MY AMERICAN SCIENTIST
LOG IN! REGISTER!
SEARCH
 
RSS
Logo IMG
HOME > My Amsci > Restricted Access

A Bright Future for Subwavelength Light Sources



Restricted Access The content you've requested is available without charge only to active Sigma Xi members and American Scientist subscribers.


If you are an active member or an individual subscriber, please log in now in order to access this article.

If you are not a member or individual subscriber, you can:



Abstract:

Figure 7. The new model invokes Click to Enlarge Image

The amount of data you can burn on a compact disk or DVD hinges, fundamentally, on the spot size of each data bit. Recording devices that rely on a focusing lens are restricted by the physical diffraction limit, but very small spot sizes can alternatively be made by passing the light through a tiny hole.  The roadblock is that holes that are much smaller than a wavelength in size typically do not allow much light to go through. Surprisingly, when the area surrounding the hole has surface corrugations, the power throughput of even very small holes can be enhanced considerably, to the point that it is useful for data recording.  Although she was once a staunch supporter of the idea that a phenomenon called surface-plasmon resonance accounted for this effect, the author has recently come to champion an entirely different explanation: the diffraction and interference of evanescent waves.


Subscribe to American Scientist