Scientists at the University of Oviedo, the Donostia International Center for Physics and other international centers have managed to guide light in the direction of light. Until now, nano-oriented materials have not been able to do this. This progress can be applied to information processing, telecommunications and sensors.
future development Photonic nanotechnology Applications in the field of communications and biosensors ultimately depend on our ability to control the propagation of nano-light in nano-level optical circuits (10,000 times smaller than the thickness of human hair).
Now, scientists from Oviedo University, Nanomaterials and Nanotechnology Research Center (CINN-CSIC), Donostia International Physics Center (DIPC), Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology, and Austrian Institute of Technology have achieved A milestone is able to guide mint Along the direction previously prohibited in nano-thickness materials.
The discovery was published in the journal Scientific progressIt has applications in nano-level information processing, telecommunications, sensors and thermal control.
The author has proved this finding in an experiment. Van der Waals Materials It can be divided into several atomically thick sheets, like a pile of folios that are easy to separate. The most famous is graphene, but due to its unique properties, many other materials are currently being studied.Some allow to spread nanlight or PolarinElectromagnetic waves, when illuminating matter, are excited and travel on the surface in a similar way to ocean waves.
Molybdenum trioxide is another van der Waals material that has been used in this work. Contrary to conventional materials where nano-light can propagate in all directions, in molybdenum trioxide, this tiny light can only propagate in a specific direction and not in other directions.
This extraordinary ability to directionally guide nanolight has very interesting applications in various fields such as biosensing and telecommunications. Therefore, the possibility of controlling this propagation direction on demand will open up endless new possibilities.
What the team has now discovered is that nanolights can be redirected in these previously prohibited directions, coupling the nanolights in molybdenum trioxide to certain substrates, such as silicon carbide.
Experiments are performed by using a near-field scanning optical microscope to directly visualize phenomena, which is one of the most advanced methods for studying new nanomaterials.
The co-author said: “Our experiment far exceeded our expectations.” Jiahua DuanHe is a postdoctoral researcher in the Quantum Nano Optics Group of University of Oviedo. “By superimposing molybdenum trioxide on silicon carbide, we found that nano-light can be sent in prohibited directions.”
The importance of topology
He added: “When we studied it, we realized that it has a lot to do with mathematical properties: topology.” Gonzalo Alvarez Perez, PhD students in the same group. “This fact provides new basic knowledge for nanolight in highly anisotropic materials. Although this work is based on specific materials and specific spectral ranges, it lays the foundation for extending these anomalous optical properties to other systems. Foundation.”
He pointed out: “Our findings in this material are of great significance to the development of information and communication technology in the future, because it can be used as a router, so that we can guide the propagation of nano-light in the desired direction.” Javier Martin Sanchez, Ramóny Cajal, a researcher in the Quantum Nano Optics Group.
“This work provides basic new insights for the emergence of the topological transformation of van der Waals materials, which provides an ideal platform for transforming the latest advances in the topology of electronic materials into optical devices, which is very promising for guiding light efficiently at the nanometer level. Way.” Play your own role Alexis You Nikitin, Ikerbasque researcher at DIPC.
According to the author, this study shows that the structure composed of van der Waals material sheets provides important functions in the emerging field of nano optics. Pablo Alonso González, head of the Quantum Nano Optics Group, explained: “The possibility of guiding light to propagate in new directions on the nanoscale will allow the development of biosensors, quantum technologies or in The application of heat on the nanoscale.”.
Duan Jiahua, Gonzalo Alvarez Perez, Kirill. V. Voronin, Iván Prieto, Javier Taboada-Gutiérrez, Valentyn S. Volkov, Javier Martín-Sánchez, Alexey. Y. Nikitin and Pablo Alonso-González, “The anisotropic polaron propagates in the forbidden direction through topological transformation.” Scientific progress, 2021.