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Petahertz Quantum Optoelectronic Communication

Project description

Research lays valuable foundation for future petahertz optoelectronics

In semiconductors, electrons can be excited by interacting with laser light. Recent advances have enabled measuring this fundamental mechanism on timescales below a femtosecond. Strong terawatt laser fields cause very high electron mobility in 2D and 3D semiconductors. In addition, they cause the semiconductor to emit the high harmonics of the generation beam. Controlling electron movement in space and time is a prerequisite for developing ultrafast optoelectronic devices that are much faster compared to state-of-the-art terahertz devices. It still remains unknown how to control electron dynamics at frequencies above terahertz. The EU-funded PETACom project plans to develop ultrafast optoelectronic devices that operate in the petahertz regime. The focus will be on examining how electrons react to petahertz fields using femtosecond infrared laser light.


Today, switching speeds in the multi gigahertz range are technologically mastered and terahertz electronics is at its birth. Soon electronic components will push forward towards the petahertz range. It is however unknown how the movement of electrons can be controlled at such frequencies. 2D and 3D semiconductors exhibit properties of high electron mobility that allows to drive intense electron currents coherently in the conduction band when submitted to terawatt laser fields. A strong electron current oscillates at petahertz frequencies in the conduction band with a momentum that depends on the laser field frequency, intensity, polarization and career envelope phase. In addition, high order harmonic radiation is emitted when those electrons recombine to the valence band. The strong electron current from which HHG originate can be manipulated in space and time and be the very first elementary blocks of novel petahertz frequency electronic devices, thus operating orders of magnitude faster than the state-of-the-art terahertz devices. The PETACom project proposes to create future optoelectronic device commutating at petahertz frequencies, bridging the gap between electronics and photonics. We will establish: 1) Petahertz electron switching in 2D and 3D systems using intense femtosecond IR to mid-IR laser excitation. 2) Optoelectronic devices from laser induced petahertz electron oscillation. 3) A new paradigm for future electronics and ultrahigh speed communication and computation.

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Net EU contribution
€ 1 139 450,00
Other funding
€ 0,75

Participants (8)