New research has unlocked the secrets of efficiency in nanomaterials, that is, materials with very tiny particles, which will improve the future development of chemical sensors used in chemical and engineering industries.
In an international study University of Melbourne and the National Institute of Standards and Technology in the US found that pairs of closely spaced nanoparticles made of gold can act as “Optical antennas”.
These antennae concentrate the light shining on them into tiny regions located in the gap between the nanoparticles. Researchers developed new technology to detect these levels of light. Researchers found the precise geometry of nanoparticle pairs that maximizes light concentration resolving a hotly debated area of quantum physics. This geometry now determines the efficiency nanoparticle use as a chemical sensor in sensing minute quantities of chemicals in air and water.
Lead author Dr Wenqi Zhu, from the National Institute of Standards and Technology in the United States performed the work under Crozier’s supervision as a PhD student at Harvard University, said, “We found the ultimate limit for light concentration for fabricated nanoparticles.”