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Optics on the Nano-scale: a New Realm for Surface Physics, Signal Processing and Sensing

Dr. Dmitri K. Gramotnev

School of Physical and Chemical Sciences, Queensland University of Technology

Wednesday 27 August 2008, 3:30 pm, EN101 (Ground Floor, EN Building), Hawthorn.

Modern electronics is rapidly coming to its fundamental limit, which makes it difficult to sustain further growth of electronic communication, information processing, sensitivity and versatility of measurement techniques, etc. One of the recognised ways out of this difficulty is to replace electronic devices and techniques by their superior optical counterparts.

The goal of this presentation is to review the major recent theoretical developments and achievements in plasmonics for the most effective delivery and manipulation of light at the nano-scale, including new approaches for the design of sub-wavelength nano-optical waveguides and devices, optical approaches in nanotechnology and nano-manipulation. The following two major areas of optical nano-technologies will be focused on. First: To achieve efficient sub-wavelength localisation and guiding of optical signals in metallic (plasmonic) nano-structures, based on new types of strongly localised guided optical modes and new approaches to focusing of light beyond the diffraction limit, with the ultimate aim to develop superior nano-optical circuits and signal-processing devices, optical imaging techniques with nano-scale resolution, and new generation of nano-optical sensors potentially capable of detection and imaging of separate molecules. Second: To develop new optical approaches to efficient trapping and controlled manipulation of nano-objects and separate molecules with nano-scale resolution for the development of new efficient nanofabrication techniques, measurement and sensing instrumentation, precise optically driven nano-mechanical systems, and new means for engineering properties of surfaces and interfaces with conventionally unachievable characteristics.

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