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Researchers Send Electricity, Light Along Same Super-Thin Wire

By University of Rochester NewsCenter

September 8, 2014

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Researchers at the University of Rochester and the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology have developed a basic model circuit consisting of a silver nanowire and a single-layer flake of molybdenum disulfide (MoS2).

Similar to graphene, MoS2 is composed of layers that are weakly bonded to each other, so they can be easily separated.

The researchers used a laser to excite electromagnetic waves called plasmons at the surface of the wire, which caused the MoS2 flake at the far end of the wire to generate strong light emission. At the other end, as the excited electrons relaxed, they were collected by the wire and converted back into plasmons, which emitted light of the same wavelength.

"We have found that there is pronounced nanoscale light-matter interaction between plasmons and atomically thin material that can be exploited for nanophotonic integrated circuits," says Rochester professor Nick Vamivakas.

He says the research holds promise for guiding the transmission of light and maintaining the intensity of the signal in very small dimensions.

In bulk MoS2, electrons and photons interact as they would in traditional semiconductors such as silicon and gallium arsenide, but as MoS2 is reduced to thinner and thinner layers, the transfer of energy between electrons and photons becomes more efficient.

From University of Rochester NewsCenter
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