Subwavelength-Scale Plasmon Waveguides
By the mid-17th century, numerous scientists—notably including Hooke and Gallileo—had developed transparent ground lenses and applied them in the construction of compound optical microscopes. This development revolutionized the contemporary understanding of the natural world by, for example, enabling the imaging of blood cells and microbes. Ever since this now bygone era of fantastic development of optics principles and instrumentation, the size and performance of photonic devices has been largely limited by diffraction. Photonic devices of today are generally composed of dielectric materials with modest dielectric constants, and are much bigger than the smallest electronic devices (e.g., transistors in silicon integrated circuits) for this reason.