Nanophotonics: Shrinking light-based technology

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Science  01 May 2015:
Vol. 348, Issue 6234, pp. 516-521
DOI: 10.1126/science.1261243

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The study of light at the nanoscale has become a vibrant field of research, as researchers now master the flow of light at length scales far below the optical wavelength, largely surpassing the classical limits imposed by diffraction. Using metallic and dielectric nanostructures precisely sculpted into two-dimensional (2D) and 3D nanoarchitectures, light can be scattered, refracted, confined, filtered, and processed in fascinating new ways that are impossible to achieve with natural materials and in conventional geometries. This control over light at the nanoscale has not only unveiled a plethora of new phenomena but has also led to a variety of relevant applications, including new venues for integrated circuitry, optical computing, solar, and medical technologies, setting high expectations for many novel discoveries in the years to come.

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