Tailoring plasmonics in van der Waals heterostructures. 01/10/2019 - 30/09/2022

Abstract

This research proposal aims at untangling and modelling the plasmonic properties of various van der Waals heterostructures and at using these models to construct new tailor-made structures that host unique types of plasmons. By changing the composition and structural properties of heterostructures, we will be able to uncover novel ways to manipulate light at sub-wavelength length scales by coupling it to collective excitations of the electron liquid, so-called plasmons. Van der Waals heterostructures are stacks of different types of atomically thin two-dimensional materials. In the wake of the discovery of graphene, a single layer of graphite, many other atomically thin crystals have been discovered and each of them has its own electronic behavior ranging from insulators over semiconductors and semimetals to even superconductors. We are now in a unique position to combine different two-dimensional crystals in a single stack and to construct tailor-made heterostructures in which the properties of the individual materials can be used in concert. In this project I will investigate various heterostructures in order to extend our understanding of the behavior of plasmons in these materials, and furthermore to uncover plasmons with unprecedented characteristics. The proposed work will be done in close collaboration with foreign experimental groups that will provide necessary feedback to improve the models and to test the plasmonic response of proposed heterostructures.

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Award 'Robert Oppenheimer' - 2019. 01/12/2019 - 31/12/2020

Abstract

Prize received from the University's research council. I will use it to enhance my research and allow students to explore the work I'm doing as well. This will allow me to spread what we are doing at our university.

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Exploring the frontiers of optics of Dirac materials. 01/10/2016 - 30/09/2019

Abstract

This proposal aims at exploring the frontiers of the optics of Dirac materials. By modelling how light interacts with two and three dimensional Dirac materials, we want to access the peculiar world of electrons with very unconventional properties. We will image how the sea of electrons reacts to an external light source. On the one hand, we want to use this light source to measure how viscous the sea of electrons is. For example, whether it is more like honey, a viscous fluid, or more like water, a less viscous fluid. On the other hand, we will put forward proposals to extend the lifetime of plasmons in Dirac materials. Plasmons can be thought of as a wave in the sea of electrons. In this wave the electrons and the incident light are coupled with each other and move around coherently. It is possible to manipulate these plasmons in order to guide light in the direction you want and use them for photonic applications. However, it remains a challenge to find systems in which the plasmons live long enough to be useful. Therefore, we will investigate whether it is possible to take advantage of particular properties of the crystal or external electric currents to make the plasmons more robust and extend their lifetime. The proposed work will be done in close collaboration with several foreign experimental groups that will provide the necessary feedback to improve our models and to verify the proposed physics.

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Many-body effects in single- and multi-layers of graphene. 01/10/2014 - 30/09/2016

Abstract

This proposal aims to explore novel effects induced by electron-electron interaction, with or without magnetic fields, in graphene and multi-layer graphene. Investigation of plasmons in such systems and in related 2D atomic crystals.

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