The research team at the University of Rochester has managed to trap light in a silicon nanocavity (wafer) ten times longer than it could ever be trapped in similar optical cavities. The distance which the light could have traveled was cut by several meters as a result. This is a major breakthrough for the researchers as nature’s deepest secrets can be explored when light is confined in small spaces. Professor of physics, Antonio Badolato from the University explains that light has to be trapped by “designing tiny mirrors that can reflect light millions of times”.
The research team worked on a numerical technique and perfected it by coming up with the design enhancement for confining light in the nanostructure. They used a genetic algorithm tool coupled with a technique that mimicked evolutionary biology. They looked at every nanocavity as a separate individual that breeds with other structures to form a new mix. Two single structures combined similar to “parents” to form a mix and the greatest ones displaying the longest trapping time were culled using the algorithm,
The nanocavities are extremely sensitive to alterations of the minutest kind which makes them useful when biosensing. A single drop of blood could be assessed using this device and minute quantities of biomaterials could be detected. The nanocavity can trap light in a tiny region that equals a hundredth of the width of human hair which is roughly one-half millionth of a meter. The fundamental study of nanophysics involves learning how light behaves as a particle. Nanophotonic circuits will improve telecommunications without consuming energy in high amounts and it will be possible to process light very fast for biosensing. Research on this subject is being enthusiastically carried out at the University Of Rochester Medical Center in the wake of these new findings.
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