Skip to Main Content
This paper reviews recent progress in nanophotonics, a novel optical technology proposed by one of the authors (M. Ohtsu). Nanophotonics utilizes the local interaction between nanometric particles via optical near fields. The optical near fields are the elementary surface excitations on nanometric particles, that is, dressed photons that carry the material energy. Of the variety of qualitative innovations in optical technology realized by nanophotonics, this paper focuses on devices and systems. The principles of device operation are reviewed considering the excitation energy transfer via the optical near-field interaction and subsequent dissipation. As representative examples, the principles of a nanophotonic and gate, not gate, and optical nanofountain are described. Experimental results for operating devices using CuCl quantum dots (QDs), InAlAs QDs, and nanorod ZnO double quantum wells are described. Using a systems-perspective approach, the principles of content-addressable memory based on nanophotonic device operations and experimental results are reviewed. The hierarchy of optical near-field interactions is discussed, and its application to a multilayer memory retrieval system is demonstrated.