May 9, 2016

Photonics researchers create first nanoscale ‘optical parametric amplifier’

Posted by in categories: energy, nanotechnology


Rice University photonics researchers have unveiled a new nanoparticle amplifier that can generate infrared light and boost the output of one light by capturing and converting energy from a second light.

The innovation, the latest from Rice’s Laboratory for Nanophotonics (LANP), is described online in a paper in the American Chemical Society journal Nano Letters (“Toward Surface Plasmon-Enhanced Optical Parametric Amplification (SPOPA) with Engineered Nanoparticles: A Nanoscale Tunable Infrared Source”). The device functions much like a laser, but while lasers have a fixed output frequency, the output from Rice’s nanoscale “optical parametric amplifier” (OPA) can be tuned over a range of frequencies that includes a portion of the infrared spectrum.

Light-Amplifying Nanoparticle

Rice University’s new light-amplifying nanoparticle consists of a 190-nanometer diameter sphere of barium tin oxide surrounded by a 30-nanometer-thick shell of gold. (Image: Alejandro Manjavacas /Rice University)

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