A Korean research team has succeeded in developing a technology to make a 3D optical antenna that can gather light at the nanometer level. This tech is expected to speed up data communications and information handling to the terahertz (THz) level. Moreover, a hundredfold increase in the storage space of hard disks could be possible with the same technology.
A research team led by Kim Myung-ki and Lee Yong-hee, professors at the Department of Physics at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology, announced on June 15 that they have successfully developed a tech to make a 3D gap-plasmon antenna capable of focusing light with a nanometer-class scope. The three-dimensionally tapered 4 nm air-gap plasmon antenna was created using proximal milling techniques.
When light is focused with high density, it can be used in different fields. However, there has been a certain limit to 2D plasmon antennas, in that they cannot prevent light from spreading in one direction. But the research team was able to expand their research area to a 3D space.
The technology is expected to greatly contribute to improving the speed of data communications and information handling, and increase the storage space of hard disks. Moreover, it could be used in extracting molecule-sized high-resolution images using light, instead of an electronic microscope. The technique also has the potential to develop the production process of semiconductors to the nanometer level.
Professor Kim said, “It is possible to use the newly-developed technology in various kinds of areas including information communications, data storage, image medical science, and semiconductor processing.
The research findings were first published online on June 10 by Nano Letters, a monthly scientific journal published by the American Chemical Society.