Researchers model world's first carbon-based 'spaser'

Apr 16, 2014
Researchers model world's first carbon-based
Your T-shirt's ringing: Telecommunications in the spaser age

(Phys.org) —A new version of "spaser" technology being investigated could mean that mobile phones become so small, efficient, and flexible they could be printed on clothing.

A team of researchers from Monash University's Department of Electrical and Computer Systems Engineering (ECSE) has modelled the world's first spaser (surface plasmon amplification by stimulated emission of radiation) to be made completely of carbon.

A spaser is effectively a nanoscale laser or nanolaser. It emits a beam of light through the vibration of free electrons, rather than the space-consuming electromagnetic wave emission process of a traditional laser.

PhD student and lead researcher Chanaka Rupasinghe said the modelled spaser design using carbon would offer many advantages.

"Other spasers designed to date are made of gold or silver nanoparticles and while our device would be comprised of a resonator and a gain element," Chanaka said.

"The use of carbon means our spaser would be more robust and flexible, would operate at , and be eco-friendly.

"Because of these properties, there is the possibility that in the future an extremely thin could be printed on clothing."

Spaser-based devices can be used as an alternative to current transistor-based devices such as microprocessors, memory, and displays to overcome current miniaturising and bandwidth limitations.

The researchers chose to develop the spaser using graphene and carbon nanotubes. They are more than a hundred times stronger than steel and can conduct heat and electricity much better than copper. They can also withstand high temperatures.

Their research showed for the first time that graphene and carbon nanotubes can interact and transfer energy to each other through light. These optical interactions are very fast and energy-efficient, and so are suitable for applications such as computer chips.

"Graphene and carbon nanotubes can be used in applications where you need strong, lightweight, conducting, and thermally stable materials due to their outstanding mechanical, electrical and optical properties. They have been tested as nanoscale antennas, electric conductors and waveguides," Chanaka said.

Chanaka said a spaser generated high-intensity electric fields concentrated into a nanoscale space. These are much stronger than those generated by illuminating metal nanoparticles by a laser in applications such as cancer therapy.

"Scientists have already found ways to guide nanoparticles close to cancer cells. We can move graphene and nanotubes following those techniques and use the high concentrate fields generated through the spasing phenomena to destroy individual cancer cells without harming the healthy cells in the body," Chanaka said

The paper has been published in ACS Nano.

Explore further: Hybrid nanotube-graphene material promises to simplify manufacturing

More information: "Spaser Made of Graphene and Carbon Nanotubes. Chanaka Rupasinghe," Ivan D. Rukhlenko, and Malin Premaratne. ACS Nano 2014 8 (3), 2431-2438. DOI: 10.1021/nn406015d

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User comments : 15

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MR166
2 / 5 (2) Apr 16, 2014
"(Phys.org) —A new version of "spaser" technology being investigated could mean that mobile phones become so small, efficient, and flexible they could be printed on clothing."

What is it with Phys.org and cell phones? Why do they frame the value of a new development in terms of cell phone improvements?
Whydening Gyre
5 / 5 (3) Apr 16, 2014
It's a lay relatable technology example.
Whydening Gyre
5 / 5 (1) Apr 16, 2014
Because it's a lay-relatable tech example..
version782
5 / 5 (1) Apr 16, 2014
Cell phones should be called pocket computers or pockputers, due to their ever increasing functionality that goes beyond that of a simple phone device
cantdrive85
1 / 5 (6) Apr 16, 2014
Researchers model world's first carbon-based 'spaser'

I wonder how much the IMF will want to tax this carbon?
alfie_null
4.3 / 5 (6) Apr 17, 2014
Researchers model world's first carbon-based 'spaser'

I wonder how much the IMF will want to tax this carbon?

Do you even know what the IMF is? Apparently not. To you, just another organization you've been instructed is one of the bad guys.

If you harbor any illusions of impressing us with your attempts at smartass quips, you'd best just keep quiet. Your audience is way smarter than you, and that's something you can't change.
MorganW
2 / 5 (1) Apr 17, 2014
If this could be used as a cell-phone or any other type of device (communication or otherwise), how would they power it? The biggest limitation for any wearable technology these days is battery length.
TheGhostofOtto1923
2 / 5 (2) Apr 17, 2014
What this means is that cellphone-level communications can be built into most anything of value, making them impossible to steal. All valuables and all people will be tagged and monitored in the future.
MR166
2 / 5 (1) Apr 17, 2014
"All valuables and all people will be tagged and monitored in the future."

You say that as if it were a positive development. I fear that the era of individual freedoms has passed.
TheGhostofOtto1923
1.7 / 5 (3) Apr 18, 2014
"All valuables and all people will be tagged and monitored in the future."

You say that as if it were a positive development. I fear that the era of individual freedoms has passed
"You fear". My grandfather feared riding in automobiles. You won't be the one welcoming it when it finally comes to pass will you?

I for one welcome our machine overlords and gladly cede supremacy to them. We are designing them to supersede us because we understand that we are inadequate.

We understood this when we first found it necessary to write things down so we wouldn't forget them; and so that others wouldn't take advantage of our weakness for forgetting things.

Your 'fears' are only your reluctance to give up your god-given right to CHEAT. Machines are already methodically taking this ability away from you.

I know, it's painful. Like living in a cage where you can actually see the bars.
MR166
not rated yet Apr 18, 2014
Good one Otto, I still can't figure if you are being sarcastic.
Whydening Gyre
not rated yet Apr 19, 2014
"All valuables and all people will be tagged and monitored in the future."

You say that as if it were a positive development. I fear that the era of individual freedoms has passed.

It's not the "tagging" you need to fear. More, the use of it...
antialias_physorg
5 / 5 (1) Apr 19, 2014
What is it with Phys.org and cell phones?

Nothing. Physorg doesn't write any articles. This is an aggregation site.
MR166
3 / 5 (2) Apr 19, 2014
Well someone interprets these papers and writes about them. I appears they think that the cell phone is the only application of any value.
Returners
1 / 5 (1) Apr 19, 2014
If this could be used as a cell-phone or any other type of device (communication or otherwise), how would they power it? The biggest limitation for any wearable technology these days is battery length.


As I understand it, the energy consumption in graphene and nanotube circuits will be much, much lower than conventional circuitry.

I guess mostly what lay people will do with this computers is play ever more advanced video games and watch higher resolution movies.

In medicine this will be a huge revolution eventually

Nobody wants "transcendence". Even though I am enthusiastic about nano-tech, the notion of being able to make a collective of nanites capable of reprogramming a human being is far beyond what I want to ever see among humanity, but our own brains are all the evidence we need that something like that is theoretically possible.