CORDIS - EU research results

Nanomaterials for Infrared Silicon Photonics

Project description

A route towards low-cost, efficient and flexible infrared optoelectronics

Colloidal quantum dots are a type of semiconductor nanocrystals synthesised from solutions. Owing to their special electronic and optical properties, they have shown great potential for optoelectronic applications. For example, they are a versatile platform for optical sensing, imaging and spectroscopy in the short and mid-infrared part of the electromagnetic spectrum. However, quantum dot light source technology is still expensive, bulky and often composed of restricted chemical elements. The EU-funded NOMISS project will seek to develop a new class of solution-processable quantum dots using a wider set of elements. Light-matter interactions will be thoroughly studied to increase light emission efficiency in the infrared, with the hope being to incorporate the new quantum dots in photonic integrated circuits.


Printed opto-electronics based on solution processable colloidal semiconductor quantum dots (QDs) can make available a much-needed small footprint, low cost and flexible platform for optical sensing, imaging and spectroscopy in the technologically relevant short and mid-wave infrared (IR) spectrum (1.5 μm – 5 μm). However, while this revolution took place in the visible spectrum, and is happening at the side of detection for IR light, QD IR light source technology is currently expensive, lacking performance and is based on restricted chemical elements. Moreover, final device assemblies have large footprints, limiting their functionality in consumer devices requiring large scale deployment. In NOMISS, I will therefore explore a route towards ‘printable IR opto-electronics’ by developing a new class of solution-processable QDs based on non-restricted elements with efficient IR emission. I will study both their fundamental IR light-matter interactions, aimed at increasing light emission efficiency, and the possibility to incorporate them with small-footprint photonic integrated circuits (PICs). To this end, I will first extend the bottom-up chemical synthesis of tunable III-V In(As,Sb,P) QDs. Next, I will study their (non-)linear optical properties, using a novel ultrafast and broadband IR optical spectroscopy methodology, in particular focusing on the fundamental questions related to the QD’s organic/inorganic interface and how to optimize spontaneous & stimulated IR emission. Finally, I will develop a framework to combine these materals with silicon based PIC’s to realize cheap & small-footprint IR light sources, in particular optically pumped lasers. After NOMISS, the new cross-disciplinary and high-impact field of 'printable IR opto-electronics' will be available. To meet these high risk challenges, I will lead a multi-disciplinary team with experts in nanochemistry, nanophysics and nanophotonics engineering.

Host institution

Net EU contribution
€ 1 667 410,00
9000 Gent

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Vlaams Gewest Prov. Oost-Vlaanderen Arr. Gent
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Total cost
€ 1 667 410,00

Beneficiaries (1)