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Your T-Shirt's Ringing: Telecommunications in the Spaser Age

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A t-shirt.

A spaser made entirely of carbon could one day be used to print extremely thin mobile phones directly on clothing.

Credit: Parent Herald

Researchers from Monash University say they have modeled the first surface plasmon amplification by stimulated emission of radiation (spaser) to be made completely of carbon, technology that one day could make it possible to print extremely thin mobile phones directly on clothing.

The team used graphene and carbon nanotubes for the design, according to Ph.D. student and lead researcher Chanaka Rupasinghe. "Other spasers designed to date are made of gold or silver nanoparticles and semiconductor quantum dots, while our device would be comprised of a graphene resonator and a carbon nanotube gain element," Chanaka says.

Carbon would make the spaser more robust and flexible, operational at high temperatures, and eco-friendly.

The researchers showed for the first time that graphene and carbon nanotubes can interact and transfer energy to each other through light. The optical interactions are very fast and energy-efficient, and are suitable for applications such as computer chips. "Graphene and carbon nanotubes can be used in applications where you need strong, lightweight, conducting, and thermally stable materials due to their outstanding mechanical, electrical, and optical properties," Chanaka says. "They have been tested as nanoscale antennas, electric conductors, and waveguides."

From Monash University
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