What is the News?
Researchers from the University of Hyderabad have developed a technique named “mechanophotonics”. It has allowed them to move, slice, bend, and lift micron-sized wave guiding crystals using atomic force microscopy.
Significance of Research: This ability to manipulate micron-sized crystals with precision and control is very useful in the field of nanophotonics. It focuses on building circuits, driven entirely by photons (light).
What is Nanophotonics or nano-optics?
- It is the study of the behavior of light on the nanometer scale and the interaction of nanometer-scale objects with light. It is a branch of optics, optical engineering, electrical engineering, and nanotechnology.
- Nanometer: It is equal to one billionth of a meter. One nanometre can be expressed in scientific notation as 1×10−9 m.
Applications of Nanophotonics:
- Solar Cells often work best when the light is absorbed very close to the surface. It is because electrons near the surface have a better chance of being collected. Moreover, the device can be made thinner, which reduces cost. Researchers have investigated a variety of nanophotonic techniques to intensify light in the optimal locations within a solar cell.
- Nano-Photonics can help achieve an unprecedented level of miniaturization. It is useful for all-optical-based technologies such as pliable, wearable devices. These are operated by light entirely.
- Nanophotonics would make it possible to go beyond current electronics. It will build up integrated-circuits driven entirely by photons(light).
- If a given amount of light energy is squeezed into a smaller and smaller volume (“hot-spot”), the intensity in the hot-spot gets larger and larger. This is especially helpful in nonlinear optics, an example is surface-enhanced Raman scattering.
Source: The Hindu