Using Plasmonics to Transmit More Data

Merely a decade ago, people were amazed that their cellular phones could send a simple text message. Now smartphones send and receive high-resolution photographs, videos, emails with large attachments, and much more. The desire for endless data has become insatiable.

“The ability to deliver information from one location to another has played a very important role in advancing human civilization,” said Robert P.H. Chang, professor of materials science and engineering at Northwestern Engineering. “Today, we live in a digital world where the demand for the ability to transmit large amounts of data is growing exponentially.”

To meet this high demand, Chang and his team developed a means to modulate light signals in the near-infrared wavelength region. Their work demonstrates a new scheme to control infrared plasmons, opening a new door for transmitting massive amounts of information.

The research appeared online on Monday, February 22 in the Nature Photonics. Peijun Guo, a senior PhD student in Chang’s laboratory, is the paper’s first author.

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