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Spaser-Based Circuits Could Be Printed On Clothing

A spaser (surface plasmon amplification by stimulated emission of radiation) made of carbon has been created by a team of researchers from Monash University’s Department of Electrical and Computer Systems Engineering (ECSE). Spaser-based devices can be used as an alternative to current transistor-based devices such as microprocessors, memory, and displays to overcome current miniaturising and bandwidth limitations.


(Carbon-based spaser design in which a
graphene nanoflake (GNF) resonator is coupled to a
carbon nanotube (CNT) gain element
)

A spaser is effectively a nanoscale laser or nanolaser. It emits a beam of light through the vibration of free electrons, rather than the space-consuming electromagnetic wave emission process of a traditional laser.

PhD student and lead researcher Chanaka Rupasinghe said the modelled spaser design using carbon would offer many advantages.

“Other spasers designed to date are made of gold or silver nanoparticles and semiconductor quantum dots while our device would be comprised of a graphene resonator and a carbon nanotube gain element,” Chanaka said.

“The use of carbon means our spaser would be more robust and flexible, would operate at high temperatures, and be eco-friendly.

“Because of these properties, there is the possibility that in the future an extremely thin mobile phone could be printed on clothing.”

Having a phone or other electronic device printed on your clothing would be science-fictionally cool, as presaged by writers like Larry Niven and Steven Barnes, who wrote about a sleeve watch in their 1981 novel Dream Park.

Alex rolled his wrist over to check the watch imprinted on his sleeve. (Expensive indulgence. Even dry-cleaning eventually messed up the printed circuitry.)

From Spaser Made of Graphene and Carbon Nanotubes via Monash press release.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 4/26/2014)

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