Vibrations couple light to graphene

Published in Chemistry World, 11 Dec 2013

Two independent groups have shown that light can be effectively turned into surface plasmons in graphene if the carbon sheet is made to vibrate. The proposal could solve the problem of how to generate this electronic phenomenon in graphene, and could one day help integrate optical and electrical data processing.

Optics and electronics are both widely used to carry data in telecoms, but it is currently difficult to switch from one medium to the other without incurring heat losses and time delays. Plasmons – waves of confined electrons in a conductor – could help. In principle, light incident on a conductor can rouse the conduction electrons into a plasmon, which can then be processed by electronic components. […]

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