We propose the fabrication and optical study of new nanophotonic devices based on composite, highly transparent polymer matrices that incorporate near infrared, light emitting semiconductor nanocrystal quantum dots, on different sub-micron patterned surfaces. The devices will combine the atomic-like optical functionality of the nanocrystal quantum dots and the fabrication flexibility of the polymer host with state-of-the-art Si based and Metallic based nanophotonic platforms, such as sub-micron size Si core and air core waveguides and resonators, and sub-wavelength resonant metallic gratings. The proposed objectives are: (a) Understanding the physical mechanisms that determines the carrier dynamics in those nanocrystal quantum dots and in the nanocrystal-polymer composite. (b) A design, fabrication, and study of new active (light emitting) devices and passive nonlinear devices that are based on such hybrid nanocrystal-polymer matrices on Si based planar nano-patterned waveguide platforms. (c) Fabrication and study of nanocrystal-polymer composites incorporated into subwavelength metallic structures, to understand the coupling of the different types of resonant plasmon modes of the subwavelength metallic structure to the nanocrystal quantum dots, probe the enhanced local fields effect on the linear and nonlinear optical properties of the active composite, and identify the potential of such structures as new photonic devices. The experimental methods will include continuous wave as well as time resolved optical spectroscopy, and high-power ultrafast two beam and three beam pump-probe measurements.
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