanomaterials.

Learn more:

[1]V. M. Shalaev, Nonlinear Optics of Random Media: Fractal Composites and Metal-Dielectric Films, Springer Tracts in Modern Physics, v.158, Springer, Berlin Heidelberg 2000.
[2] A. K. Sarychev and V. M. Shalaev, Electromagnetic Field Fluctuations and Optical Nonlinearities in Metal-Dielectric Composites, Physics Reports, 335, 275-371 (2000).
[3] Vladimir M. Shalaev, "Optical Properties of Fractal Composites," Chapter in: Optical Properties of Random Nanostructures, Ed: Vladimir M. Shalaev, Springer Verlag, Topics in Applied Physics, Berlin Heidelberg 2002.

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