Quantum-mechanically linking two different semiconductors could create new nonlinear optical materials

Ann Arbor, MI and New York, NY--Researchers at the University of Michigan and Queens College, City University of New York are using photons to create quantum-mechanical links between organic and inorganic semiconductors in an optical cavity; the resulting state demonstrates stronger light absorption and possibly enhanced nonlinear optical properties useful, for example, in optical switching, says Vinod Menon, associate professor of physics at Queens College.1

Organic with inorganic
To demonstrate the effect, the researchers formed an inorganic semiconductor -- zinc oxide (ZnO2) -- into nanowires, then surrounded it with an organic semiconductor -- naphthalene tetracarboxylic dianhydride (NTCDA). The two materials were chosen because their excited states are at nearly the same energies (in resonance). "What we've done is taken the excited states of two principally different materials and combined them into a new quantum-mechanical state that shares their best properties," says Stephen Forrest, professor of physics and materials science at the University of Michigan.

"Developing engineered nonlinear optical materials with properties that surpass naturally occurring materials is important for developing next-generation photonic technologies that rely on the quantum properties of light," Menon says. "For example, one could develop an optical switch that uses one photon to turn on or off the path of a second photon. This is basically a light switch that regulates light, one photon at a time -- an important building block for quantum communication and computing."

In the optical cavity, the photon "glues" together the quantum-mechanical states of the photon, the excited state of the inorganic semiconductor, and the excited state in the organic semiconductor; the result is a polariton that can efficiently transfer energy from one material to another, according to Forrest. "Uses in solar-energy conversion, light emission, and optical switching are just a few examples of applications that can benefit," he says.

Source: http://www.ns.umich.edu/new/releases/22017-photon-glue-enables-a-new-quantum-mechanical-state


1. Michael Slootsky et al., Physical Review Letters 112, 076401 (2014); doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevLett.112.076401




Most Popular Articles


Femtosecond Lasers – Getting the Photons to the Work Area

Ultrashort-pulse lasers, both picosecond and femtosecond, are now available from a large number of manufacturers, with new players entering the field at a ra...

Ray Optics Simulations with COMSOL Multiphysics

The Ray Optics Module can be used to simulate electromagnetic wave propagation when the wavelength is much smaller than the smallest geometric entity in the ...

Multichannel Spectroscopy: Technology and Applications

This webcast, sponsored by Hamamatsu, highlights some of the photonic technology used in spectroscopy, and the resulting applications.

Handheld Spectrometers

Spectroscopy is a powerful and versatile tool that traditionally often required a large and bulky instrument. The combination of compact optics and modern pa...

Opportunities in the Mid-IR

The technology for exploiting the mid-IR is developing rapidly:  it includes quantum-cascade lasers and other sources, spectroscopic instruments of many...
White Papers

Accurate LED Source Modeling Using TracePro

Modern optical modeling programs allow product design engineers to create, analyze, and optimize ...

Miniature Spectrometers for Narrowband Laser Characterization

In less than 60 years, lasers have transformed from the imagined “ray gun” of science fiction int...

Improve Laser Diode Performance by Reducing Output Cable Inductance using Twisted Pair Cable

The intent of this article is to provide information regarding the performance of twisted pair ca...
Technical Digests

OPTICAL COATINGS: Evolving technology produces new benefits

The antireflection, high-reflection, and/or spectral characteristics provided by optical coatings...

REMOTE FIBER-OPTIC SENSING: Data in abundance from difficult environments

The use of optical fibers to measure strain, temperature, and other parameters at desired points ...

SCANNERS FOR MATERIALS PROCESSING: Serving demanding applications

Galvanometer-based scanners are an essential component in laser-based materials-processing system...

Click here to have your products listed in the Laser Focus World Buyers Guide.


SCHOTT and Applied Microarrays Establish Distribution Partnership for NEXTERION® Products

01/22/2013 SCHOTT and Applied Microarrays, Inc. have established a partnership for the distribution of SCHOT...

SCHOTT North America and Space Photonics, Inc. Sign Exclusive Licensing Agreement for Covert Communications Technology

01/22/2013 WASHINGTON, D.C.—October 18, 2012—Space Photonics Inc. and SCHOTT North America, Inc. today annou...
Social Activity
Copyright © 2007-2015. PennWell Corporation, Tulsa, OK. All Rights Reserved.PRIVACY POLICY | TERMS AND CONDITIONS