Jump to content

Audio Encoded Onto Plasmonic Nanostructure for First Time


Recommended Posts

Optical sound was developed in the 1920s in part as a way to bring talking to movies. Now, almost a century later, optical sound has returned as a means to encode audio onto special nanoantennas. Researchers at the University of Illinois have done this to demonstrate the information storage potential of their new pillar-supported bowtie nanoantennas (pBNAs).

The pBNAs are made of gold and just 250 nm across, though the pillars they are on are 500 nm tall. Those pillars are actually very important to their information storage capabilities as they cause the gold to heat up when hit by low-powered laser light. This subtle melting changes the gold's optical response, which can be viewed under white-light illumination, and is what actually stores the information; in this case Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star. While the information was stored as analog data, thanks to the spectral degree-of-freedom afforded by the plasmonics involved, it would be possible to use this to store digital data instead.

Compared to magnetic film for analog data storage, the pBNAs can store 5600 times more, which gives it great potential for storage applications. By altering the size of the nanoantennas, it may even be possible to store more information with them.

Source: University of Illinois

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites


  • Create New...