Probably more next decade than this, but scientists in Spain and in California both announced a big advance in making plasmon optoelectronics become a 21st century reality. As usual, graphene is involved in the advance. While it’s way too early to try to estimate what this means for future graphite demand, by now it’s pretty obvious that the 21st century is going to a graphite/graphene age.
Quite what this means for next generation consumer electronics is guesswork at present, but this quote gives an idea of where we are headed.
“Just like light can carry complex signals through fiber optics, plasmons could be used to transmit information. But plasmons could carry information within far tighter spaces.”
Dimitri Basov, professor of physics at the University of California, San Diego.
Taming Light With Graphene
ScienceDaily (June 20, 2012) — Scientists have visualized the trapping and confinement of light on graphene, making a sheet of carbon atoms the most promising candidate for optical information processing on the nano-scale, optical detection, and ultrafast optoelectronics.
Spanish research groups have achieved the first ever visualizations of light guided with nanometric precision on graphene (a one-atom-thick sheet of carbon atoms). This visualization demonstrates what theoretical physicists have long predicted; that it is possible to trap and manipulate light in a highly efficient way, using graphene as a novel platform for optical information processing and sensing. Synergies between theoretical proposals from IQFR-CSIC (Madrid), specializations in graphene nano-photonics and nano-optoelectonics at ICFO (Barcelona), and experimental expertise in optical nano-imaging at nanoGUNE (San Sebastian) give rise to these noteworthy results reported in Nature this week in a back-to-back publication alongside a similar study by the group of Dmitry Basov in UCSD in California.
Graphene Is a Tunable Plasmonic Medium
Institute of Physical Chemistry "ROCASOLANO" (IQFR)
The Institute of Photonic Sciences.
UC San Diego