Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors

Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button

Home > Press > A new approach to ultrafast light pulses: Unusual fluorescent materials could be used for rapid light-based communications systems

In this image, light strikes a molecular lattice deposited on a metal substrate. The molecules can quickly exchange energy with the metal below, a mechanism that leads to a much faster response time for the emission of fluorescent light from the lattice.

Courtesy of the researchers
In this image, light strikes a molecular lattice deposited on a metal substrate. The molecules can quickly exchange energy with the metal below, a mechanism that leads to a much faster response time for the emission of fluorescent light from the lattice. Courtesy of the researchers

Abstract:
Two-dimensional materials called molecular aggregates are very effective light emitters that work on a different principle than typical organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs) or quantum dots. But their potential as components for new kinds of optoelectronic devices has been limited by their relatively slow response time. Now, researchers at MIT, the University of California at Berkeley, and Northeastern University have found a way to overcome that limitation, potentially opening up a variety of applications for these materials.

A new approach to ultrafast light pulses: Unusual fluorescent materials could be used for rapid light-based communications systems

Cambridge, MA | Posted on September 19th, 2017

The findings are described in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, in a paper by MIT associate professor of mechanical engineering Nicholas X. Fang, postdocs Qing Hu and Dafei Jin, and five others.

The key to enhancing the response time of these 2-D molecular aggregates (2DMA), Fang and his team found, is to couple that material with a thin layer of a metal such as silver. The interaction between the 2DMA and the metal that is just a few nanometers away boosts the speed of the material's light pulses more than tenfold.

These 2DMA materials exhibit a number of unusual properties and have been used to create exotic forms of matter, known as Bose-Einstein condensates, at room temperature, while other approaches required extreme cooling. They have also been applied in technologies such as solar cells and light-harvesting organic antennas. But the new work for the first time identifies the strong influence that a very close sheet of metal can have on the way these materials emit light.

In order for these materials to be useful in devices such as photonic chips -- which are like semiconductor chips but carry out their operations using light instead of electrons -- "the challenge is to be able to switch them on and off quickly," which had not been possible before, Fang says.

With the metal substrate nearby, the response time for the light emission dropped from 60 picoseconds (trillionths of a second) to just 2 picoseconds, Fang says: "This is pretty exciting, because we observed this effect even when the material is 5 to 10 nanometers away from the surface," with a spacing layer of polymer in between. That's enough of a separation that fabricating such paired materials in quantity should not be an overly demanding process. "This is something we think could be adapted to roll-to-roll printing," he says.

If used for signal processing, such as sending data by light rather than radio waves, Fang says, this advance could lead to a data transmission rate of about 40 gigahertz, which is eight times faster than such devices can currently deliver. This is "a very promising step, but it's still very early" as far as translating that into practical, manufacturable devices, he cautions.

The team studied only one of the many kinds of molecular aggregates that have been developed, so there may still be opportunities to find even better variations. "This is actually a very rich family of luminous materials," Fang says.

Because the responsiveness of the material is so strongly influenced by the exact proximity of the nearby metal substrate, such systems could also be used for very precise measuring tools. "The interaction is reduced as a function of the gap size, so it could now be used if we want to measure the proximity of a surface," Fang says.

As the team continues its studies of these materials, one next step is to study the effects that patterning of the metal surface might have, since the tests so far only used flat surfaces. Other questions to be addressed include determining the useful lifetimes of these materials and how they might be extended.

Fang says a first prototype of a device using this system might be produced "within a year or so."

###

The team also included Soon Hoon Nam at MIT; Jun Xiao, Xiaoze Liu, and Xiang Zhang at UC Berkeley; and Yongmin Liu at Northeastern University. The work was supported by the National Science Foundation, the Masdar Institute of Science and Technology, and the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology.

####

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
Karl-Lydie Jean-Baptiste

617-253-1682

Copyright © Massachusetts Institute of Technology

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 Links

RELATED JOURNAL ARTICLE:

Related News Press

News and information

New Method Uses DNA, Nanoparticles and Top-Down Lithography to Make Optically Active Structures: Technique could lead to new classes of materials that can bend light, such as for those used in cloaking devices January 18th, 2018

Arrowhead Pharmaceuticals Announces Pricing of Underwritten Public Offering of Common Stock January 18th, 2018

Leti to Demo New Curving Technology at Photonics West that Improves Performance of Optical Components January 18th, 2018

Arrowhead Pharmaceuticals Announces Proposed Underwritten Offering of Common Stock January 17th, 2018

Ultra-thin memory storage device paves way for more powerful computing January 17th, 2018

Wireless/telecommunications/RF/Antennas/Microwaves

Leti to Demo New Curving Technology at Photonics West that Improves Performance of Optical Components January 18th, 2018

Leti Field Trials Demonstrate New Multicarrier Waveform for Rural, Maritime Broadband Radio: Field Trial in Orkney Islands Used New Filtered Multicarrier Waveform at 700MHz Band with Flexible Bandwidth Usage (Fragmented and Continuous Spectrum) December 18th, 2017

2 Dimensional Materials

New oxide and semiconductor combination builds new device potential: Researchers integrated oxide two-dimensional electron gases with gallium arsenide and paved the way toward new opto-electrical devices January 10th, 2018

