Thanks to its` high capacity optical communication lines provide high-speed transfer of large arrays. However light waves are poorly localized, which hampers the implementation of optical elements into the modern microelectronic circuits. To solve this problem ITMO University experts are going to use surface plasmon polaritons (SSP) that represent bound states of photons and electronic gas in metals.  This type of waves can be applied for nanoscale data transfer and data processing devices.

The main feature of SPP is that they contain both light wave and electrons` properties. On the one hand, SPP`s propagation speed is equal to photons` speed, which is much higher than electrons` speed. On the other hand, SPP are extremely localized waves that can be easily guided within nanoscale systems.

Participating in the program of Russian Science Fund ITMO University`s scientists apply their theoretical knowledge of 3D metamaterials for 2D metasurfaces suitable for surface waves. To create metasurfaces the researchers will take into account unique features of metamaterials as well as apply planar processes. It will help to avoid difficulties connected with the process of producing 3D metamaterials used for guiding free progressive electromagnetic waves.

“We research anisotropic metasurfaces. Thus under specific conditions one can provide narrow directed propagation of hybrid surface waves. Thanks to this feature we can use these waves to develop an effective system of rectenna`s optical signal transmission inside optical micro-chip,” said Ivan Sinev, PhD student at Chair of Nanophotonics and Metamaterials.

To analyze the new wave type the specialists need to check the properties of nanostructures. All these evaluations require specific equipment. It is planned to equip International Research Centre for Nanophotonics and Metamaterials with these technologies in summer 2016. Currently ITMO University researchers provide nanostructures` analyzing in alliance with colleagues from Technical University of Denmark using the facilities of international research lab.

“We visit our German partners for getting their experience and trying to use the equipment in order to understand its` advantages and disadvantages. Thus we can contribute to our research by combining our ideas and technologies developed by international researchers.  It gives us an opportunity to avoid mistakes while upgrading our lab facilities,” said Anton Samusev, researcher at Chair of Nanophotonics and Metamaterials.

The specialists of Technical University of Denmark are also interested in adopting research practices created by Russian scientists. ITMO University has the unique equipment for analyzing of surface wave propagation using methods of near-field microscopy. These facilities will be used at the final stages of the research.

Russian researchers plan to apply new equipment for various projects focusing on surface waves` analyzing. Thanks to these up-to-date technologies the scientists will obtain unique results that will form the basis of groundbreaking inventions.