Communication networks and molecular plasmonics are two scientific disciplines, which at first sight might seem completely unrelated but which are about to meet in the emerging fields of nano-networks and nano-communication. Currently networks on chips are still using electronics, which is limited by dissipation losses and low speed. Optics cannot be used on nanoscale because of the diffraction limit of light. Plasmonics on the other hand offers high speeds and can be confined in nanoscale waveguides. In order for it to be really applicable to nano-networks, active devices such as switches and repeaters have to be created. A promising path to explore in the search for active devices on the nanoscale is the coupling between molecules and plasmons. The project aims to study the coupling between archetypal optically active molecules, the metal phthalocyanines and surface plasmon polaritons. It will also look at the scattering of plasmons from molecules and their subsequent propagation in order to identify possible anisotropy, which would allow for the application of the molecules as a plasmonic switch. A preliminary theoretical study has given promising results in this direction. Thus, even though theoretical, the project could have important practical results. The third objective is even more audacious: it aims at looking for interactions between the molecular spin state and the surface plasmons. Such an interaction would constitute huge breakthrough and allow control of the plasmons on quantum level as well as single-shot readout of the molecular spin. Furthermore the project will allow the researcher to undertake an inter-disciplinary experience and establish her as an independent scientist. In this way she can fully utilize her multi-disciplinary, multi-sector background to contribute to the synergy of ICT and nano-technology, thereby increasing European competitiveness in the emerging fields of nano-networks and nano-communication.
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