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
Astronomers find unexpected, dust-obscured star formation in distant galaxy
24.03.2017 | University of Massachusetts at Amherst
Gravitational wave kicks monster black hole out of galactic core
24.03.2017 | NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center
Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.
The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.
Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...
Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.
Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...
In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...
Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to simulate these confined natural conditions in artificial vesicles for the first time. As reported in the academic journal Small, the results are offering better insight into the development of nanoreactors and artificial organelles.
Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to...
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