Info
Info
News Article

Scientists Suppress Plasmon Losses With Boron Nitride

Graphene encapsulated in BN enables light control in tiny circuits with reduced energy loss

Above: Simulations and observations of propagating plasmons in BN heterostructure

One way of squeezing light into tiny circuits and controlling its flow electrically is to use graphene to guide plasmons, in which electrons and light move together as one coherent wave. However, the plasmons lose energy quickly, limiting the range over which they can travel. Now scientists have shown that combining graphene with the 2D semiconductor boron nitride (BN), can control light in tiny circuits and suppress losses.

The research was carried out by researchers from ICFO (Barcelona), in a collaboration with CIC nanoGUNE (San Sebastian), and CNR/Scuola Normale Superiore (Pisa), all members of the EU Graphene Flagship, and Columbia University (New York).

When graphene is encapsulated in BN, electrons can move ballistically for long distances without scattering, even at room temperature. This research now shows that the graphene/BN material system is also an excellent host for extremely strongly confined light and suppression of plasmon losses.

ICFO Frank Koppens comments: "it is remarkable that we make light move more than 150 times slower than the speed of light, and at lengthscales more than 150 times smaller than the wavelength of light. In combination with the all-electrical capability to control nanoscale optical circuits, one can envision very exciting opportunities for applications."

The research, carried out by PhD students Achim Woessner (ICFO) and Yuando Gao (Columbia) and postdoctoral fellow Mark Lundeberg (ICFO), is just the beginning of a series of discoveries on nano-optoelectronic properties of new heterostructures based on combining different kinds of 2D materials.

The material heterostructure was first discovered by the researchers at Columbia University. James Hone comments: "Boron nitride has proven to be the ideal 'partner' for graphene, and this amazing combination of materials continues to surprise us with its outstanding performance in many areas".

Rainer Hillenbrand from CIC nanoGUNE comments: "Now we can squeeze light and at the same time make it propagate over significant distances through nanoscale materials. In the future, low-loss graphene plasmons could make signal processing and computing much faster, and optical sensing more efficient."

The research team also performed theoretical studies. Marco Polini, from CNR/Scuola Normale Superiore (Pisa) and the IIT Graphene Labs (Genova), laid down a theory and performed calculations together with his collaborators. He explains:"According to theory, the interactions between light, electrons and the material system are now very well understood, even at a fully microscopic level. It is very rare to find a material that is so clean and in which this level of understanding is possible".

The researchers believe ther findings pave the way for miniaturised optical circuits and devices that could be useful for optical and/or biological sensing, information processing or data communications.



AngelTech Live III: Join us on 12 April 2021!

AngelTech Live III will be broadcast on 12 April 2021, 10am BST, rebroadcast on 14 April (10am CTT) and 16 April (10am PST) and will feature online versions of the market-leading physical events: CS International and PIC International PLUS a brand new Silicon Semiconductor International Track!

Thanks to the great diversity of the semiconductor industry, we are always chasing new markets and developing a range of exciting technologies.

2021 is no different. Over the last few months interest in deep-UV LEDs has rocketed, due to its capability to disinfect and sanitise areas and combat Covid-19. We shall consider a roadmap for this device, along with technologies for boosting its output.

We shall also look at microLEDs, a display with many wonderful attributes, identifying processes for handling the mass transfer of tiny emitters that hold the key to commercialisation of this technology.

We shall also discuss electrification of transportation, underpinned by wide bandgap power electronics and supported by blue lasers that are ideal for processing copper.

Additional areas we will cover include the development of GaN ICs, to improve the reach of power electronics; the great strides that have been made with gallium oxide; and a look at new materials, such as cubic GaN and AlScN.

Having attracted 1500 delegates over the last 2 online summits, the 3rd event promises to be even bigger and better – with 3 interactive sessions over 1 day and will once again prove to be a key event across the semiconductor and photonic integrated circuits calendar.

So make sure you sign up today and discover the latest cutting edge developments across the compound semiconductor and integrated photonics value chain.

REGISTER FOR FREE

VIEW SESSIONS

Info
×
Search the news archive

To close this popup you can press escape or click the close icon.
×
Logo
×
Register - Step 1

You may choose to subscribe to the Compound Semiconductor Magazine, the Compound Semiconductor Newsletter, or both. You may also request additional information if required, before submitting your application.


Please subscribe me to:

 

You chose the industry type of "Other"

Please enter the industry that you work in:
Please enter the industry that you work in:
 
X
Info
X
Info
{taasPodcastNotification}
Live Event