The Center for Nano-Optics has been created at Georgia State University (Atlanta, Georgia), under the leadership of Georgia State Physics Professor Mark Stockman. The center 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 1,000 times smaller than the smallest laser and also 1,000 times thinner than a human hair. Success in incorporating spaser technology into transistors, something that cannot be done now, may lead to computer processors that operate 100 to 1,000 times faster than today’s processors. Spasers may also help biomedical researchers identify and track single cancer cells in the bloodstream.
The second invention is the plasmonic metal funnel designed with a very thin needle at the end. This technology allows energy to be delivered to very small spaces. The funnel is already widely used in microscopes to give researchers the ability to see on the nanoscale.