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Volume 6 Issue 9, September 2011

Nanoscale optical antennas can concentrate light into volumes with subwavelength dimension, which is useful for applications such as solar cells, photodetectors and cancer therapy. Previously, however, it has not been possible to make absolute measurements of these enhanced electromagnetic fields in the near field. Now Edward Barnard, Ragip Pala and Mark Brongersma have developed a photodetector platform that can spectrally and spatially map the absolute values of the field near any type of nanoantenna by transducing the local electric fields into photocurrent. The image shows the theoretical enhancement of photocurrent by a metallic strip antenna (increasing from blue through white to red) as a function of wavelength (x axis) and the width of the strip (y axis).

Article p588

IMAGE: EDWARD S. BARNARD

COVER DESIGN: ALEX WING

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