Global Sources
EE Times-Asia
Stay in touch with EE Times Asia
EE Times-Asia > Optoelectronics/Displays

Laser-like optical amplifier boosts output of captured light

Posted: 13 May 2016 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:tunable? nanoparticle? Rice University? optical parametric amplifier? infrared spectroscopy?

While the pump laser in Rice's device has a fixed wavelength, both the signal and idler frequencies are tunable.

"People have previously demonstrated nanoscale infrared lasers, but we believe this is the first tunable nanoscale infrared light source," Halas said.

The breakthrough is the latest for Halas' lab, the research arm of Rice's Smalley-Curl Institute that specializes in the study of light-activated nanoparticles. For example, some metallic nanoparticles convert light into plasmons, waves of electrons that flow like a fluid across a particle's surface. In dozens of studies over the past two decades, LANP researchers have explored the basic physics of plasmonics and shown that plasmonic interactions can be harnessed for applications as diverse as medical diagnostics, cancer treatment, solar-energy collection and optical computing.

One of LANP's specialties is the design of multifunctional plasmonic nanoparticles that interact with light in more than one way. Zhang said the nanoscale OPA project required LANP's team to create a single particle that could simultaneously resonate with three frequencies of light.

Yu Zhang

Figure 2: Zhang: What we've demonstrated, in principle, is a single nanoparticle that serves the same function and is about 400 nanometres in diameter.

"There are intrinsic inefficiencies in the OPA process, but we were able to make up for these by designing a surface plasmon with triple resonances at the pump, signal and idler frequencies," Zhang said. "The strategy allowed us to demonstrate tunable emission over a range of infrared frequenciesan important potential step for further development of the technology."

Zhang said former Rice physics postdoctoral researcher Alejandro Manjavacasnow at the University of New Mexicoperformed the necessary calculations to design the triple resonant nanoparticle.

Halas said the project also showcased the multidisciplinary strength of LANP. "In nanophotonics, applied and fundamental research go hand in hand because a deep understanding of the fundamental physics is what allows us to optimise particle design. That's why one of LANP's primary missions is to bring theoreticians and experimentalists together, and this project is a great example of how that pays off."

Halas is Rice's Stanley C. Moore Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering and professor of chemistry, bioengineering, physics and astronomy, and materials science and nanoengineering. Manjavacas is assistant professor of physics and astronomy at the University of New Mexico. Additional Rice co-authors include Nathaniel Hogan, Linan Zhou, Ciceron Ayala-Orozco, Liangliang Dong, Jared Day and Peter Nordlander.

The research, published in the American Chemical Society journal Nano Letters, was supported by the Welch Foundation, the Air Force Office of Scientific Research and the University of New Mexico.

?First Page?Previous Page 1???2

Article Comments - Laser-like optical amplifier boosts ...
*? You can enter [0] more charecters.
*Verify code:


Visit Asia Webinars to learn about the latest in technology and get practical design tips.

Back to Top