Physicists demonstrate photonic hypercrystals for control of light-matter interaction

Physicists demonstrate photonic hypercrystals for control of light-matter interaction
Image of photonic hypercrystals courtesy of Tal Galfsky

Control of light-matter interaction is central to fundamental phenomena and technologies such as photosynthesis, lasers, LEDs and solar cells. City College of New York researchers have now demonstrated a new class of artificial media called photonic hypercrystals that can control light-matter interaction in unprecedented ways.

This could lead to such benefits as ultrafast LEDs for Li-Fi (a wireless technology that transmits high-speed data using visible light communication), enhanced absorption in and the development of single photon emitters for , said Vinod M. Menon, professor of physics in City College's Division of Science who led the research.

Photonic crystals and metamaterials are two of the most well-known artificial materials used to manipulate light. However, they suffer from drawbacks such as bandwidth limitation and poor light emission. In their research, Menon and his team overcame these drawbacks by developing hypercrystals that take on the best of both and metamaterials and do even better. They demonstrated significant increase in both emission rate and intensity from nanomaterials embedded inside the hypercrystals.

The emergent properties of the hypercrystals arise from the unique combination of length scales of the features in the hypercrystal as well as the inherent properties of the nanoscale structures.

The CCNY research appears in the latest issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

The team included graduate students Tal Galfsky and Jie Gu from Menon's research group in CCNY's Physics Department and Evgenii Narimanov (Purdue University), who first theoretically predicted the hypercrystals. The research was supported by the Army Research Office, the National Science Foundation - Division of Materials Research MRSEC program, and the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation.

Explore further

Photonic hypercrystals drastically enhance light emission in 2D materials

More information: Tal Galfsky et al. Photonic hypercrystals for control of light–matter interactions, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (2017). DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1702683114
Citation: Physicists demonstrate photonic hypercrystals for control of light-matter interaction (2017, May 5) retrieved 21 July 2019 from
This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.

Feedback to editors

User comments

May 05, 2017
Wow that title reminds me of the technobabble La Forge used to spout in STNG!

May 05, 2017
The full text of the article is available; it is not embargoed.

This is very interesting technology since it combines the strengths of the two known approaches to metamaterial optics, and in doing so gives high power transfer along with wide bandwidth. As these materials get better and better, new opportunities in photonic control and communications will emerge.

May 08, 2017
Light matter interaction is nothing new. How about nonlinear analysis of gaussian beams moving through an inhomogeneous media. Notice that we use aspects of QM, the primary representation is Maxwell with a response to the nth power.

I followed a paper in undergrad, rewrote the eq from Maxwell for propagation through an inhomogeneous media and expectations if spot size and such in optical fiber, optics, metals, polarization o2e e2o, we're looking at 10^-24 volts, current infinitesimal, we have classifications on all material.

Ok, I got it, a hypercrystal, wow!

May 08, 2017
This comment has been removed by a moderator.

May 09, 2017
It was a compliment! Comment removed. OK.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more