The nanostructures from Katja Höflich's HZB team are shaped like corkscrews and made of silver.
Mathematically, such a nano antenna can be regarded as an one-dimensional line that forms a helix, characterized by parameters such as diameter, length, number of turns per unit length, and handedness.
The nano corkscrews are highly sensitive to light: depending on frequency and polarisation, they can strongly enhance it.
This results in novel applications in information technology based on the spin quantum number of light.
Usually, the interaction of such nano-antennas with an electromagnetic field is determined using numerical methods.
Each helix geometry, however, requires a new numerically expensive calculation.