December 4, 2014

A plasmonic analog of graphene

Light propagation in honeycomb arrays of metallic nanoparticles mimics the properties of electrons in graphene, paving the way to unprecedented tunable optical materials.

Light has been the source of inspiration for artists and scientists for millennia. Assyrians developed the first lenses to bend the trajectory of light and the interaction of light with metals was exploited in Mesopotamia and Egypt to create the first mirrors. In classical optics, lenses and mirrors are used to focus light to small scales, but these do not allow the observation of microscopic structures smaller than the wavelength of light, the so-called "diffraction limit."1