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December 12, 2013

On-chip Super Absorber Catches Rainbows

Close-up of the on-chip super absorber developed by engineers at the University at Buffalo (UB) which catches, and ultimately absorbs, each frequency of light at slightly different places in a vertical direction (as pictured), thus catching a "rainbow" of wavelengths. The "hyperbolic metamaterial waveguide" is essentially an advanced microchip made of alternate ultra-thin films of metal and semiconductors and/or insulators.

Led by Qiaoqiang Gan, assistant professor of electrical engineering, the UB engineers created a more efficient way to catch rainbows, an advance in photonics that could lead to technological breakthroughs in solar energy, stealth technology and other areas of research. [Research supported in part by a grant from the National Science Foundation for research on plasmonic nanostructures for biosensing (grant ECCS 11-28086).]

To learn more about this research, see the UB news story Forget about leprechauns, engineers are catching rainbows. (Date of Image: 2012)

Credit: Qiaoqiang Gan, University at Buffalo, The State University of New York

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