Scientists at Russia-based MIPT and Vladimir State University have reported a nearly 90% efficiency converting light energy into surface waves on graphene. They relied on a laser-like energy conversion scheme and collective resonances.
Manipulating light at the nanoscale is crucial for creating ultracompact devices for optical energy conversion and storage. To localize light on such a small scale, researchers convert optical radiation into so-called surface plasmon-polaritons. These SPPs are oscillations propagating along the interface between two materials with drastically different refractive indices — specifically, a metal and a dielectric or air. Depending on the materials chosen, the degree of surface wave localization varies. It is the strongest for light localized on a material only one atomic layer thick, because such 2D materials have high refractive indices.