Laser Technique Traps, Controls Light On Graphene Surface

First Posted: Nov 17, 2015 11:09 AM EST

Researchers have developed a technique that traps light on the surface of graphene by using pulses of laser lights.

The new graphene-light technique could generate a variety of miniature optical circuits and Internet speeds can be increased significantly, according to a study by researchers from the University of Exeter in the UK and the ICFO Institute in Barcelona.

"This new research has the potential to give us invaluable insight into the wonder material and how it interacts with light," Dr. Tom Constant, lead author of the study, said in a news release. "A more immediate commercial application could be a simple device that could easily scan a piece of graphene and tell you some key properties like conductivity, resistance and purity."

The researchers used pulses of laser light to steer the trapped light on a graphene surface, nanoscale devices were not necessary in the process. The trapped light transformed into a quasi-particle known as a surface plasmon, which is a combination of light and electrons from graphene.

This new technique of trapping and controlling light on a surface could connect electronics and light together. Also, it could create the highest level of electronic devices, such as sensors and tiny integrated circuits.

"Computers then can use light as part of their infrastructure have the potential to show significant improvement," Constant said. "Any advance that reveals more about light's interaction with graphene-based electronics will surely benefit the computers or smartphones of the future."

The findings of this study were published in the scientific journal, Nature Physics.

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