Holonyak Lab researchers develop new framework for nanoantenna light absorption
9/18/2019 4:22:55 PM
Harnessing light’s energy into nanoscale volumes requires novel engineering approaches to overcome a fundamental barrier known as the “diffraction limit.” However, ECE ILLINOIS researchers have breached this barrier by developing nanoantennas that pack the energy captured from light sources, such as LEDs, into particles with nanometer-scale diameters, making it possible to detect individual biomolecules, catalyze chemical reactions, and generate photons with desirable properties for quantum computing.
The results, which have a broad array of applications that may include better cancer diagnostic tools, were recently published in the Nano Letters, a prestigious peer-reviewed journal published by the American Chemical Society in a paper entitled “Microcavity-Mediated Spectrally Tunable Amplification of Absorption in Plasmonic Nanoantennas,” The research was funded by the National Science Foundation.
“To get cooperative coupling between two things is exciting because it’s never been done,” said Huang. “It’s a general-purpose concept that we have experimentally demonstrated for the first time.”
To achieve this, the team carefully controlled the density of the nanoantennas to maximize their energy collection efficiency. They also developed a method that allowed the nanoantennas to be distributed uniformly across the photonic crystal surface and tuned the photonic crystal’s optical resonating wavelength to match the absorption wavelength of the nanoantennas.
“Nano Letters is a very tough journal to get into,” said Cunningham. “But the novel physics in this research and the potential for broad applications are what make this research stand out. The next steps of this research involve delving into the potential applications of this new process. Cunningham is also affiliated with the Beckman Institute and the MNTL.
Check out the original article on the MNTL site.