Wonder of Nanotechnology

Research paved the way for integrated semiconductor OE devices. Web-only bonus content.

01 January 2014

The Wonder of Nanotechnology: Quantum Optoelectronic Devices and Applications, a new SPIE Press book edited by SPIE Fellow Manijeh Razeghi and Nobel laureates Leo Esaki and Klaus von Klitzing, focuses on the application of nanotechnology to modern semiconductor optoelectronics used in everything from cell-phone photography to environmental monitoring to space exploration.

The book collects research breakthroughs in quantum engineering that have created light detectors and emitters over a spectral range of 0.2 to 300 µm, including LEDs in the deep-ultraviolet to visible wavelengths and quantum cascade lasers and focal-plane arrays in the infrared based on quantum dots.

“Advances in material science at the nanometer scale are opening new doors in the area of optics and electronics,” according to SPIE Fellow Nibir Dhar, program manager with the US Defense Advanced Research Project Agency (DARPA).

“The ability to manipulate atoms and photons and fabricate new material structures offers opportunities to realize new emitters, detectors, optics, ever-shrinking electronics, and integration of optics and electronics,” Dhar writes in an essay in the book. “Imaging technology has the opportunity to leverage these developments to produce new products for military, industrial, medical, security, and other consumer applications.”

The book's 32 chapters cover quantum cascade lasers, infrared detectors, plasmonics, gas spectroscopy, and other topics in quantum optoelectronics and nanophotonics.

In addition to editing the book, each of the three editors has contributed introductory comments.

Klitzing, director of the Max Planck Institute for Solid State Research in Germany and recipient of the 1985 Nobel Prize in Physics for his discovery of the integer quantum Hall effect, pays homage to nature as the ultimate nanotechnology in the book’s preface.

“The wings of a butterfly, the feather of a peacock, the sheen of a pearl — all of these are examples of nature’s photonic crystals,” von Klitzing says. “As our tools to manipulate matter reach ever smaller length scales, we, too, are able to join in the game of discovery in the nano-world — a game that nature has long since mastered.”

Razeghi, director of the Center for Quantum Devices at Northwestern University (USA) and a pioneer in quantum materials, also writes about connections to nature in an introduction.

Esaki, who shared the 1973 Nobel Prize in Physics for his discovery of the phenomenon of electron tunneling, is president of the Yokohama College of Pharmacy and best known for his invention of the Esaki diode.

Read more about The Wonder of Nanotechnology.

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