Figure 1 - The scheme of optomechanical modulator of plasmonic signal. Green ray – plasmonic mode of V-shaped plasmonic waveguide, red ray – control beam, Inset shows the optical forces acting on a nanoparticle inside the waveguide.
Nano-robotics is a new fast developing direction, studding controllable and programmable nano-mechanical devices with mechanical degrees of freedom. Among large span of task and possible future applications, it is worth noting opto-electronic components with active mechanical elements, as it is one of the research directions of the Lab. Detailed studies and investigations of mechanical components, being a part of a large scale optical system, are directly related to the field of opto-mechanics and optical manipulation. The general topic, unifying those efforts, holds the name of NEMS – nano-electro-mechanical systems. Our Lab concentrates on studies of opto-mechanical effects, tailored by nanostructured environment, and takes them towards realization of novel devices, controlled with light. Among the recent proposals, it worth mentioning a novel device, utilizing oscillating light-induced mechanical motion of a particle in plasmonic waveguide, for guided mode modulation (schematics in the figure above). Specifically, the record low energy consumption of the device per modulated bit should be highlighted. The proposed concept could be developed furthermore and serve as a cornerstone for highly efficient all-optical nonlinearities, mediated by nano-mechanical motion. Nono-accelerators of different kinds were also recently analyzed. Those devices have wide range of applicability, e.g. for printers with nano-resolution.