Applied Physics

Imaging Surface Plasmons

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Science  25 Mar 2005:
Vol. 307, Issue 5717, pp. 1841
DOI: 10.1126/science.307.5717.1841a

The drive to integrate optics with nanoelectronics presents a number of problems, one of which is the several orders of magnitude mismatch in the size of the respective components. For example, optical waveguides are typically of micrometer size, whereas active structures such as quantum dots tend to measure only several nanometers. Surface plasmons, which are coupled excitations of light and electrons that propagate on metallic surfaces and that are much smaller than the photon wavelength, are one route being pursued to bridge this gap in scale. Tetz et al. present an imaging technique for studying the excitation and propagation of surface plasmons. The ability to observe directly how these excitations propagate should provide an important step forward in coupling them to nanoscale structures. — ISO

Appl. Phys. Lett. 86, 111110 (2005).

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