Plasmonics and Nanophotonics

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The process of incorporation of optics into electronic circuitry is accompanied by the permanent requirement to decrease the size of the devices. Circuits build on photonic crystals or dielectric waveguides are in general of several microns in size. Attempts to reduce the size of such devices are slowed down by the fundamental difficulties such as diffraction limit. One of the promising solutions to this problem is the use of surface plasmons. Here one can get the optical mode much smaller than the excitation wavelength by coupling the electromagnetic energy to the field of the free electrons in metals. Guiding can be achieved by changing the geometry of the surface or by selective deposition of metals on dielectric layers. Another way to exploit the plasmonic effect is to use metallic nanostructures (to be used as mesoscopic giant dipoles). By arranging such nanoparticles in different geometries one can guide light below the diffraction limit at visible frequencies.