The study of light matter interaction lies at the heart of our quest to find clean energy alternatives ranging from solar energy capture and use and better energy storage means, to finding energy efficient optoelectronic technologies. During the period of the award I will study a new type of light matter interaction: topological states of light arising in photonic crystal systems and their interaction with both solution-processed colloidal quantum dots and 2D materials. Topological photonic crystals behave like an insulator in bulk but a good conductor at the edge where they allow existence of a single unidirectional edge state of light. This edge state is robust against local defects and disorder and any subsequent back scattering arising from these. Integrating quantum emitters into such a system could lead to robust light matter interaction and generation of novel quantum many body states (e.g., fractional quantum Hall states) with built in protection against disorder, operating at much lower energy loss rates.
Advisor: Arka Majumdar — Electrical & Computer Engineering