Final Report Summary - NANOPOTS (Nanotube Based Polymer Optoelectronics)
Fundamental science plays a crucial role in underpinning and generating future technologies. The ability to manipulate the structure and composition at the nano-scale opens new horizons and huge opportunities to create novel materials with superior performance. The introduction of a wide range of new low cost materials, encompassing polymers, advanced liquid crystals, and nanostructures, including carbon nanotubes (CNTs) and graphene, will have disruptive impact on a variety of devices based on conventional inorganic semiconductors, not only because of cost/performance advantages, but also because they can be manufactured in more flexible ways, suitable for a growing range of applications. The target of this project was to develop a new class of polymer based optoelectronic devices embedding the optical and electronic functionalities CNTs and graphene. A variety of mode-locked lasers and detectors were fabricated, with state of the art performances, in terms of wavelength range, tuneability, power, repetition rate. These devices combine the fabrication advantages of polymer photonics, with the tuneable active and passive optical properties of CNTs and graphene. Such devices are expected to find a wide range of applications not only in optical communications but also in bio-medical instruments, chemical analysis, time-resolved spectroscopy, electro-optical sampling, microscopy and surgery. This was an ambitious frontier research program, with a strong interdisciplinary nature, across engineering, physical, chemical and soft matter sciences.