Have you ever heard of Nanophotonics? It’s also called nano-optics — things like laser communication, optimizing solar cells and how much they can generate, near-field microscopy, surface-plasmon resonance microscopy (SPR), and lots of other very focused research (no pun intended, but ha haaa) into how light interacts when it’s squeezed into very, very tiny volumes.
Still not getting it? Ok, from SPIE’s own journal on Nanophotonics, here’s a wide net on what the hell Nanophotonics covers:
- Nanoparticles and nanoparticulate composite materials
- Quantum dots and other low-dimensional nanostructures
- Nanotubes, nanowires, and nanofibers
- Nanowaveguides and nanoantennas
- Sculptured thin films and nanostructured photonic crystals
- Quantum optics and spintronics
- Nanoscale optical electronics
- Surface plasmons and nanoplasmonics
- Ultrashort pulse propagation
- Light-harvesting materials and devices
- Nanophotonic detectors
- Near-field optics
- Optical manipulation techniques, spectroscopies, and scattering techniques
- Molecular self-assembly, and other nanofabrication techniques
- Nanophotonic concepts and systems that facilitate continued integration of various optical and/or electronic functions
- Dynamically tunable, multifunctional, and/or active nanomaterials and metamaterials
Yeah, I looked up seven of them myself!
Regardless, it’s photonics and optics, and that is one of my favorite research locations! Here’s Professor Kent Choquette at the University of Illinois at Champaign/Urbana talking nanophotonics to a group of students. WARNING, NON-NERDS: This is over an hour, and not for the feeble math minded!