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Concept: Photonics


Layered graphitic materials exhibit new intriguing electronic structure and the search for new types of two-dimensional (2D) monolayer is of importance for the fabrication of next generation miniature electronic and optoelectronic devices. By means of density functional theory (DFT) computations, we investigated in detail the structural, electronic, mechanical and optical properties of the single-layer bismuth iodide (BiI3) nanosheet. Monolayer BiI3 is dynamically stable as confirmed by the computed phonon spectrum. The cleavage energy (Ecl) and interlayer coupling strength of bulk BiI3 are comparable to the experimental values of graphite, which indicates that the exfoliation of BiI3 is highly feasible. The obtained stress-strain curve shows that the BiI3 nanosheet is a brittle material with a breaking strain of 13%. The BiI3 monolayer has an indirect band gap of 1.57 eV with spin orbit coupling (SOC), indicating its potential application for solar cells. Furthermore, the band gap of BiI3 monolayer can be modulated by biaxial strain. Most interestingly, interfacing electrically active graphene with monolayer BiI3 nanosheet leads to enhanced light absorption compared to that in pure monolayer BiI3 nanosheet, highlighting its great potential applications in photonics and photovoltaic solar cells.

Concepts: Photon, Optics, Density functional theory, Graphite, Solar cell, Photodiode, Band gap, Photonics


Ultralow trap densities, exceptional optical and electronic properties have been reported for lead halide perovskites single crystals; however, ambiguities in basic properties, such as the band gap, and the electronic defect densities in the bulk and at the surface prevail. Here, we synthesize single crystals of methylammonium lead bromide (CH3NH3PbBr3), characterise the optical absorption and photoluminescence and show that the optical properties of single crystals are almost identical to those of polycrystalline thin films. We observe significantly longer lifetimes and show that carrier diffusion plays a substantial role in the photoluminescence decay. Contrary to many reports, we determine that the trap density in CH3NH3PbBr3 perovskite single crystals is 10(15) cm(-3), only one order of magnitude lower than in the thin films. Our enhanced understanding of optical properties and recombination processes elucidates ambiguities in earlier reports, and highlights the discrepancies in the estimation of trap densities from electronic and optical methods.Metal halide perovskites for optoelectronic devices have been extensively studied in two forms: single-crystals or polycrystalline thin films. Using spectroscopic approaches, Wenger et al. show that polycrystalline thin films possess similar optoelectronic properties to single crystals.

Concepts: Photon, Density, Semiconductor, Solar cell, Photodiode, Electronic band structure, Bulk density, Photonics


This work demonstrates an attractive low-cost route to obtain large area and high-quality graphene films by using the ultra-smooth copper foils which are typically used as the negative electrodes in lithium-ion batteries. We first compared the electronic transport properties of our new graphene film with the one synthesized by using commonly used standard copper foils in chemical vapor deposition (CVD). We observed a stark improvement in the electrical performance of the transistors realized on our graphene films. To study the optical properties on large area, we transferred CVD based graphene to transparent flexible substrates using hot lamination method and performed large area optical scanning. We demonstrate the promise of our high quality graphene films for large areas with ~400 cm(2) flexible optical modulators. We obtained a profound light modulation over a broad spectrum by using the fabricated large area transparent graphene supercapacitors and we compared the performance of our devices with the one based on graphene from standard copper. We propose that the copper foils used in the lithium-ion batteries could be used to obtain high-quality graphene at much lower-cost, with the improved performance of electrical transport and optical properties in the devices made from them.

Concepts: Optics, Semiconductor, Chemical vapor deposition, Rechargeable battery, Lithium-ion battery, Electronics, Photonics, Optoelectronics


Controlling the size and shape of semiconducting nanocrystals advances nanoelectronics and photonics. Quantum-confined, inexpensive, solution-derived metal halide perovskites offer narrowband, color-pure emitters as integral parts of next-generation displays and optoelectronic devices. We use nanoporous silicon and alumina thin films as templates for the growth of perovskite nanocrystallites directly within device-relevant architectures without the use of colloidal stabilization. We find significantly blue-shifted photoluminescence emission by reducing the pore size; normally infrared-emitting materials become visibly red, and green-emitting materials become cyan and blue. Confining perovskite nanocrystals within porous oxide thin films drastically increases photoluminescence stability because the templates auspiciously serve as encapsulation. We quantify the template-induced size of the perovskite crystals in nanoporous silicon with microfocus high-energy x-ray depth profiling in transmission geometry, verifying the growth of perovskite nanocrystals throughout the entire thickness of the nanoporous films. Low-voltage electroluminescent diodes with narrow, blue-shifted emission fabricated from nanocrystalline perovskites grown in embedded nanoporous alumina thin films substantiate our general concept for next-generation photonic devices.

Concepts: Oxygen, Crystal structure, Optics, Aluminium, Semiconductor, Photonics, Optoelectronics, Nanocrystal


Photonic-integrated devices need to be adequately spaced apart to prevent signal cross-talk. This fundamentally limits their packing density. Here we report the use of nanophotonic cloaking to render neighbouring devices invisible to one another, which allows them to be placed closer together than is otherwise feasible. Specifically, we experimentally demonstrated waveguides that are spaced by a distance of ∼λ0/2 and designed waveguides with centre-to-centre spacing as small as 600 nm (<λ0/2.5). Our experiments show a transmission efficiency >-2 dB and an extinction ratio >15 dB over a bandwidth larger than 60 nm. This performance can be improved with better design algorithms and industry-standard lithography. The nanophotonic cloak relies on multiple guided-mode resonances, which render such devices very robust to fabrication errors. Our devices are broadly complimentary-metal-oxide-semiconductor compatible, have a minimum pitch of 200 nm and can be fabricated with a single lithography step. The nanophotonic cloaks can be generally applied to all passive integrated photonics.

