Plasmons, Waveguides and Invisibility

Cameron Okoth
Thursday 18 June 2015
Multilayer film made up of PMMA, Silver, PMMA

The internship I am currently undertaking is making steady progress as we round up week 3. We have had a good start at getting to terms with the theory and have already built an analytical model of what we expect. Apart from some minor mishaps (e.g. laser breaking, forgetting how to do simple arithmetic, crashing computers using overly complicated code) it has been an exciting few weeks with lots of new experiences.

The project involves trying to characterise a multilayer film produced in the cleanroom (place where we make high quality samples, incidentally its pretty clean)  that displays some interesting effects when light is incident upon it. We have a few ideas as to what is going on, but still need to get a full set of experimental data from the sample and to have a look at some numerical models. This will hopefully get done in the coming weeks.

What we think is going on is light that is shone on the surface of the film becomes guided, this is a well-documented effect when looking at single layer films but is still a relatively new field when looking at several layers. If the light is guided then it will ‘stick’ to the film and propagate along it. The film’s we make are very thin and this makes them flexible, because of this we can bend them, effectively allowing us to control the direction the light travels. If this is what is going on with our sample, then we can control the light to go around some kind of object rendering the object ‘invisible’.

To get to this point will mean that there is still a huge amount of work to get through over the next 7 weeks and hopefully I’ll be up to the challenge.

I hope everyone else is enjoying their own projects as much as I am enjoying mine and good look for the rest of the summer

multilayerfilm output
Pretty (or not) graph of when we expect light will be guided, peaks correspond to guided light

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