NRL improves optical efficiency in nanophotonic devices January 4th, 2018

Electronically-smooth '3-D graphene': A bright future for trisodium bismuthide: Electronically-smooth nature of trisodium bismuthide makes it a viable alternative to graphene/h-BN December 22nd, 2017

Possible Futures

New Method Uses DNA, Nanoparticles and Top-Down Lithography to Make Optically Active Structures: Technique could lead to new classes of materials that can bend light, such as for those used in cloaking devices January 18th, 2018

Arrowhead Pharmaceuticals Announces Pricing of Underwritten Public Offering of Common Stock January 18th, 2018

Leti to Demo New Curving Technology at Photonics West that Improves Performance of Optical Components January 18th, 2018

Ultra-thin optical fibers offer new way to 3-D print microstructures: Novel approach lays groundwork for using 3-D printing to repair tissue in the body January 17th, 2018

Chip Technology

Leti to Demo New Curving Technology at Photonics West that Improves Performance of Optical Components January 18th, 2018

Ultra-thin memory storage device paves way for more powerful computing January 17th, 2018

'Gyroscope' molecules form crystal that's both solid and full of motion: New type of molecular machine designed by UCLA researchers could have wide-ranging applications in technology and science January 16th, 2018

New oxide and semiconductor combination builds new device potential: Researchers integrated oxide two-dimensional electron gases with gallium arsenide and paved the way toward new opto-electrical devices January 10th, 2018

Optical computing/Photonic computing

Leti to Demo New Curving Technology at Photonics West that Improves Performance of Optical Components January 18th, 2018

New oxide and semiconductor combination builds new device potential: Researchers integrated oxide two-dimensional electron gases with gallium arsenide and paved the way toward new opto-electrical devices January 10th, 2018

NRL improves optical efficiency in nanophotonic devices January 4th, 2018

Scientists make transparent materials absorb light December 1st, 2017

Discoveries

New Method Uses DNA, Nanoparticles and Top-Down Lithography to Make Optically Active Structures: Technique could lead to new classes of materials that can bend light, such as for those used in cloaking devices January 18th, 2018

Nanowrinkles could save billions in shipping and aquaculture Surfaces inspired by carnivorous plants delay degradation by marine fouling January 17th, 2018

Ultrathin black phosphorus for solar-driven hydrogen economy: Osaka University researchers use sunlight to make hydrogen with a new nanostructured catalyst based on nanosheets of black phosphorus and bismuth vanadate January 17th, 2018

Ultra-thin optical fibers offer new way to 3-D print microstructures: Novel approach lays groundwork for using 3-D printing to repair tissue in the body January 17th, 2018

Announcements

New Method Uses DNA, Nanoparticles and Top-Down Lithography to Make Optically Active Structures: Technique could lead to new classes of materials that can bend light, such as for those used in cloaking devices January 18th, 2018

Arrowhead Pharmaceuticals Announces Pricing of Underwritten Public Offering of Common Stock January 18th, 2018

Leti to Demo New Curving Technology at Photonics West that Improves Performance of Optical Components January 18th, 2018

Arrowhead Pharmaceuticals Announces Proposed Underwritten Offering of Common Stock January 17th, 2018

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

Nanowrinkles could save billions in shipping and aquaculture Surfaces inspired by carnivorous plants delay degradation by marine fouling January 17th, 2018

Ultrathin black phosphorus for solar-driven hydrogen economy: Osaka University researchers use sunlight to make hydrogen with a new nanostructured catalyst based on nanosheets of black phosphorus and bismuth vanadate January 17th, 2018

Ultra-thin optical fibers offer new way to 3-D print microstructures: Novel approach lays groundwork for using 3-D printing to repair tissue in the body January 17th, 2018

Ultra-thin memory storage device paves way for more powerful computing January 17th, 2018

Photonics/Optics/Lasers

New Method Uses DNA, Nanoparticles and Top-Down Lithography to Make Optically Active Structures: Technique could lead to new classes of materials that can bend light, such as for those used in cloaking devices January 18th, 2018

Leti to Demo New Curving Technology at Photonics West that Improves Performance of Optical Components January 18th, 2018

New exotic phenomena seen in photonic crystals: Researchers observe, for the first time, topological effects unique to an “open” system January 12th, 2018

New oxide and semiconductor combination builds new device potential: Researchers integrated oxide two-dimensional electron gases with gallium arsenide and paved the way toward new opto-electrical devices January 10th, 2018

Research partnerships

Ultra-thin memory storage device paves way for more powerful computing January 17th, 2018

New catalyst for hydrogen production is a step toward clean fuel: Carbon-based nanocomposite with embedded metal ions yields impressive performance as catalyst for electrolysis of water to generate hydrogen January 16th, 2018

New era in high field superconducting magnets – opening new frontiers in science, nanotechnology and materials discovery January 9th, 2018

Touchy nanotubes work better when clean: Rice, Swansea scientists show that decontaminating nanotubes can simplify nanoscale devices January 4th, 2018

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



  Premium Products
NanoNews-Custom
Only the news you want to read!
 Learn More
NanoTech-Transfer
University Technology Transfer & Patents
 Learn More
NanoStrategies
Full-service, expert consulting
 Learn More











ASP
Nanotechnology Now Featured Books




NNN

The Hunger Project