04 February 2011 ICFO in Nature Photonics

Design of a transmitting antenna

Lukas Novotny and Niek van Hulst publish a review paper on optical antennas. The February 2011 issue of Nature Photonics features a review paper on current advances and perspectives of optical antennas by ICFO Distinguished Invited Prof. Lukas Novotny from the Institute of Optics, at the University of Rochester, USA and ICFO group leader and ICREA Prof. Niek van Hulst.

Optical antennas convert freely propagating optical radiation into localized energy, and vice versa. Compared to their radiowave and microwave counterparts, their small size and the resonant properties of metal nanostructures hold promise for enhancing the performance and efficiency of photodetection, light emission and sensing.

This paper reviews the physical properties of optical antennas and the most important recent developments in the field. It also discusses their potential applications and future challenges and opportunities.