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Russian Scientists Promise "Copper Revolution" in Nanophotonics
February 29, 2016 22:29

Researchers from the Moscow Physics and Technology Institute have for the first time experimentally demonstrated that nanophoton components based on copper can efficiently work in photon devices. Earlier it was considered that only gold and silver components have the properties necessary for this purpose.
Copper components are not just as good as their analogs from precious metals, but also, unlike them, are easily integrated into chips in a standard technological process. Results of the research have been published in the prestigious scientific magazine NanoLetters.
"We have managed to create copper chips, the optical properties of which are every bit as good as those of gold analogs. Moreover, we have achieved it in a production cycle compatible with the CMOS technology, which is the basis of all modern integrated circuits, including microprocessors. It is a sort of revolution in nanophotonics" - the research leader Dmitry Fedyanin emphasized.
Nanophotonics is the research area focused on replacing computer components with more perfect analogs due to use of photons instead of electrons. Nanodimensional photon components are create on the basis of so-called metal - dielectric nanostructures, and  it was assumed earlier that only two metals - gold and silver can be applied for creation of effective nanostructures.
However in practice it is very difficult to create components on the basis of gold and silver, because both metals practically do not provoke a chemical reaction, so the process of creating nanostructures is expensive, long, and sometimes not feasible at all.
Copper Instead of Gold
Experts of the nanooptics and plazmonics laboratory at the nanodimensional optoelectronics center of the Moscow Physics and Technology Institute have made a revolutionary discovery for photonics and computers of the future. They managed for the first time to make nanophoton components on the basis of copper, which do not concede to gold analogs in regards of their properties.
It is remarkable that copper components have been made by scientists in the standard technological process used for production of the majority of modern chips. It means that copper nanophoton components can in the near future give the basis for power effective sources of radiation and super delicate sensors, as well as high-performance optoelectronic processors that run on several thousand GPU cores.
This research lays the foundation for practical use of copper nanophoton and the plazmon components, which will be applied in light-emitting diodes, nanolasers, super delicate sensors and sensors for mobile devices, high-performance optoelectronic processors, display cards, personal computers and supercomputers.



Author: Vera Ivanova

Tags: Nanophotonics Russian Physics    

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