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Atomically-engineered nonlinear photonics with two-dimensional layered material superlattices

Project description

New 2D material contenders show promise for nonlinear optics

Nonlinear optics, a study of how light interacts with matter, is critical to many photonic applications. 2D van der Waals superlattices, which comprise two stacked monolayer materials, provide an alternative to single-layer materials for engineering optical nonlinearities. These superlattices can significantly enhance the nonlinear optical responses of 2D materials by coherently increasing the light–matter interaction length and creating fundamentally new physical properties. The EU-funded ATOP project will leverage the potential of these materials for developing disruptive nonlinear photonic devices, such as on-chip optical parametric generation sources, broadband terahertz sources and high-purity photon-pair emitters. The resulting photonic systems could be highly valued in metrology, portable sensing and quantum communications.


The project aims at introducing a paradigm shift in the development of nonlinear photonics with atomically-engineered two-dimensional (2D) van der Waals superlattices (2DSs). Monolayer 2D materials have large optical nonlinear susceptibilities, a few orders of magnitude larger than typical traditional bulk materials. However, nonlinear frequency conversion efficiency of monolayer 2D materials is typically weak mainly due to their extremely short interaction length (~atomic scale) and relatively large absorption coefficient (e.g.>5×10^7 m^-1 in the visible range for graphene and MoS2 after thickness normalization). In this context, I will construct atomically-engineered heterojunctions based 2DSs to significantly enhance the nonlinear optical responses of 2D materials by coherently increasing light-matter interaction length and efficiently creating fundamentally new physical properties (e.g. reducing optical loss and increasing nonlinear susceptibilities).
The concrete project objectives are to theoretically calculate, experimentally fabricate and study optical nonlinearities of 2DSs for next-generation nonlinear photonics at the nanoscale. More specifically, I will use 2DSs as new building blocks to develop three of the most disruptive nonlinear photonic devices: (1) on-chip optical parametric generation sources; (2) broadband Terahertz sources; (3) high-purity photon-pair emitters. These devices will lead to a breakthrough technology to enable highly-integrated, high-efficient and wideband lab-on-chip photonic systems with unprecedented performance in system size, power consumption, flexibility and reliability, ideally fitting numerous growing and emerging applications, e.g. metrology, portable sensing/imaging, and quantum-communications. Based on my proven track record and my pioneering work on 2D materials based photonics and optoelectronics, I believe I will accomplish this ambitious frontier research program with a strong interdisciplinary nature.

Host institution

Net EU contribution
€ 2 442 448,00
02150 Espoo

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Manner-Suomi Helsinki-Uusimaa Helsinki-Uusimaa
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Total cost
€ 2 442 448,00

Beneficiaries (1)