28 Dec '16
A team of physicists representing MIPT, one of Moscow’s most renowned tech universities also known as Phystech, and ITMO, a sizable St. Petersburg-based university, earlier this year demonstrated the potential to use silicon nanoparticles in efficient nonlinear control of light. The research was in English in ACS Photonics.
The scientists believe the results of their work may pave the way for the development of silicon nanoparticle based optical devices with diverse functionality enabling, for example, the penetration, reflection or scattering of light in any direction chosen, depending on light intensity. That, in its turn, may lead to the development of tiny chips for super-fast data processing in optical communications lines and optical computers of the future.
In their experiments, the researchers demonstrated that impacting a Si nanoparticle by a powerful laser pulse may result in an ultra-fast switch between different light scattering modes, and put together an analytical theory that describes such nonlinear nanoantennas.
“The results of our work show high potential silicon nanoparticles have for the creation of super-fast optical nanodevices. The model we have come up with may be used to develop far more sophisticated Si particle containing nanostructures with the capacity to control light in a completely unorthodox manner. For example, we have plans to not only change the amplitude of an optical signal but also move it to position it at an angle we need, and do it within an ultra-short period of time,” Sergei Makarov, a senior research fellow at ITMO’s nanophotonics and metamaterials chair, was quoted as saying.