Optics

Optimizing optical antennae

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Science  22 Dec 2017:
Vol. 358, Issue 6370, pp. 1552-1553
DOI: 10.1126/science.358.6370.1552-d

Nanophotonic technology relies on the ability to capture freely propagating light and convert it to a nanometer-scale plasmonic excitation on a chip. Optical antennae are devices that can be used in that capacity but so far are suboptimal for such applications. Feichtner et al. attribute their poor performance to the fact that present antenna designs are based on larger-scale radiowave rules, which fail to capture the light-matter interaction in sufficient detail. By taking into account the optical properties of materials at the nanometer scale, the authors present an enhanced theoretical description for optical antenna design that should result in high-performance structures that optimize the coupling between a quantum emitter and the antenna.

Phys. Rev. Lett. 119, 217401 (2017).

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