NEW DELHI, JULY 5, 2022
In a significant development, researchers from Bengaluru’s Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research (JNCASR), an autonomous institute of Department of Science and Technology (DST) have discovered a novel material called single-crystalline scandium nitride (ScN) that can emit, detect, and modulate infrared light with high efficiencies.
K. C. Maurya and co-workers have utilized a scientific phenomenon called polariton excitations that occur in tailored materials when light couples with either the collective free electron oscillations or polar lattice vibrations to achieve this feat. They have carefully controlled material properties to excite polaritons (a quasi-particle) and achieve strong light-matter interactions in single-crystalline scandium nitride (ScN) using infrared light.
These exotic polaritons in the ScN can be utilized for solar and thermal energy harvesting. Also, belonging to the same family of materials as gallium nitride (GaN), scandium nitride is compatible with modern complementary-metal-oxide-semiconductor (CMOS) or Si-chip technology and, therefore, could be easily integrated for on-chip optical communication devices.
“From electronics-to-healthcare, defense and security-to-energy technologies, there is a great demand for infrared sources, emitters and sensors. Our work on infrared polaritons in scandium nitride will enable its applications in many such devices,” said Dr. Bivas Saha, Assistant Professor at JNCASR. Apart from JNCASR, researchers from the Centre for Nano Science and Engineering from the Indian Institute of Science (IISc.) and the University of Sydney also participated in this study published recently in the scientific journal Nano Letters.