Graphene, an ultra-flat monolayer of carbon atoms in a hexagonal crystal lattice, has attracted a strong wave of research interest due to its unique electrical and photonic properties.
As the first two dimensional material in the world, two UK Scientists were awarded the 2010 Nobel Prize in physics since it completely changes how we look at things. Now, Dr. Han Zhang at the Service OPERA-photonique – Applied Science Faculty, ULB - in collaboration with Prof. Loh at the National University of Singapore demonstrates the world's thinnest polarizer, which relies on the coupling, guiding and polarizing of electromagnetic waves by graphene.
They claim that this breakthrough will someday allow the integration on all-photonic circuits for high-speed optical communications.
Optical polarizers are elementary components of coherent and quantum optical communications by splitting the polarization state of an optical signal. Nowadays, there are rising demands for high-speed optical communications based on mobiles, calling for the miniaturization of optoelectronic devices. However, conventional optical polarizers (sheet, prism and Brewster-angle polarizer) are expensive, bulky, and discrete and may require additional alignment.
Thanks to graphene’s ultra-broadband optical property induced by its exceptional energy band structure, as-demonstrated graphene polarizer shows very broad operation bandwidth, at least from visible to mid-infrared. By fabricating graphene polarizer, with combined advantages of low cost (down to several euros), compact footprint, ultra-fast relaxation time and broad operation range, they anticipate that this device will enable new architectures for on-chip high-speed optical communications.
In addition to the industrial potentials, this research published in Nature Photonic, on May 30th is of fundamental importance.
It tackles how light propagates along an ultra-thin two dimensional surface. By the virtue of fiber based optical channel, now we can readily uncover how graphene guides and interacts with electromagnetic waves, with polarizing effect attributed to the differential attenuation of two polarization modes. This new conceptual finding will definitely lead to new physics, for example, localized waves or surface plasmon in graphene lattice. In the following years, researchers from the photonics, plasmonics and nano-science research communities may find in this graphene polarizer structure as a new testing ground for the ideas and methods they have been researching on their own fields, paving the way for all-carbon photonic-plasmonics devices.Full bibliographic information
Nancy Dath | alfa
Climate cycles may explain how running water carved Mars' surface features
02.12.2016 | Penn State
What do Netflix, Google and planetary systems have in common?
02.12.2016 | University of Toronto
A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.
Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...
In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.
“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...
The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.
The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...
Broadband rotational spectroscopy unravels structural reshaping of isolated molecules in the gas phase to accommodate water
In two recent publications in the Journal of Chemical Physics and in the Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters, researchers around Melanie Schnell from the Max...
The efficiency of power electronic systems is not solely dependent on electrical efficiency but also on weight, for example, in mobile systems. When the weight of relevant components and devices in airplanes, for instance, is reduced, fuel savings can be achieved and correspondingly greenhouse gas emissions decreased. New materials and components based on gallium nitride (GaN) can help to reduce weight and increase the efficiency. With these new materials, power electronic switches can be operated at higher switching frequency, resulting in higher power density and lower material costs.
Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE together with partners have investigated how these materials can be used to make power...
16.11.2016 | Event News
01.11.2016 | Event News
14.10.2016 | Event News
02.12.2016 | Medical Engineering
02.12.2016 | Agricultural and Forestry Science
02.12.2016 | Physics and Astronomy