Nonlinear nano-optics with polaritons in 2D materials

From 3/2/2021

By Joel Cox

While light constitutes the ideal information carrier, capable of traversing enormous distances at the ultimate speed, the performance of photonic devices in information and communication technology is impeded by a need to convert electrical and optical signals. All-optical technologies rely on the control of light by light mediated by nonlinear optical phenomena, which are routinely accessed by phase-matching high-power laser light in macroscopic bulk crystals or atomic gases. Unfortunately, the efficiency of nonlinear optical processes is hindered at the frontier of nano-optics, where the inherently small light-matter interaction volumes of fragile nanostructured materials limits the accumulation of an appreciable nonlinear response. Polaritons, formed when light hybridizes with dipole-carrying excitations in matter, can focus light on the nanoscale to circumvent the need for high-power and bulk systems in nonlinear optics. Here I will discuss how the extreme light concentration associated with polaritons in two-dimensional material platforms can be harnessed to actuate nonlinear optical phenomena at ultra-low light powers, offering new possibilities for manipulating light by light at the single-photon level. About Joel Cox After completing his PhD in Physics at Western University, Canada, Joel Cox joined The Institute of Photonic Sciences (ICFO), in Barcelona, Spain, as a postdoctoral researcher in the Nanophotonics Theory group, and later became a CELLEX-ICFO-MPQ Research Fellow appointed jointly with the Max Planck Institute for Quantum Optics (MPQ) in Munich, Germany. His research expertise falls within the categories of nanophotonics, nonlinear and quantum optics, and condensed matter physics, and he is one of the leading theoretical researchers in the field of nonlinear graphene nano-optics