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Mesoscopic Optical Elements


Mesoscopic Light Emmiters, Switches, and Transformers

Tech Area / Field

  • PHY-OPL/Optics and Lasers/Physics

8 Project completed

Registration date

Completion date

Senior Project Manager
Ryabeva E V

Leading Institute
National Academy of Sciences of the Republic of Belarus / Institute of Molecular and Atomic Physics, Belarus, Minsk


  • Universität Dortmund / Institut für Physik, Germany, Dortmund\nState University of New York University at Buffalo / Institute for Lasers, Photonics and Biophotonics, USA, NY, Buffalo\nNational Renewable Energy Laboratory, USA, CO, Golden\nLos-Alamos National Laboratory, USA, NM, Los-Alamos

Project summary

The main objective of the project is the development and fabrication of optical emitters, switchers, and transformers with improved parameters based on the use of a series of mesocscopic effects and phenomena.

A group of high-qualified specialists including 6 Doctors of Science and 19 Candidates of Science will participate in the Project.

The solution of four interrelated problems is planned within the Project:

1. Synthesis of three-dimensional mesoscopic heterostructures with typical topological features on the scale of 2–200 nm (including metallic colloid-containing gel-glasses and films, and solid-state colloidal crystals containing semiconductor nanocrystals and rare-earth ions).

2. Theoretical investigation of radiation propagation, spontaneous light emission, and energy transfer in these systems.

3. Investigation of regularities of the spontaneous emission of light with periodic (photonic crystals) and local (metallic colloids) variations of the dielectric permeability of the medium, including systems with the quantum size effects in nanocrystals. The use of the above phenomena and effects for the development of efficient light emitters and transformers.

4. Investigation of nonlinear optical properties of photonc-crytstal-based three-dimensional gratings and development of optical switchers and frequency converters on their basis.

Technical approach and methodology founding the basis of the project are based on novel physico-chemical technologies (nanostructures, sol-gel processes, supramolecular crystallization of matter) and concepts (quantum size effects, photonic crystals, nonlinear superlattices), as well as original results by the authors of the Project including the following ones:

· spectrally-selective effects in ultradisperse media ( N. A. Borisevich, V. G. Vereshchagin, and M. A. Validov, Infrared Filters [in Russian], Minsk, 1971; USSR State Prize 1973);

· luminescence of nanocrystalline semiconductors (S. V. Gaponenko, Optical Properties of Semiconductor Nanocrystals, Cambridge, 1998);

· application of supramolecular crystallization in the synthesis of photonic crystals (V. N. Bogomolov, S. V. Gaponenko, I. N. Germanenko et al. Phys. Rev. E 1997, Vol. 55, p. 7619);

· investigation of regularities of the spontaneous emission of light by molecules in photonic crystals (E. P. Petrov, V. N. Bogomolov, I. I. Kalosha, and S. V. Gaponenko, Phys. Rev. Lett. 1998, v. 80, Number 26).

Results. In the course of the project, important scientific information will be obtained on processes of the spontaneous emission of light, frequency conversion of the laser radiation, and propagation of powerful laser radiation in mesoscopic structures with the controlled density of electron and photon states. These results will have a high scientific importance, since the investigation of the spontaneous emission by quantum systems under conditions of the electronic and photonic confinement is one of most pressing problems of the modern optics and quantum electrodynamics.

In the course of the project, a series of exhibition, experimental, and laboratory models of light emitters, switchers, and transformers will be developed:

1. Exhibition models of light transformers for solar elements in the form of glasses and thin-film coatings. The use of mesoscopic effects will permit to enhance substantially the excitation efficiency of rare-earth activators and to obtain the quantum yield of the radiation at the wavelength of 970 nm no less than 50% with the excitation in the region of 400 nm.

2. Exhibition models of luminescing structures in the form of solid-state matrices (photonic crystals) activated by Eu complexes with organic ligands. Demonstration of the possibility of the selective enhancement of the quantum yield in inpidual Eu emission bands due to the controlled change of the probability of spontaneous emission (Einstein coefficients).

3. Experimental models of optical switches based on tunable photonic crystals. Optical switchers will operate in both the transmission regime (nonlinear filters, optical switchers and shutters) and in the regime of light reflection (nonlinear mirror) and will have the following parameters: excitation range 520–540 nm, operation range 550–630 nm, modulation depth >10 for transmission and >2 for reflection, the response time <1 ns.

4. Experimental sample of a photonic-crystal-based laser radiation frequency converter. Wavelength of the excitating radiation 1064 nm (neodimium laser), wavelength of the converted radiation 532 nm.

5. Experimental sample of a stimulated radiation source based on a photonic crystal doped with organic molecules. Excitation wavelength 532 nm, emission spectrum 600–650 nm. The sample is a prototype of a three-dimensional distributed feedback laser.

6. Laboratory models of novel luminescing structures based on photonic crystals doped with semiconductor nanocrystals and semiconductor nancrystals doped with rare-earth ions. With these models, a possibility of the synthesis of novel luminescing materials with the controlled emission spectrum and quantum yield due to the use of the principles of the electronic and photonic confinement, will be demonstrated.

Exhibition models and corresponding technologies can be passed immediately to industrial enterprises for organizing serial production. Experimental and laboratory models demonstrating novel principles of the optical radiation control and methods of the synthesis of luminescing materials can be brought to the commercial product state in two-three years after the completing the project.

Potential role of Collaboration with foreign scientific centers

University of Dortmund (Germany): Investigation of microphotoluminescence of nanostructures and photonic crystals to be synthesized and examined in Minsk. Investigation of these structures by means of scanning optical microscopy.

National Reneable Energy Laboratory (Colarado, USA): parallel investigation of properties of semiconductor nanocrystals in polymer films and interperetation of results obtained in Minsk. Joint planning of experiments on doping of photonic crystals with nanocrystals, optimisation of characteristics of light transformer for better adaptation to solar cells.

Collaboration agreements are in preperation with the University of Osaka (Japan) and with Los-Alamos National Laboratory (USA) and the plans of joint efforts within the framework of the project are being discussed.

The interest has been shown to the project by France Telecom and British Telecom and the preliminary consultations with their representatives have been made.


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