Antenna directs light at the nanoscale



James Dacey at PhysicsWorld writes: ''Nanotechnology offers the promise of a new wave of sensors and optical components, but the tiny sizes involved can make it difficult for users to exchange information with these devices. Now, researchers in Spain have demonstrated a novel solution to this problem that involves fixing an "antenna" to nanoscale objects that can send and receive optical data with high precision. Niek van Hulst and colleagues at the Institute for Photonic Sciences (ICFO) in Barcelona together with researchers at the Catalan Institute for Research and Advanced Studies (ICREA) fabricated a number of nanoscale Yagi Uda antennas containing the tiny parasitic elements made from gold using lithography to etch the devices onto a glass substrate. The total length of individual antennas was 830 nm where individual feeds were just 145 nm, each separated by 175 nm.''