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Research Overview

CHALLENGE: To design photonic conversion systems for energy and information that operate at thermodynamic limits.

APPROACH: Theory provides insights to guide materials and systems design that are in turn validated by state-of-the-art characterization techniques.

OUTCOME: New theory, new forms of matter, and novel characterization techniques that achieve unprecedented levels of optical efficiency.

We have united leading researchers in layered and nanostructured materials synthesis, electromagnetic theory, first-principles quantum theory of materials, and advanced characterization of excited state phenomena. The PTL-EFRC is organized scientifically into three research groups (RGs) that address scientific themes related to photonics at thermodynamic limits, with each team spanning multiple institutional partners and designed to address our four-year scientific objectives.

Objectives for 2018-2022

To design new photonic energy systems based on very high radiative efficiency, the PTL EFRC uses theory to guide experiments that are in turn validated by state-of-the-art characterization techniques. We will:

  1. Design and develop atomically-precise and ‘beyond-ideal’ materials that perform photonic operations at thermodynamic limits (Research Group 1).
  2. Develop transformative characterization methods to correlate structure-to-function with unprecedented spatial and temporal resolution (Research Group 2)
  3. Investigate emergent physical phenomena and photonic thermodynamic cycles that arise when photonic processes approach the thermodynamic limits of photonic operations (Research Group 3).

Research Groups

RG1 – Materials Design and Discovery


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RG2 – Materials Characterization at Space-Time Limits

Photoinduced demixing dynamics

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RG3 – Photonic Thermodynamic Systems

Research Group 3

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