Efficient Pyroelectric Poling of High-Performance Organic Electro-Optic Materials for Hybrid Photonic Platforms

Project: Research

View graph of relations


The worldwide explosion in data transmittal and usage creates an ever-increasing demand for ultrafast, energy efficient, and integrated photonic/electronic devices for information processing. In emerging nanophotonic platforms, light-matter interactions are enhanced by orders of magnitude at the sub-wavelength dimensions, and a variety of nanoscale photonic structures have been implemented into high-speed, low-power and small-footprint optoelectronic devices with exceptional performance. Due to intrinsically large optical nonlinearity, organic electro-optic (OEO) materials have been identified as one of the most promising active materials to be incorporated into these nanophotonic devices to enable hybrid OEO nanophotonic systems. Despite recent progress, the performance achieved so far in these hybrid electro-optic (EO) devices is still far away from the theoretical limits. One major challenge is low in-device poling efficiency of OEO materials, which is mainly due to severe charge injection and transport in submicron scale waveguide structures. Proposed to address such problems is using “net” electric fields generated by conformal and detachable pyroelectric elements to achieve high degree of non-centrosymmetric order of new generation OEO materials for performance breakthrough.Pyroelectric elements provide several exceptional features that can used to generate high electric field by heating or cooling of pyroelectric materials such as high electric fields (up to 3 - 4 MV/cm) through modest change of temperatures, minimized free charge carriers generation, manipulatable surface charges, deployable as standalone source with diverse selection of materials, and versatile electrodeless design for applying electric field to the recipient materials. In this project, based on rational design and facile synthesis of new generation OEO materials, we will explore protocols of using electric field generated by pyroelectrics to direct self-assembly and poling of OEO materials.Through interface engineering, novel pyroelectric elements, such as pyroelectric crystals and ceramics, will be modified as conformal and detachable electric field source to study basic electrostatics and develop new device concepts for hybrid OEO nanophotonic platforms. New self-assembled OEO materials will be synthesized and processed at multiple length scales, and be used in complex densely packed structures of nanophotonic and plasmonic waveguides to enable ultra-compact, low-power, and high-speed electro-optic (EO) modulators for on-chip optical communications. The proposed study will provide an integrative platform to investigate the fundamentals of electric field assisted self-assembly processes and surface chemistry. It can potentially open up new processing strategies of functional dielectrics and their hybrid systems over multi-length scales and dimensions for a broad spectrum of electronic and photonic applications.


Project number9043199
Grant typeGRF
Effective start/end date1/01/22 → …