Meta-sensor proposed for diagnostics of metamaterials

A paper by KFU’s Laboratory of Quantum Photonics and Metamaterials saw light in The Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters.

The work is supported by Russian Science Foundation’s grant ‘Synthesis and study of a new class of nanocomposite ceramics with degenerate permittivity for optoplasmonic applications’.

Co-author, Professor Sergey Kharintsev, comments, “Previously, we were engaged in the development of technology for controlled optical heating of nanostructures in a wide temperature range from 20°C to 3000°C, so we were able to develop an optical sensor that can be used to study the processes of melting, crystallization and glass transition of spatially limited (nano-sized) materials.”

He explains, “The optical sensor is a plasmonic refractory metasurface consisting of an ordered array of cylindrical TiN:Si nanoantennas. By scanning ordered nanoantennas with a focused laser beam, one can sequentially heat them up to a given temperature in less than one microsecond. The temperature range of optical heating is controlled either by the geometric size of the silicon cylinder or by the optical absorption coefficient of the TiN nanoantenna. Using such a device, it is possible to create subwavelength temperature profiles.”

This approach can be used to develop the high-temperature method of giant Raman scattering of light and thermally controlled high-power LEDs.

“Our meta-sensor can be used to solve a number of breakthrough interdisciplinary problems, such as thermal superlensing, analog computing on thermal metasurfaces, thermooptical nanocatalysis, modulation of neurophysiological activity, optical thermal cycling for PCR, and 3D thermooptical nanoprinting with an accuracy of more than 100 nanometers,” concludes the researcher.

In addition, Yelena Chernykh, a PhD student who partook in the project, successfully presented her PhD thesis titled ‘Determination of the Glass Transition Temperature of Nanosized Polymers Using Thermoplasmonics and Scanning Probe Microscopy’.

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