Slow light research has been a fast-moving topic in recent years, with potential applications from quantum computing to telecommunications. Techniques are now emerging that can slow down light in optical fibres.
"In addition to femtosecond temporal resolution, probing the system on the nanometer scale is important since electronic and spin excitations typically travel only submicrometer distances on such timescales. It is well known that a dielectric medium can be used to manipulate the properties of light pulses even leading to the trapping of light inside photonic crystals (Mok and Eggleton, 2005). For metals the dielectric material's response to light is mainly determined by the plasmon resonance, that is, by collective oscillation of the electrons. "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A class of axially uniform waveguides is introduced, employing a new mechanism to guide light inside a low-index dielectric material without the use of photonic band gap, and simultaneously exhibiting subwavelength modal size and very slow group velocity over an unusually large frequency bandwidth. Their basis is the presence of plasmonic modes on the interfaces between dielectric regions and the flat unpatterned surface of a bulk metallic substrate. These novel waveguides allow for easy broadband coupling and exhibit absorption losses limited only by the intrinsic loss of the metal.
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