Plasmonics

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The ever-increasing demand for faster information transport and processing capabilities is undeniable. Our data-hungry society has driven enormous progress in the Si electronics industry and we have witnessed a continuous progression towards smaller, faster, and more efficient electronic devices over the last five decades. The scaling of these devices has also brought about a myriad of challenges. Currently, two of the most daunting problems preventing significant increases in processor speed are thermal and signal delay issues associated with electronic interconnection.

Plasma is a medium with equal concentration of positive and negative charges, of which at least one charge type is mobile. With the increasing quest for transporting large amounts of data at a fast speed along with miniaturization both electronics and photonics are facing limitations. In physics, the plasmon is the quasi particle resulting from the quantization of plasma oscillations just as photons and phonons are quantization of light and sound waves, respectively.

Thus, plasmons are collective oscillations of the free electron gas density, often at optical frequencies. They can also couple with a photon to create a third quasi particle called a plasma polariton. Scientists are now more inclined from Photonics to Plasmonics. It opens the new era in optical communication.. Further exploration of these intriguing plasmonic phenomena may yield even more exciting discoveries and inventions interactions between electromagnetic waves and matter.

The ideas of Plasmonics illustrate the rich array of optical properties that inspire researchers in this field. By studying the elaborate interplay between electromagnetic waves and free electrons, investigators have identified new possibilities for transmitting data in our integrated circuits, illuminating our homes and fighting cancer. Further exploration of these intriguing plasmonic phenomena may yield even more exciting discoveries and inventions interactions between electromagnetic waves and matter. That includes laser-plasma and laser-solid interactions, nano-photonics, and plasmonics.

The future challenge may be (a) developing high-gradient accelerators of charged particles (table-top colliders!), and (b) designing novel nano structures that will contribute to nano scale optical imaging and spectroscopy of chemicals and bio molecules. Plasmonics may well serve as the missing link between the two device technologies that currently have a difficult time communicating. By increasing the synergy between these technologies, plasmonics may be able to unleash the full potential of nano scale functionality and become the next wave of chip-scale technology.

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