Observing light trapped in graphene nanostructures

CIC nanoGUNE Seminars

Alexey Nikitin, Nanooptics Group
nanoGUNE seminar room, Tolosa Hiribidea 76, Donostia - San Sebastian
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Observing light trapped in graphene nanostructures Graphene-based technologies enable extremely small optical nanodevices. We will demonstrate how infrared light can be captured by nanostructures made of graphene. This happens when light couples to charge oscillations in the graphene. The resulting mixture of light and charge oscillations - called plasmon - can be squeezed into record-small volumes - millions times smaller than in conventional dielectric optical cavities. This process can be visualized with the help of near-field optical microscopy. The theory helps to explain the near-field images and recognize two different types of plasmons - edge and sheet modes - propagating either along the sheet or along the sheet edges. The edge plasmons are unique for their ability to channel electromagnetic energy in one dimension. This opens new opportunities for ultra-small and efficient photodetectors, sensors and other photonic and optoelectronic nanodevices. The discussed results also provide novel insights into the physics of near-field microscopy, which could be very useful for interpreting near-field images of other light-matter interactions in two- dimensional materials.