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Low Bandwidth? ­se More Colors at Once

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Ultrathin nanocavities with embedded silver strips have streamlined color production for todays electronics and future photonics.

A Purdue University-led team has simplified the manufacturing process that allows utilizing multiple colors at the same time on an electronic chip.

Credit: Alexander Kildishev/Purdue University

A team of researchers led by Purdue University has simplified the manufacturing process enabling the utilization of multiple colors simultaneously on an electronic chip instead of one color at a time.

The researchers also developed lasers that are small enough to fit on a chip, resolving a common problem in the transition from electronics to nanophotonics.

To shrink the lasers, the researchers had to downsize the lasers' optical cavity by embedding silver metasurfaces in nanocavities, making the lasers ultrathin.

Purdue's Alexander Kildishev says the optical cavities trap light between two mirrors, and as photons bounce between the mirrors, the amount of light increases to make laser beams possible. By embedding a silver metasurface in the nanocavity, the team achieved a uniform thickness for producing all desired colors.

As a result of this development, future optical metasurfaces could supplant or complement traditional lenses in electronic devices.

From Purdue University News
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