Concepts: Better, Optics, Research, Experiment, Space, Invisibility, Photonics, Cloak


In this work, we propose a novel approach for wafer-scale integration of 2D materials on CMOS photonic chip utilising methods of synthetic chemistry and microfluidics technology. We have successfully demonstrated that this approach can be used for integration of any fluid-dispersed 2D nano-objects on silicon-on-insulator photonics platform. We demonstrate for the first time that the design of an optofluidic waveguide system can be optimised to enable simultaneous in-situ Raman spectroscopy monitoring of 2D dispersed flakes during the device operation. Moreover, for the first time, we have successfully demonstrated the possibility of label-free 2D flake detection via selective enhancement of the Stokes Raman signal at specific wavelengths. We discovered an ultra-high signal sensitivity to the xyz alignment of 2D flakes within the optofluidic waveguide. This in turn enables precise in-situ alignment detection, for the first practicable realisation of 3D photonic microstructure shaping based on 2D-fluid composites and CMOS photonics platform, while also representing a useful technological tool for the control of liquid phase deposition of 2D materials.

Concepts: Spectroscopy, Laser, Integrated circuit, Surface tension, Raman spectroscopy, Photonics, Silicon photonics, Photonic computing


We study experimentally a fine structure of the optical Laue diffraction from two-dimensional periodic photonic lattices. The periodic photonic lattices with the C4v square symmetry, orthogonal C2v symmetry, and hexagonal C6v symmetry are composed of submicron dielectric elements fabricated by the direct laser writing technique. We observe surprisingly strong optical diffraction from a finite number of elements that provides an excellent tool to determine not only the symmetry but also exact number of particles in the finite-length structure and the sample shape. Using different samples with orthogonal C2v symmetry and varying the lattice spacing, we observe experimentally a transition between the regime of multi-order diffraction, being typical for photonic crystals to the regime where only the zero-order diffraction can be observed, being is a clear fingerprint of dielectric metasurfaces characterized by effective parameters.

Concepts: Scientific method, Crystal, Crystallography, Optics, Optical fiber, Metamaterial, Crystal system, Photonics


Controlling the emission and the flow of light in micro- and nanostructures is crucial for on-chip information processing. Here we show how to impose a strong chirality and a switchable direction of light propagation in an optical system by steering it to an exceptional point (EP)-a degeneracy universally occurring in all open physical systems when two eigenvalues and the corresponding eigenstates coalesce. In our experiments with a fiber-coupled whispering-gallery-mode (WGM) resonator, we dynamically control the chirality of resonator modes and the emission direction of a WGM microlaser in the vicinity of an EP: Away from the EPs, the resonator modes are nonchiral and laser emission is bidirectional. As the system approaches an EP, the modes become chiral and allow unidirectional emission such that by transiting from one EP to another one the direction of emission can be completely reversed. Our results exemplify a very counterintuitive feature of non-Hermitian physics that paves the way to chiral photonics on a chip.

Concepts: Optics, Physics, Light, Laser, Metamaterial, Chirality, Book of Optics, Photonics


Photonic crystals (PCs) have emerged as one of the most widely used platforms for controlling light-matter interaction in solid-state systems. They rely on Bragg scattering from wavelength-sized periodic modulation in the dielectric environment for manipulating the electromagnetic field. A complementary approach to manipulate light-matter interaction is offered by artificial media known as metamaterials that rely on the average response of deep-subwavelength unit cells. Here we demonstrate a class of artificial photonic media termed “photonic hypercrystals” (PHCs) that combine the large broadband photonic density of states provided by hyperbolic metamaterials with the light-scattering efficiency of PCs. Enhanced radiative rate (20×) and light outcoupling (100×) from PHCs embedded with quantum dots is observed. Such designer photonic media with complete control over the optical properties provide a platform for broadband control of light-matter interaction.

Concepts: Scientific method, Electromagnetism, Photon, Optics, Fundamental physics concepts, Metamaterial, Photonics, Photonic crystal


The imminent limitations of electronic integrated circuits are stimulating intense activity in the area of nanophotonics for the development of on-chip optical components, and solutions incorporating direct-bandgap semiconductors are important in achieving this end. Optical processing of data at the nanometre scale is promising for circumventing these limitations, but requires the development of a toolbox of components including emitters, detectors, modulators, waveguides and switches. In comparison to components fabricated using top-down methods, semiconductor nanowires offer superior surface properties and stronger optical confinement. They are therefore ideal candidates for nanoscale optical network components, as well as model systems for understanding optical confinement. Here, we demonstrate all-optical switching in individual CdS nanowire cavities with subwavelength dimensions through stimulated polariton scattering, as well as a functional NAND gate built from multiple switches. The device design exploits the strong light-matter coupling present in these nanowires, leading to footprints that are a fraction of those of comparable silicon-based dielectric contrast and photonic crystal devices.

Concepts: Optics, Metamaterial, Integrated circuit, Semiconductor, Semiconductor device, Transistor, Photonics, Nanoelectronics