Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Spasers (nanolasers) - for the continuation of Moore's law


           The emerging era of nanoplasmonics is expected to improve the speed and efficiency of optical devices by facilitating miniaturization beyond the limitations of conventional optoelectronics. It is seen that, as the technology matures during the last few decades, the utility and advantages of ‘electronics’ can be surpassed in certain instances by using ‘photons’. However, the used wavelength in most of these technologies is around the order of micrometers, thus the fundamental diffraction limit has intervened to constrain the advantages of scaling below the subwavelength stage. The solution is to use a hybrid particle state  between electrons and photons which is known as ‘surface plasmon’ to operate in the nanoscale. The SPASER (Surface Plasmon Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation), is the active nanoplasmonic device that can generate surface plasmons and amplify them similar to the lasers.

A video explaining the principle of operation of spasers:

video


Graphic credits :

1.Wikipedia
2.EquinoxGraphics.net
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7. Seidel et al.  Phys. Rev. Lett., 94:177401, May 2005
8. Noginov et al., Nature, 460(7259):1110–1112, 2009