Pilot Projects

The main goals of the pilot projects within PhoNa are the demonstration of fundamental effects and the investigation of optical elements with completely novel functionalities by exploiting photonic nanomaterials. Furthermore, PhoNa targets to support the development and optimization of application-specific nanophotonic devices and identifies their potential for addressing dynamic markets and societal challenges. The PhoNa scientists mainly carry out research centered around Imaging Elements and Photon Management.

Imaging Elements with Photonic Nanomaterials

We investigate the potential of photonic nanomaterials with respect to tailored light propagation, high-resolution imaging and nanoscale focusing. Novel nanophotonic elements and devices are enabled by nanostructured matter, for which new fabrication technologies are developed in parallel within PhoNa. Methodologically, a thourough theoretical understanding, dedicated numerical modelling tools and innovative experimental characterization techniques are established to study and predict light propagation in nanostructured matter. Our scientific goals include diffractive optical elements made of photonic nanomaterials, highly efficient imaging elements in compact XUV light sources, broadband dispersion control in nanostructured matter, and chromatic correction of optical devices by means of thin-film nanomaterials. A highlight selection of Phona contributions to this field is given below.

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Cavity-Enhanced High-Harmonic Generation with Spatially Tailored Driving Fields

>> Phys. Rev. Lett. 112, 103902 (2014).

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Negative refractive index materials for improved solar cells

>> Phys. Rev. B 88, 115403 (2013).

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Second-Harmonic Generation of Single BaTiO3 Nanoparticles down to 22 nm Diameter

>> ACS Nano 7, 5343-5349 (2013).

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Impedance generalization for plasmonic waveguides beyond the lumped circuit model

>> Phys. Rev. B 88,  035117 (2013).

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Spatial and Spectral Light Shaping with Metamaterials

>> Adv. Mater. 24, 6300-6304 (2012).

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High-power Kerr-lens mode-locked Yb:YAG thin-disk oscillator in the positive dispersion regime

>> Opt. Lett. 37, 3543-3545 (2012).

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Controlling plasmonic hot spots by interfering Airy beams

>> Opt. Lett 37, 3402-3402 (2012).

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Perfect absorbers on curved surfaces and their potential applications

>> Opt. Express 20, 18370-18376 (2012).

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Generation and near-field imaging of Airy surface plasmons

>> Phys. Rev. Lett. 107, 116802 (2011).

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Optimization and characterization of a highly-efficient diffraction nanograting for MHz XUV pulses

>> Opt. Express 19, 1954-1962 (2011).

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Light propagation in a free-standing lithium niobate photonic crystal waveguide

>> Appl. Phys. Lett. 97, 131109 (2010).

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Advanced Optical Metamaterials

>> Adv. Mater. 22, 2354 (2010).

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Plasmonic modes of extreme subwavelength nanocavities

>> Opt. Lett. 35, 2693 (2010).


Photon Management with Photonic Nanomaterials

In this pilot project, light localization and field enhancement in photonic nanomaterials are explored to foster linear and nonlinear spectroscopy techniques, e.g. for single particle detection and manipulation. Key challenges in photon management are the necessarily required sensitivities and frequency selectivities, which however bear an enourmous potential, e.g. for the advancement and miniaturization of opto-electronic devices. Within PhoNa, its members and partners develop ultrasensitive biophotonic molecular sensors, compact XUV light sources based on the nonlinear generation of higher harmonics in photonic nanostructures, and frequency-selective semiconductor nanomaterials for a spectrally resolved control of light. A highlight selection of Phona contributions to this field is given below.

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Bloch oscillations in plasmonic waveguide arrays

>> Nature Comm. 5, 3843 (2014).

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Disorder improves nanophotonic light trapping in thin-film solar cells

>> Appl. Phys. Lett. 104, 131102 (2014).

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Strong coupling of optical nanoantennas and atomic systems

>> Phys. Rev. B 88, 195414 (2013).

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Combining randomly textured surfaces and photonic crystals for the photon management in thin film microcrystalline silicon solar cells

>> Opt. Express 21, A450-A459 (2013).

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Nanoplasmonic near-field synthesis

>> Phys. Rev. A 87, 033816 (2013).

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Compact high-repetition-rate source of coherent 100 eV radiation

>> Nature Photon. 7, 608-612 (2013).

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Photonic Crystal Sensors Based on Porous Silicon

>> Sensors 13, 4694-4713 (2013).

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Tunable graphene antennas for selective enhancement of THz-emission

>> Opt. Express 21, 3737-3745 (2013).

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Controlling the dynamics of quantum mechanical systems sustaining dipole-forbidden transitions via optical nanoantennas

>> Phys. Rev. B 86, 035404 (2012).

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Circular optical nanoantennas: an analytical theory

>> Phys. Rev. B 85, 125429 (2012).

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A novel dimerization interface of cyclic nucleotide binding domain, which is disrupted in presence of cAMP: implications for CNG channels gating

>> J. Mol. Model. 18, 4053-4060 (2012).

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Mixed Quantum-Classical Dynamics in the Adiabatic Representation To Simulate Molecules Driven by Strong Laser Pulses

>> J. Phys. Chem. A 116, 2800 - 2807 (2012).

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Controlled near-field enhanced electron acceleration from dielectric nanospheres with intense few-cycle laser fields

>> Nature Phys. 7, 656-662 (2011).

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Investigation on the Second Part of the Electromagnetic SERS Enhancement and Resulting Fabrication Strategies of Anisotropic Plasmonic Arrays

>> Chem. Phys. Chem. 11, 1918 (2010).