Increasing data processing speed is quintessential for the technological progress. A new way to confine light could enable better optical communications and computing to make our life easier.
This time we are sharing a story of the contribution made by the researchers from the Institute of Physics.
Recent achievements in micro- and nanoelectronics allow creating miniature electrical devices where integrated chips consist of elements with the up-to-date international standard size of 22 nanometers. Today companies manufacturing optical lithographs put their efforts under the way to create topology with the size of 5-8 nanometers. However, the speed performance of such devices has reached its limits and further acceleration makes it necessary to use optical technologies.
“Classic photonics and optoelectronics can't tackle a problem of fast multiplexing with the elements of nanoelectronics, because the size of the basic electronic device is 200 times bigger the size of a photon” says the associate professor Serget Kharintsev
According to the researcher nanophotonics and plasmonics lift this restriction due to newly developed plasmonic materials, metamaterials and metasurfaces. Their additional configurations will allow electromagnetic waves and light to travel with optical frequencies (wavelength of few tens of nanometers). Scaling down of an optical photon (size 1500 nm) into a “compressed” photon (a.k.a plasmon, size around 10 nm) is performed with nanosized optical devices, e.g. plasmonic nanoantennae.
These antennae play a key role in the synthesis of thin-film nanostructured optical metamaterials and design of the elements such as metalenses, light filters, absorbing surfaces, polarization converters based on them. Moreover, plasmonic antennae make the hardware components for the development and application of nanosized optical devices. Their properties can help to refine the existing nanosized systems diagnostics methods, including artificially created metamaterials.
The Institute of Physics of the Kazan University has been studying for the past 5 years the development of plasmonic nanoantennae and metasurfaces for nanofocusing and light control on a nano scale. According to Sergey Kharintsev the task assigned to the research group of the Department of Optics and Nanophotonics is to develop a technology to compress the light to 10 nanometers. The results of this study will be used in semiconductor and optoelectronic industries to diagnose materials and devices on optical frequencies with nanometer resolution. These technologies will soon enter our daily life. Photonics and optical waveguides will replace electronic and electrical circuits. Data processing and travelling speed will rise enormously and artificial materials will change our concepts about the environment.