A low-loss origami plasmonic waveguide

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Science  04 Aug 2017:
Vol. 357, Issue 6350, pp. 452-453
DOI: 10.1126/science.aan6488

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Computers consume large amounts of energy because the electrons that carry information dissipate heat as they move through chips. Optical computing platforms, which transfer information using photons, would mitigate the losses incurred through heat generation. Glass fibers can transport light across large distances with virtually no loss, but they are unsuitable for length scales below 1 µm because propagation is based on classical optics, which requires the size of the medium to be larger than the photon wavelength. Roller et al. (1) have now addressed this size challenge by demonstrating a low-loss nanoscale plasmonic waveguide based on a heterogeneous trimer composed of gold-silver-gold nanoparticles (Au-Ag-Au NPs). This concept validates the possibility of using such heterogeneous assemblies as energy-transfer elements through near-field interactions, while avoiding the typically high dissipation associated with plasmonics.