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MIT Research News

July 6, 2018

Kirigami-inspired technique manipulates light at the nanoscale

Folding and cutting thin metal films could enable microchip-based 3-D optical devices.

David L. Chandler | MIT News Office

Nanokirigami has taken off as a field of research in the last few years; the approach is based on the ancient arts of origami (making 3-D shapes by folding paper) and kirigami (which allows cutting as well as folding) but applied to flat materials at the nanoscale, measured in billionths of a meter.

Now, researchers at MIT and in China have for the first time applied this approach to the creation of nanodevices to manipulate light, potentially opening up new possibilities for research and, ultimately, the creation of new light-based communications, detection, or computational devices.