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Researchers Develop Nanoscale Optical Equipment

A team headed by scientists from the US Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and the University of California, Berkeley have developed what they say are world’s smallest 3D optical cavities, components in an optical system that allow a beam to travel through a closed path,  with the potential to generate intense nanolaser beams. The optical cavities could be used in various optical devices, including nanolasers, LEDs, photonic integrated circuits, optical sensors, and photonic communications. The researchers built the optical cavities with an indefinite metamaterial created with ultrathin silver and germanium layers. These materials can bend light backward in some directions, a property known as negative refraction. The material also enabled researchers to make very small optical cavities able to be used in smaller devices and to take advantage of electromagnetic behavior not found in naturally occurring materials. This allows the cavities, for example, to be different sizes, but still have the same resonance frequency. The scientists published their work in Nature Photonics. (Science Daily)(Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory)(Nature Photonics)

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