Tiny particles produce huge photon avalanches


The chain-reaction process that underlies photon avalanching. Credit: Mikołaj Łukaszewicz/Polish Academy of Sciences
Researchers in the US, Poland and Korea have observed photon avalanching – a chain-reaction-like process in which the absorption of a single photon triggers the emission of many – in tiny crystals just 25-30 nm in diameter. This highly nonlinear phenomenon had previously only been seen in bulk materials, and team leader James Schuck says that replicating it in nanoparticles could lead to “revolutionary new applications” in imaging, sensing and light detection.
Photon avalan