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Oct 9, 2019

Nanoscale manipulation of light leads to exciting new advancement

Posted by in categories: materials, nanotechnology

Controlling the interactions between light and matter has been a long-standing ambition for scientists seeking to develop and advance numerous technologies that are fundamental to society. With the boom of nanotechnology in recent years, the nanoscale manipulation of light has become both, a promising pathway to continue this advancement, as well as a unique challenge due to new behaviors that appear when the dimensions of structures become comparable to the wavelength of light.

Scientists in the Theoretical Nanophotonics Group at The University of New Mexico’s Department of Physics and Astronomy have made an exciting new advancement to this end, in a pioneering research effort titled “Analysis of the Limits of the Near-Field Produced by Nanoparticle Arrays,” published recently in the journal, ACS Nano, a top journal in the field of nanotechnology. The group, led by Assistant Professor Alejandro Manjavacas, studied how the optical response of periodic arrays of metallic nanostructures can be manipulated to produce in their vicinity.

The arrays they studied are composed of silver nanoparticles, tiny spheres of silver that are hundreds of times smaller than the thickness of a human hair, placed in a repeating pattern, though their results apply to nanostructures made of other materials as well. Because of the between each of the nanospheres, these systems can be used for different applications, ranging from vivid, high-resolution color printing to biosensing that could revolutionize healthcare.

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