Sub-wavelength optics

Definition

Sub-wavelength optics is the study of light on a spatial scale smaller than its wavelength. Conventionally, the minimum length scale on which a beam of light can operate is equal to half its wavelength. However, by coupling light to matter, photonic effects can be realised on a much smaller spatial scale.

Latest Research and Reviews

News and Comment

  • News and Views |

    Measurement of the forces that arise from quantum vacuum fluctuations between closely spaced surfaces typically requires large apparatus, making applications difficult. Now, an experiment on a silicon chip to measure the Casimir force has been realized.

    • Kimball A. Milton
    Nature Photonics 11, 73–74
  • News and Views |

    Using an electro-optic effect, submicrometre-sized beams have been shown to exhibit non-paraxial propagation over 1,000 Rayleigh lengths. The discovery does not require inhomogeneous or lossy media like plasmon waveguiding.

    • Hayk Harutyunyan
    Nature Photonics 9, 213–214
  • Editorial |

    'Nanophotonics' is no longer just the realm of plasmonics researchers. Fields like metamaterials and 'flat' two-dimensional systems based on atomically thin materials are expanding the boundaries of nanophotonics.

  • Comments and Opinion |

    Nature Photonics spoke to Pierre Berini — pioneer of plasmon waveguides — to get some perspective on how nanophotonics has evolved over the past decade and where it is heading.

    Nature Photonics 8, 878–879