Visible Subwavelength Point Source of Light
Micro-dimension light sources that can span a wide variety of wavelengths in the visible have been a major goal in optoelectronics for more than a decade. The applications for such light sources span numerous areas of advanced technology, not the least of which is the important problem of storing and retrieving the deluge of information that is engulfing mankind. For example, if a blue emitting source could be produced without any reduction in the size or the optical methodologies employed, factors of 4 improvement in data capacity could be achieved and, thus, a full length movie could be stored on one of today's compact discs. If, on the other hand, geometrical optics is bypassed and an optical device could be created that would be able to interface with the exciting developments of near-field optics, in which a subwavelength point of light is brought within the near-field of a surface to be read or written on, then pixel sizes in the nanometer regime can be achieved and orders of magnitude improvement in storage densities could be attained.
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