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Light-Matter Interaction in Single Layer of Atoms

Photonics.com
Jun 2017
ORLANDO, Fla., June 26, 2017 — A new and more efficient way of detecting light and matter interactions at the atomic level has been discovered that could lead to advances in the emerging field of two-dimensional materials; it could also potentially lead to new ways of controlling light.

University of Central Florida Professor Aristide Dogariu led a research team that conducted the first demonstration of an elastic scattering, near-field experiment performed on a single layer of atoms.
University of Central Florida professor Aristide Dogariu led a research team that conducted the first demonstration of an elastic scattering, near-field experiment performed on a single layer of atoms. Courtesy of UCF.

Scientists typically use spectrometry tools to study the way light interacts with a gas, liquid or solid. That method is described as "inelastic," meaning the light's energy is altered by its contact with matter.

Researchers at the University of Central Florida (UCF) have developed a way to detect such interactions on a single layer of atoms, using a method that is “elastic,” meaning the light’s energy remains unchanged.

"Our experiment establishes that, even at atomic levels, a statistical optics-based measurement has practical capabilities unrivaled by conventional approaches," said Aristide Dogariu of UCF's College of Optics & Photonics.

The researchers demonstrate this novel and fundamental phenomenon using graphene. Their technique involved random illumination of the atomic monolayer from all possible directions and then analyzing how the statistical properties of the input light are influenced by miniscule defects in the atomic layer.

The method provided scientists not only with a simple and robust way to assess structural properties of 2D materials but also with new means for controlling the complex properties of optical radiation at subwavelength scales.

The UCF research has been published in the academic Journal of the Optical Society (doi.org/10.1364/OPTICA.4.000527) and hailed as the first demonstration of an elastic-scattering, near-field experiment performed on a single layer of atoms.

Research & TechnologyeducationUCFUniversity of Central FloridaUCF’s College of Optics and PhotonicsAristide Dogariugraphenelight sourcesoptics

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