Graphene innovation manipulates electromagnetic radiation across wide wavelength range

Graphene innovation manipulates electromagnetic radiation across wide wavelength range

Technology News |
By eeNews Europe

The result of the research could lead to the development of ultra-high resolution spectroscopy techniques and gas sensing technology.

A team of international scientists, led by Prof. Geoff Nash from the University of Exeter, have engineered a new hybrid structure, or metamaterial, that possesses specific characteristics that are not found in natural materials.

The collaborative team combined nanoribbons of graphene, in which electrons are able to oscillate backwards and forwards, together with a type of antenna called a
split ring resonator.

Careful design of these two elements leads to a system which strongly interacts with electromagnetic radiation. In these experiments the team used light with long wavelengths, far beyond what the human eye can see, to show that these new structure can be used as a type of optical switch to interrupt, and turn on and off, a beam of this light very quickly.

The collaborative international research, including experts from the Univ. of Exeter, England, and teams led by Dr. Sergey Mikhailov at the Univ. of Augsburg, Germany,
and Prof. Jérôme Faist at ETH Zurich, is published in Nature Communications.

Prof. Geoff Nash, from the University of Exeter’s Dept. of Engineering said: "In these novel results we demonstrate a new type of structure which can be used not only as an exciting test bed to explore the underlying new science, but that could form the basis of a range of technologically important components".

The research was carried out as part of the EU FET Open Project GOSFEL, which aims to develop a new laser source for applications such as gas sensing.

Prof. Nash, who is also Director of Natural Sciences at Exeter said: "One of the key characteristics of our structure is that it has the effect of focusing the electromagnetic radiation into an area much smaller than its wavelength.

"This could potentially lead to new ways of undertaking ultra-high resolution spectroscopy of, for example, bio molecules."

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