This project is jointly funded by the Electronics, Photonics, and Magnetic Devices (EPMD) Program in the Division of Electrical, Communications and Cyber Systems (ECCS) and the Electronic and Photonic Materials (EPM) Program in the Division of Materials Research (DMR).
The objective of this program is to investigate the electro-optical properties of actively controlled graphene nanoribbon arrays with the goal to enable in-situ strain tunability of the bandgap for applications in infrared detectors covering an ultra-wide spectral range.
The intellectual merit is that the planned experiments provide new insights into the interplay between thermoelectric effects and built-in electric fields due to the Schottky barriers to the overall photocurrent generation. Furthermore, the controlled actuation of graphene nanoribbons with well defined edge chirality provides important insights into the relation between applied stress, band gap opening, and infrared absorption, for zigzag and armchair edges. The proposed device can detect terahertz radiation over a wavelength range with efficiencies similar to bolometers, but at much higher speed and with wavelength agility.
The broader impacts are that demonstration of the proposed device concept can enable a wide range of applications including high-speed communication in foggy environments, optical interconnects, terahertz detection, imaging, remote sensing, and spectroscopy. The planned educational initiatives provide training for students in science and engineering with a special focus on recruiting and mentoring students from under-represented minorities in partnership with the Women in Engineering Program and Advocates Network and the National Action Council for Minorities in Engineering. The program will also work with the Center for Innovation in Science and Engineering Education at Stevens to extend this effort to K-12 outreach endeavors.