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LIMACONA Report Summary

Project ID: 612600
Funded under: FP7-PEOPLE
Country: United Kingdom

Final Report Summary - LIMACONA (Light-Matter Coupling in composite Nano-Structures)

The academic exchange project LIMACONA supported multi-lateral transfer of knowledge and expertise among several European research teams and teams from Russia, Ukraine and Armenia, striving to advance the research on Physics of Light-Matter Coupling in Nanostructures. This programme combines unique expertise of partners in Nonlinear Physics and Optics, Materials Science, Nanoscience and Nanotechnology, Computer Science, to perform theoretical and experimental research on formation, manipulation and collective dynamics of coupled matter-field states – exciton-polaritons – in photonic crystals, atomic and semiconductor bandgap structures.

LIMACONA project has enabled to explore new functionalities and applications of hybrid semiconductor/metal/dielectric nano-structures. In particular, in this project studies of applications of micro- and nano-structures both for quantum and classical optical information processing have been carried out. It has been identified that the combination of extremely high polaritonic nonlinearities and the unusual and controllable dispersive characteristic of these exotic half-light half-matter states can lead to the development of novel polaritonic circuits, offering uncontested advantages over their photonic and electronic analogues. The advancement of such new type of ultra-fast and nano-scale circuits can shift the IT industry to the whole new level and help to meet the ever increasing high demands on the speed and volume of information transmission and procession. Development of the entirely new meta-materials based on semiconductor/metallic hybrid structures studied in the project, could be utilized in a variety of applications where tuning the transmission, absorption and reflection of the electromagnetic radiation is crucial, e.g. as in microwave telecommunications.

The main scientific results of this research programme include:
• We have developed a set of efficient theoretical and numerical tools for analysis of polariton dynamics in structured micro-cavities, including microcavity nano-wires and periodic 1D and 2D structures.
• We have predicted and analysed a range of novel physical effects due to the specific dispersion properties of polaritons in periodic nano-structures, both in classical and quantum regimes. In particular, we have discovered new type of coherent localized excitations in polaritonic nano-wires, and described mechanisms of their formation and interaction with low amplitude free polariton modes; we have proposed a way to achieve the regime of long-living exciton-polariton Rabi-oscillations in semiconductor microcavities, and demonstrated that they may serve as qubits for quantum information processing; we have shown that superpositions of Bloch eigenstates within the periodic lattice govern different regimes of relaxation and oscillatory dynamics of coherent exciton-polaritons, including stable macroscopic oscillations similar to well-known nonlinear Josephson oscillations.
• We have developed novel methods of growth of semiconductor nano-columns, offering significant advantage over previously known techniques in terms of much better regularity of the resulting nano-structures and homogeneity in size distribution.
• We have developed a concept of resonant hyperbolic metamaterials based on planar Bragg mirrors with embedded semiconductor quantum wells.
• We have proposed the set of techniques for synthesis of different semiconductors in porous matrices, and analysed the resulting nano-stuctures.
• We have developed methods for production of granular metal films on the surface of GaAs wafer.
• We have analysed the effect of local plasmon assisted enhancement of light-matter coupling in nanostructures, and observed photoluminescence enhancement of semiconductor (InGaAs) nanostructures of up to 30%

One other important aspect of the socio-economical impact of LIMACONA project is the establishment of international network of experts in the inter-disciplinary fields of Nonlinear Physics and Optics, Materials Science, Nanoscience and Nanotechnology, Computer Science. The extensive networking activities and joint training activities, carried out in this project, has helped to raise the cadre of young researchers with crucial capabilities – who can spearhead new applications and advances in novel photonic materials, physics and technologies. This cadre will be a vital human asset for the European Community.

Reported by

United Kingdom


Life Sciences
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