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Nanoscale structures called metatronic circuits process light waves the way conventional circuit elements process electric currents, but metatronics could be made much smaller and faster than conventional electronics. Now a team reporting in Physical Review Letters has built the first metatronic circuit elements that work for near-infrared light, the wavelength range of fiber optics and other silicon-based technology. The team’s findings could lead to ultrafast, light-based information processing fully integrated with a wide range of high-tech devices.

To continue the trend toward smaller and faster information processing circuits, researchers may soon need to harness light as the information carrier, replacing electric currents. To create circuit elements for light waves, Nader Engheta of the University of Pennsylvania and his colleagues are turning to a class of structures known as metamaterials, which have light-manipulating properties not found in naturally occurring materials.

The Metatronic Age has arrived. To read more, click here.
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