A team of Northwestern University researchers has developed a method to create a laser device with the same size of the particles that make up a virus. The news, which appears capable of operating at room temperature, can be easily integrated into devices fabricated in silicon optical circuits and biosensors with nanometer scale.
The discovery should represent a true revolution in the way data is stored on physical media and how they are processed. According to Teri Odom, technology specialist who led the project, the laser is able to defy the known limits for the diffraction of light rays.
“The reason we are able to manufacture nanolasers with smaller dimensions than those allowed by the diffraction of light is the fact that we use a cavity formed by metal nanoparticle dimers – dimensional structures with a shape similar to knot a tie,” says Odom.
Advantages over other techniques
Those responsible for the project say that using the new geometry has two significant advantages over previous experiments that used similar techniques. In addition to the structure to be well formed and defined, creating a concentration electromagnetic controlled with a volume enough, the metal loss occurring during the process are kept at a minimum because of the shape of the cavity.
“We also found that, when arranged in a matrix, the three-dimensional resonators shaped loop can emit light at specific angles according to the network parameters,” said Odom. Thus, the new nanolasers may be integrated in a high density, thereby operate the novelty in a controlled manner even when working with multiple channels.