When light impinges on nanoscale structured materials, optical field concentrations can occur that enhance the electric field strength up to 2 orders of magnitude. This way, a new regime of light-matter interactions can be reached when the external electromagnetic fields that are driving a material approach or exceed the field strengths that bind the electrons inside the medium. This effect can be particularly enhanced by nano-optical methods, i. e. light concentrated around nanoscale objects. The strong-field interaction physics enabled by nano-optical building blocks probes highly nonlinear phenomena that can pave the way toward unique probes of matter such as ultrafast electron imaging and spectroscopy and ultrahigh frequency transistor concepts that are preludes to light-wave electronics.


The review article by researchers from the Wigner Research Centre for Physics in Hungary and the universities of Oldenburg, Göttingen and Bayreuth in Germany, as well as the University of Lund in Sweden provides an overview of the fundamentals and already existing applications of this emerging field of research delivering important new understanding of nano-optical phenomena in the past 10 years. The review was published in Reviews of Modern Physics, the world’s premier review journal in physics, the two authors from Wigner RCP are Peter Dombi and Zsuzsanna Pápa.

More information: https://journals.aps.org/rmp/abstract/10.1103/RevModPhys.92.025003