Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors
Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button

Home > Press > Controlling forces between atoms, molecules, promising for ‘2-D hyperbolic’ materials

A new approach to control forces and interactions between atoms and molecules, such as those employed by geckos to climb vertical surfaces, could bring advances in new materials for developing quantum light sources. This graphic depicts “quantum emitters,” in red. (Purdue University image/Zubin Jacob)
A new approach to control forces and interactions between atoms and molecules, such as those employed by geckos to climb vertical surfaces, could bring advances in new materials for developing quantum light sources. This graphic depicts “quantum emitters,” in red. (Purdue University image/Zubin Jacob)

Abstract:
ABSTRACT

Super-Coulombic atom–atom interactions in hyperbolic media

Cristian L. Cortes1,2 & Zubin Jacob1,2

1 Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada T6G 2V4. 2Birck Nanotechnology Center and Purdue Quantum Center, School of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Purdue University, 1205 West State Street, West Lafayette, Indiana 47906, USA. Correspondence and requests for materials should be addressed to C.L.C. (email: or to Z.J. (email:

Dipole–dipole interactions, which govern phenomena such as cooperative Lamb shifts, superradiant decay rates, Van der Waals forces and resonance energy transfer rates, are conventionally limited to the Coulombic near-field. Here we reveal a class of real-photon and virtual-photon long-range quantum electrodynamic interactions that have a singularity in media with hyperbolic dispersion. The singularity in the dipole–dipole coupling, referred to as a super-Coulombic interaction, is a result of an effective interaction distance that goes to zero in the ideal limit irrespective of the physical distance. We investigate the entire landscape of atom–atom interactions in hyperbolic media confirming the giant long-range enhancement. We also propose multiple experimental platforms to verify our predicted effect with phonon–polaritonic hexagonal boron nitride, plasmonic super-lattices and hyperbolic meta-surfaces as well. Our work paves the way for the control of cold atoms above hyperbolic meta-surfaces and the study of many-body physics with hyperbolic media.

Controlling forces between atoms, molecules, promising for ‘2-D hyperbolic’ materials

West Lafayette, IN | Posted on April 4th, 2017

A new approach to control forces and interactions between atoms and molecules, such as those employed by geckos to climb vertical surfaces, could bring advances in new materials for developing quantum light sources.

“Closely spaced atoms and molecules in our environment are constantly interacting, attracting and repelling each other,” said Zubin Jacob, an assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering at Purdue University. “Such interactions ultimately enable a myriad of phenomena, such as the sticky pads on gecko feet, as well as photosynthesis.”

Typically, these interactions occur when atoms and molecules are between 1 to 10 nanometers apart, or roughly 1/10,000th the width of a human hair.

“These include Van der Waals forces that take place between atoms and molecules only when they are very close together. The fact that they always require extremely short separation distances makes them difficult to control. This poses a major obstacle to exploit them for practical applications,” he said.

For brief periods of time atoms are said to possess “fluctuating dipoles” because their positive and negative charges are momentarily separated. The dipoles from numerous atoms and molecules sometimes interact with each other, and these dipole-dipole interactions are the basis for Van der Waals and other forces between the closely-spaced atoms and molecules.

The researchers have demonstrated that these dipole-dipole interactions are fundamentally altered inside so-called two-dimensional materials, such as hexagonal boron nitride and black phosphorous, materials with a thickness consisting of only a few atomic layers. They also have shown that it’s possible to achieve the dipole-dipole interactions even when the atoms and molecules are relatively distant, with a separation approaching one micron, or 100 times farther apart then would normally be required. This greater distance represents the potential for the practical application of the phenomenon for optical sources.

Findings are detailed in a paper published earlier this year in the journal Nature Communications. The paper was authored by doctoral student Cristian L. Cortes and Jacob.

“Our main goal was trying to understand whether it’s possible to control and manipulate these sorts of interactions,” Cortes said. “What we found was that by carefully engineering material properties, it is possible to significantly alter the strength and spatial range of these interactions. We found that so-called hyperbolic materials actually allow very long-range interactions unlike any other conventional material.”

Dipole-dipole interactions also cause many fluorescent atoms and molecules to emit light in a synchronized manner. Ordinarily, fluorescent molecules emit light in random and spontaneous flashes. However, materials might be engineered to mediate interactions so that the emission becomes synchronized, flashing in unison, and increasing light output dramatically in a phenomenon called super-radiance.

The hyperbolic two-dimensional materials are engineered to induce this super-radiance between fluorescent quantum emitters placed far apart.

“When they are interacting through these materials they can get locked in with each other like two pendulums synchronized perfectly,” Jacob said.

The materials are said to be “strongly interacting” due to the long-range dipole-dipole effect.

The “long-range” interactions could make possible new types of light sources that exploit super-radiance. Another challenging goal is to build quantum simulators using a network of interacting emitters to mimic “Coulomb interactions” or “spin interactions” between electrons in a material.

Although the Nature Communications paper focuses on theory, the researchers also suggested several experimental methods to validate the theory. They are performing an experiment using hyperbolic 2-D materials at the Birck Nanotechnology Center in Purdue’s Discovery Park.

Jacob recently received a National Science Foundation Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) award to support the research. The award provides $461,877 for research over five years.

####

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
Writer:
Emil Venere
765-494-4709


Source: Zubin Jacob
765-494-3514

Copyright © Purdue University

If you have a comment, please Contact us.

Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.

Bookmark:
Delicious Digg Newsvine Google Yahoo Reddit Magnoliacom Furl Facebook

Related News Press

News and information

Neutrons unlock the secrets of limoncello May 21st, 2019

Machine learning speeds modeling of experiments aimed at capturing fusion energy on Earth May 17th, 2019

Manipulating atoms one at a time with an electron beam: New method could be useful for building quantum sensors and computers May 17th, 2019

New surface treatment could improve refrigeration efficiency: A slippery surface for liquids with very low surface tension promotes droplet formation, facilitating heat transfer May 17th, 2019

2 Dimensional Materials

New way to beat the heat in electronics: Rice University lab's flexible insulator offers high strength and superior thermal conduction May 16th, 2019

2D insulators with ferromagnetism are rare; researchers just identified a new one May 10th, 2019

Computing faster with quasi-particles May 10th, 2019

From 2D to 1D: Atomically quasi '1D' wires using a carbon nanotube template: New bulk synthesis method for nanowires of molybdenum telluride for nanoelectronics April 19th, 2019

Optical computing/Photonic computing

2D borophene gets a closer look: Rice, Northwestern find new ways to image, characterize unique material April 11th, 2019

When semiconductors stick together, materials go quantum: A new study led by Berkeley Lab reveals how aligned layers of atomically thin semiconductors can yield an exotic new quantum material March 12th, 2019

New blueprint for understanding, predicting and optimizing complex nanoparticles: Guidelines have the potential to transform the fields of optoelectronics, bio-imaging and energy harvesting March 1st, 2019

Researchers move closer to practical photonic quantum computing: New method fills critical need to measure large-scale quantum correlation of single photons February 28th, 2019

Discoveries

Neutrons unlock the secrets of limoncello May 21st, 2019

Manipulating atoms one at a time with an electron beam: New method could be useful for building quantum sensors and computers May 17th, 2019

New surface treatment could improve refrigeration efficiency: A slippery surface for liquids with very low surface tension promotes droplet formation, facilitating heat transfer May 17th, 2019

Generating high-quality single photons for quantum computing: New dual-cavity design emits more single photons that can carry quantum information at room temperature May 17th, 2019

Materials/Metamaterials

ZEN gets $1m grant for graphene-enhanced concrete project May 12th, 2019

Computing faster with quasi-particles May 10th, 2019

Coal could yield treatment for traumatic injuries: Rice, Texas A&M, UTHealth scientists discover coal-derived ‘dots’ are effective antioxidant April 25th, 2019

Multistep self-assembly opens door to new reconfigurable materials April 19th, 2019

Announcements

Neutrons unlock the secrets of limoncello May 21st, 2019

Machine learning speeds modeling of experiments aimed at capturing fusion energy on Earth May 17th, 2019

Manipulating atoms one at a time with an electron beam: New method could be useful for building quantum sensors and computers May 17th, 2019

New surface treatment could improve refrigeration efficiency: A slippery surface for liquids with very low surface tension promotes droplet formation, facilitating heat transfer May 17th, 2019

Interviews/Book Reviews/Essays/Reports/Podcasts/Journals/White papers

Machine learning speeds modeling of experiments aimed at capturing fusion energy on Earth May 17th, 2019

Manipulating atoms one at a time with an electron beam: New method could be useful for building quantum sensors and computers May 17th, 2019

Generating high-quality single photons for quantum computing: New dual-cavity design emits more single photons that can carry quantum information at room temperature May 17th, 2019

New way to beat the heat in electronics: Rice University lab's flexible insulator offers high strength and superior thermal conduction May 16th, 2019

Energy

Machine learning speeds modeling of experiments aimed at capturing fusion energy on Earth May 17th, 2019

New surface treatment could improve refrigeration efficiency: A slippery surface for liquids with very low surface tension promotes droplet formation, facilitating heat transfer May 17th, 2019

Skoltech researchers developed new perovskite-inspired semiconductors for electronic devices May 13th, 2019

Exploring New Ways to Control Thermal Radiation April 29th, 2019

Photonics/Optics/Lasers

Sculpting Super-Fast Light Pulses: NIST Nanopillars Shape Light Precisely for Practical Applications May 3rd, 2019

2D borophene gets a closer look: Rice, Northwestern find new ways to image, characterize unique material April 11th, 2019

New hybrid energy method could fuel the future of rockets, spacecraft for exploration: Nontraditional route shown to increase performance, burn rate April 9th, 2019

Nanoscribe is Technology Partner of the Research Project MiLiQuant: 3D microfabrication meets quantum technology - Miniaturized light sources for industrial use in the fields of quantum sensor technology and quantum imaging April 1st, 2019

Solar/Photovoltaic

Skoltech researchers developed new perovskite-inspired semiconductors for electronic devices May 13th, 2019

Exploring New Ways to Control Thermal Radiation April 29th, 2019

Multistep self-assembly opens door to new reconfigurable materials April 19th, 2019

Mystery of negative capacitance in perovskite solar cells solved April 5th, 2019

NanoNews-Digest
The latest news from around the world, FREE



  Premium Products
NanoNews-Custom
Only the news you want to read!
 Learn More
NanoStrategies
Full-service, expert consulting
 Learn More











ASP
Nanotechnology Now Featured Books




NNN

The Hunger Project