nanophotonics (rus. нанофотоника otherwise нанооптика) — a branch of photonics concerned with the study of physical phenomena that emerge when photons interact with nanoscale objects and application of such phenomena.


Nanophotonics studies the transmission, transformation, emission and absorption of optical radiation and signals in nanostructures for the purpose of employing specific features of radiation-matter interaction in the nanoscale in developing systems with different functionality. Nanophotonics is a cross-discipline that combines the approaches of optics, laser physics, quantum electronics, physics and chemistry of solid state matter, material science and physical chemistry.

Nanophotonics is chiefly concerned with the development of nanomaterials with enhanced or fundamentally new optical and optoelectronic properties and their use to create new-generation photon functional systems. Examples of such systems are as follows:

- effective sources of coherent and incoherent radiation with controllable performance parameters;

- displaying devices, including displays of portable devices and large colour displays;

- new-generation sensors and detectors;

- optoelectronic (photoelectronic) converters, including compact photoelectric power units and high-performance solar cells;

- photonic (optical) read/write and long-time memory systems;

- optical signal processors, including optical repeaters;

- optical commutation circuits and switches, also for optical packet switching;

- optical links between elements of computing machines (blocks, boards, chips and chip elements);

- optical computing systems, including quantum-based;

- integrated sensory diagnostic systems for environmental and health monitoring.

New promising nanophotonics materials include the following:

semiconductor quantum-scale materials, including materials with quantum wells, quantum wires and quantum dots;

- photonic crystals, photonic crystal films and fibres;

- metamaterials with negative refraction and metal-dielectric plasmon nanomaterials.

Key techniques used for examining materials in nanophotonics include near-field scanning optical microscopy, photon-assisted scanning tunnelling microscopy (PASTM) and surface plasmon imaging [2].


  • Nanii Oleg E.
  • Razumovsky Alexey S.


  1. MÖschwitzer J., Müller R.H. Drug Nanocrystals – The Universal Formulation Approach for Poorly Soluble Drugs // Nanoparticulate Drug Delivery Systems. Drugs And The Pharmaceutical Sciences, v. 166 Ed. by D. Thassu, M. Deleers, Y. Pathak. — Informa Healthcare, 2007. P. 71-88.
  2. Nanophotonics // Wikipedia, the free Encyclopedia. — (reference date 12.12.2011).