Tag Archives: photonics

New ways to heat up plasmas


The waveguide as it appears within the femtosecond laser amplifier system.
Image by University of Colorado and NSF

There has been a recent bit of interest in plasma physics as with the improvements of modern technology, we are now able to have new ways of creating hotter plasmas. Although the way plasmas are created tend to be self-limiting, a group of researchers from Colorado State University and Heinrich-Heine University in Dusseldorf have developed some experiments where they manipulated the properties of target material instead of the laser pulse itself, hence creating plasma properties several magnitudes from normal experiments.

Read Chris Lee’s writeup on this experiment and the research team’s paper on Nature Photonics.

Solar powered graphene chips

A new study by a group of researchers from MIT, Columbia University and IBM T.J. Watson Research Centre have found a new application for graphene in the photodetetors of optoelectronic devices, using light instead of electricity to move signals. This could pave the way for chips that are simpler, easier to manufacture and more power-efficient.

Read the research paper at Nature Photonics.

Planar Photonics with Metasurfaces


Metamaterials, which are specially engineered materials that can allow us to control the behavior of physical fields, can be turned into metasurfaces, which are flat ultra-thin sheets of metamaterials.

Optical metasurfaces would allow for the unprecedented control of light and this would allow new technologies such as harnessing clouds of electrons in nanophotonic circuits to route optical beams, hyperlenses for better magnification, or more efficient solar cells and sensors.

Kildishev, Boltasseva and Shalaev from Purdue University got together to co-author a paper describing the current progress of developing optical metasurfaces, possible applications in the field, and the future direction of metasurfaces.

Read Emil Venere’s review of the article on Phys.org.

Read more from the original article at Science.