By Anne Francis, Tech Times from techtimes.com
A smart phone printed on a t-shirt? It is possible with the new “spaser” technology that might be able to create not only small and efficient mobile phones but also flexible enough to be imprinted on cloth.
The spaser technology is the emission of light through free electron vibrations instead of the current space-consuming process of emitting electromagnetic waves of a typical laser. Scientists from Monash University created the first spaser that’s completely made out of carbon nanotubes and graphene.
Other spasers are made out of silver or gold nano particles and semi-conductor quantum dots but the study’s device was comprised of materials that would offer more advantages. The carbon nano tube gain element and graphene resonator prove to be over a hundred times more robust than steel and can even conduct electricity and heat a lot better than copper. These properties could work at high temperature and are environment friendly.
Lead researcher Chanaka Rupasinghe said the materials, which are strong and flexible, make it possible to create an impossibly thin mobile device that could even be stamped on cloth. The study shows that carbon nanotubes and graphene can transmit energy and interact with one another through light. The interactions are fit for computer chips and other applications because of the speed and energy efficiency.
“Graphene and carbon nanotubes can be used in applications where you need strong, lightweight, conducting, and thermally stable materials due to their outstanding mechanical, electrical and optical properties. They have been tested as nanoscale antennas, electric conductors and waveguides,” Chanaka said.
Devices which are spaser-based can be an alternative to ones that are transistor-based such as memory, microprocessor and display to beat bandwidth limitations and current miniaturizing. High intensity, spaser-generated electric fields concentrates into a nano scale space, stronger than fields generated merely through the illumination of metal nanoparticles by lasers in applications like cancer therapy.
“These techniques and use the high concentrate fields generated through the spasing phenomena [could] destroy individual cancer cells without harming the healthy cells in the body,” PhD student Chanaka said.ÊÊÊ