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July 03, 2013

Nanoantenna with metamaterial effects are on track to boost data storage by ten times and can be used for cancer treatment and other applications

Nanantennas by Nano-Meta Technologies provide for efficient control of light with nano-meter precision. The company is developing nanostructured compounds that can concentrate light through plasmonic effects to surmount a hurdle called the diffraction limit, which affects the resolution of light microscopes and lithography.

Possible applications include:

* Heat-assisted magnetic data recording (HAMR) allowing for ultra high (10X or more) data storage densities
* Ultra-thin optical elements - reflectors, lenses, holograms - constructed with nanoantenna-based
metasurfaces, for the visible and IR frequency range, e.g. low-weight, low-cost camera elements
* Chemical/bio/medical sensing and probing with disposable substrates



Nano-Meta Technologies is currently working on a prototype read-write head for magnetic data storage that it hopes to sell for future generations of heat-assisted magnetic recording. This type of data storage involves flipping the polarization of sections on the storage medium by using laser light to heat the material. As memory cells are miniaturized to improve storage density, manufacturers will need light sources that can produce ever narrower beams of light.

Another area the company is investigating is cancer therapy. Metal nanoparticles can be injected into the bloodstream so that they accumulate in tumors. When clinicians shine the right wavelength of light on these nanoparticles from outside the body, some plasmon oscillations heat them up and damage the tumor. It is possible to control how much the nanoparticles heat up by altering their shape. Nanospectra Biosciences of Houston, Texas, already has treatments based on gold-coated nanoparticles in early clinical trials.


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