Photonic circuitry from the noble metals

FIB fabrication of linear arrays of silver nanocrystals.

FIB fabrication of linear arrays of silver nanocrystals. Scale bar for the top and middle images are 1000nm and scale bar for bottom image is 100nm.

October 2011

This project looks at fabricating linear arrays of nanocrystals by using the FEI Helios NanoLab 600 Dual-Beam Focused Ion Beam-Scanning Electron Microscope (FIB-SEM) to test the capability of the arrays to act as nanoscale optical fibres. MCN’s Dr. Manoj Sridhar, collaborated with Dr. Alison Funston from Monash University to compare this capability with existing nanowire technology.

One of the major challenges for the use of light-based circuits remains the confinement of the physical extent of the light to sub-wavelength dimensions without compromising the distance the light energy can travel.

Together, they were able to fabricate linear arrays of silver nanocrystals using a combination of chemical synthesis and nanofabrication. Tests are currently underway to assess the waveguiding capability of the structures. Initial results show structures created by FIB are able to act as waveguides. The capabilities at the MCN were essential to this project to fabricate the arrays by exploiting the small diameter of the FIB-SEM instrument.