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Georgia State Creates Nano-Optics Center

ATLANTA, Dec. 16, 2013 — Georgia State University announced last week that it has created a research center to focus on developing nanotechnology tools and instruments, The Center for Nano-Optics.

“Creation of the Center for Nano-Optics is an important next step for the university," said James Weyhenmeyer, vice president of research and economic development. "Under the leadership of Georgia State physics professor Mark Stockman, a group of physics faculty will expand the university's nanotechnology focus and continue the development of two university inventions: the spaser and the nanoplasmonic metal funnel.”

The spaser is a laser that is 1000 times smaller than the smallest laser commercially available. Success in incorporating spaser technology into transistors, something that cannot be done now, may lead to computer processors that operate 100 to 1000 times faster than today’s processors. The spasers may also help biomedical researchers identify and track single cancer cells in the bloodstream, the university said.

The plasmonic metal funnel is designed with a very thin needle at the end, allowing energy delivery to very small spaces. The funnel is widely used in microscopes to give researchers the ability to see at the nanoscale.

“The center will unite a group of talented physics faculty that has been developing within the department for close to a decade," Stockman said. "This [center] designation will allow us to unite our efforts and significant resources, providing a common vision and general plan for the continued development of our inventions."

The center faculty includes Vadym Apalkov, Nikolaus Dietz, Xiaochun He, Alexander Kozhanov, Steven Manson, Ramesh Mani, Unil Perera, and Murad Sarsour. The team has also been named leaders of a $7.5 million US Department of Defense Office of Naval Research Multidisciplinary University Research Initiative (MURI) grant, under which it will collaborate with Purdue, the University of Central Florida, the University of California at Berkeley, Yale and Cornell to study random lasers, nano-spasers and optical rogue waves.

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