The role of virtual photons in nanoscale photonics

Andrews, David L. and Bradshaw, David S. (2014) The role of virtual photons in nanoscale photonics. Annalen der Physik, 526 (3-4). pp. 173-186. ISSN 0003-3804

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The fundamental theory of processes and properties associated with nanoscale photonics should properly account for the quantum nature of both the matter and the radiation field. A familiar example is the Casimir force, whose significant role in nanoelectromechanical systems is widely recognised; the correct representation invokes the creation of short-lived virtual photons from the vacuum. In fact, there is an extensive range of nanophotonic interactions in which virtual photon exchange plays a vital role, mediating the coupling between particles. This review surveys recent theory and applications, also exhibiting novel insights into key electrodynamic mechanisms. Examples are numerous and include: laser-induced inter-particle forces known as optical binding; non-parametric frequency-conversion processes especially in rare-earth doped materials; light-harvesting polymer materials that involve electronic energy transfer between their constituent chromophores. An assessment of these and the latest prospective applications concludes with a view on future directions of research.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: casimir force,nanoelectromechanical systems,quantum electrodynamics,optical binding,nonlinear optics,up-conversion,resonance energy transfer,energy harvesting
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Science > School of Chemistry
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Depositing User: Pure Connector
Date Deposited: 09 Jul 2014 11:58
Last Modified: 17 Nov 2021 02:23
DOI: 10.1002/andp.v526.3-4

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