Optical antenna may allow LEDs to replace lasers in host of devices
claim to have produced a prototype optical antenna that increases the intensity of emission from a nanorod light source by more than 115 times. This technique may offer the opportunity to replace power-hungry lasers in short-range optical communications devices with enhanced low-power LEDs. Over short distances – say in optical links or in future light-coupled computer chips – lasers are largely unsuitable due to their cost and power consumption. Ideally, LEDs would be used in these applications, but until now spontaneous emission rates from LEDs were incapable of achieving the requisite light power levels.