Many of today’s technological applications, such as solar cells, light-emitting diodes, displays, and touch screens, require materials that are simultaneously optically transparent and electrically conducting. Here we explore transparent conductors based on the excitation of surface plasmons in nanostructured metal films. We measure both the optical and electrical properties of films perforated with nanometer-scale features and optimize the design parameters in order to maximize optical transmission without sacrificing electrical conductivity. We demonstrate that plasmonic transparent conductors can out-perform indium tin oxide in terms of both their transparency and their conductivity.
We present here our results on using liquid crystals in experiments with nonclassical light sources: (1) single-photon sources exhibiting antibunching (separation of all photons in time), which are key components for secure quantum communication systems, and (2) entangled photon source with photons exhibiting quantum interference in a Hong-Ou- Mandel interferometer. In the first part, cholesteric liquid crystal hosts were used to create definite circular polarization of antibunched photons emitted by nanocrystal quantum dots. If the photon has unknown polarization, filtering it through a polarizer to produce the desired polarization for quantum key distribution with bits based on polarization states of photons will reduce by half the efficiency of a quantum cryptography system. In the first part, we also provide our results on observation of a circular polarized microcavity resonance in nanocrystal quantum dot fluorescence in a 1-D chiral photonic bandgap cholesteric liquid crystal microcavity. In the second part of this paper with indistinguishable, time-entangled photons, we demonstrate our experimental results on simulating quantum-mechanical barrier tunnelling phenomena. A Hong-Ou-Mandel dip (quantum interference effect) is shifted when a phase change was introduced on the way of one of entangled photons in pair (one arm of the interferometer) by inserting in this arm an electrically controlled planar-aligned nematic liquid crystal layer between two prisms in the conditions close to a frustrated total internal reflection. By applying different AC-voltages to the planar-aligned nematic layer and changing its refractive index, we can obtain various conditions for incident photon propagation – from total reflection to total transmission. Measuring changes of tunnelling times of photon through this structure with femtosecond resolution permitted us to answer some unresolved questions in quantum-mechanical barrier tunnelling phenomena.
Results are presented here towards robust room-temperature SPSs based on fluorescence in nanocrystals: colloidal
quantum dots, color-center diamonds and doped with trivalent rare-earth ions (TR<sup>3+</sup>). We used cholesteric chiral
photonic bandgap and Bragg-reflector microcavities for single emitter fluorescence enhancement. We also developed
plasmonic bowtie nanoantennas and 2D-Si-photonic bandgap microcavities. The paper also provides short outlines of
other technologies for room-temperature single-photon sources.
We discuss the design and development of a slow-light spectrometer on a chip with the particular example of an
arrayed waveguide grating based spectrometer. We investigate designs for slow-light elements based on photonic
crystal waveguides and grating structures. The designs will be fabricated using electron-beam lithography and UV
photolithography on a silicon-on-insulator platform. We optimize the geometry of these structures by numerical
simulations to achieve a uniform and large group index over the largest possible wavelength range.