Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Periodic Report Summary 1 - HYMECAV (Metal Hybrid Cavities)

Quantum semiconductor microcavities are structures in which photons can be confined within an area whose size is comparable to the wavelength of light. In this scenario, light-matter interactions can be substantially enhanced. A traditional microcavity is composed of two dielectric or semiconductor Bragg reflectors confining an active area which contains a quantum object such as a quantum well. From the initial observation of strong coupling between photons and excitons in such microcavities, the physics of polaritons has developed very quickly demonstrating such fascinating effects as stimulated scattering and Bose-condensation of polariton; room-temperature polariton lasing, superfluidity, bistability and multistability, soliton formation and many others. Recently it was shown that a localized state of light (Tamm Plasmon) can be formed at the interface between a specially designed Bragg mirror and metallic layer. For decades it was assumed that metallic elements are detrimental to optical coherence and lasing, however the intrinsic properties of the spatial distribution of the electric field of the Tamm Plasmon facilitate optical coherence and lasing in a microcavity with an embedded metallic layer. By coupling a microcavity polariton to a Tamm Plasmon, lateral localization can be achieved, opening the way for polaritonic logic elements and polaritonic circuits. This project is aimed at the design, fabrication and investigation of novel optoelectronic structures: hybrid metallic microcavities. These structures will be used for fabrication of lasers and sources of single photons and entangled photon pairs, polaritonic logic circuits as well as for fundamental studies of microcavity polaritons.
Tamm plasmons are very feasible to make: they can be obtained by depositing the metal film on top of Bragg reflector (which can contain some active media). The TP provides a very simple way of laterally localizing light in the semicoductor structures (microcavity) and are readily fabricated by basic photolithography without the need of etching through micrometer-scale thick multilayer structures. Coupling of an exciton in a quantum dot to such a photonic dot induced by the TP was successfully used as a source of single photons. Despite metallic mirrors being the most commonly used type of light reflectors in normal life, metallic optical components have not found wide use in optoelectronics, despite the obvious advantages of the metals. They are cheap and can be conveniently deposited and flexibly structured. An intrinsic property of TP localized on thin metal films of sub-wavelength thickness embedded into a microcavity is the occurrence of a node of electric field at the metal. Thus, absorption in such structure is substantially reduced, and makes possible the experimental observation of macroscopic optical coherence and lasing in hybrid metal/organic Tamm plasmon based structures at room temperature.
This intrinsic property defines originality of the proposed program: the functionality of the complicated semiconductor/dielectric optoelectronic devices can be achieved in much more simple and cheep structures utising metallic elements. Furhemore, in Tamm plasmon based devices metallic elements could serve simultaneously as an elements of optical scheme as well as electrical contacts.

The motivation of this research activity is to understand the physics required to obtain novel Tamm plasmon based optoelectronic devices perfoming more effectively then traditional semiconductor / dielectric optoelectronic devices.
The consortium members are: Durham University (UK), Technical University of Dresden (Germany), Denmark technical University (Denmark), LPN-CNRS (France), University of Muenster (Germany), University of Sheffield (UK), St Petersburg Academic University (Russia) and the Ioffe Physical Technical Institute of Russian Academy of Science (Russia).

The key objectives of the research, which is undertaken by seconded researchers, include:
1) Design and fabrication semiconductor lasers (including electrically pumped) based on Tamm plasmons
2) Design and fabrication hybrid metal organic (including electrically pumped) based on Tamm plasmons
3) Design and fabrication of novel sources of single photons and entangled photon pair based on Tamm plasmons
4) Integrated plasmonic circuits based on combination of Tamm plasmons and surface plasmons
5) Fabrication of devices and optical characterization of novel organic optoelectronic materials and cavity interactions.
The project has produced a wide range of theoretical and experimental outputs in the above areas. This has included the development of detailed theory and design Tamm plasmon based structures with reduced absorption (including fabrication and investigation of microcavity with two intracavity metallic contacts);
Confinement of light in lateral directions and increasing of quality factor of Tamm plamonos in structures with patterned metallic layers has been achieved;
An analysis of the polaritonic THz active area, based on quantum wells, quantum wires and quantum dots with broken symmetry has been carried out.
A set of novel organic materials for the development of Tamm plasmon based devices has been synthesed and experimentally investigated.
Novel plasmonic circuits has been fabricated and investigated.

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United Kingdom


Life Sciences
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