Devices that Bridge the Gap between Matter and Light

Devices that Bridge the Gap between Matter and Light

Technology News |
By Wisse Hettinga

A perovskite-based device that combines aspects of electronics and photonics may open doors to new kinds of computer chips or quantum qubits

New findings from a team of researchers at MIT and elsewhere could help pave the way for new kinds of devices that efficiently bridge the gap between matter and light. These might include computer chips that eliminate inefficiencies inherent in today’s versions, and qubits, the basic building blocks for quantum computers, that could operate at room temperature instead of the ultracold conditions needed by most such devices.

The new work, based on sandwiching tiny flakes of a material called perovskite in between two precisely spaced reflective surfaces, is detailed in the journal Nature Communications, in a paper by MIT recent graduate Madeleine Laitz PhD ’22, postdoc Dane deQuilettes, MIT professors Vladimir Bulovic, Moungi Bawendi and Keith Nelson, and seven others.

By creating these perovskite sandwiches and stimulating them with laser beams, the researchers were able to directly control the momentum of certain “quasiparticles” within the system. Known as exciton-polariton pairs, these quasiparticles are hybrids of light and matter. Being able to control this property could ultimately make it possible to read and write data to devices based on this phenomenon.

“What’s particularly fascinating about exciton-polaritons,” Laitz says, is that they lie “on a spectrum between purely electronic and photonic systems.” These quasiparticles “have the characteristics of both, and thus you can leverage exciton-polaritons to utilize the best properties of each.” … find the full report at the MIT website.

The research team also included Alexander Kaplan, Jude Deschamps, Ulugbek Barotov, Andrew Proppe, and Anna Osherov at MIT, Ines Garcia-Benito at Complutense University of Madrid, and Giulia Grancini at the University of Pavia. The work was supported by the Tata-MIT GridEdge Solar Research Program, the National Science Foundation, and the European Research Council.

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