The target of this project is to develop a new class of polymer based optoelectronic devices embedding the optical and electronic functionalities of carbon nanotubes (CNTs). These devices will combine the fabrication advantages of polymer photonics, with the tunable active and passive optical properties of CNTs. This is an ambitious frontier research program, with a strong interdisciplinary nature, across engineering, physical, chemical and soft matter sciences. The ERC grant will consolidate the newly funded Research Group lead by the PI at the newly built centre for Advanced Photonics and Electronics of the University of Cambridge. CNTs will be grown by chemical vapour deposition at low temperatures, compatible with polymer processing. Direct deposition of CNT on optical components (such as fibres and mirrors) will be studied. Fundamental understanding of ultra-fast non-linear optics will be sought by a combination of theory and experiments. A range of novel photonic polymers incorporating CNTs will be produced: index matching gels, optical adhesives and silicones. These new materials, incorporating the optical functionality of CNTs, will be used to build a variety of photonic devices. Nanowires are also promising for photonic applications, since they exhibit a size-tunable absorption resonance at telecommunications wavelengths, and their use will also be considered.
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