Jun 28, 2012Science and Technology
World's smallest 3D nanoscale optical cavities hold promise for intense nanolasers
Researchers with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) and the University of California (UC) Berkeley have developed the world’s smallest three-dimensional optical cavities with the potential to generate the world’s most intense nanolaser beams. These unique optical cavities possess extraordinary electromagnetic properties applicable to a broad range of other technologies, including LEDs, optical sensing, nonlinear optics, quantum optics and photonic integrated circuits. The team fabricated an "indefinite metamaterial" by alternating super-thin multiple layers of silver germanium from which they created the 3D optical cavities. At nanoscale dimensions, optical cavities compress the optical mode into a tiny space, increasing the photon density of states, therefore enhancing the interactions between light and matter.
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