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Research Spending & Results

Award Detail

Doing Business As Name:Oregon State University
  • Yun-Shik Lee
  • (541) 737-5057
Award Date:11/26/2019
Estimated Total Award Amount: $ 379,551
Funds Obligated to Date: $ 379,551
  • FY 2020=$379,551
Start Date:12/01/2019
End Date:11/30/2022
Transaction Type:Grant
Awarding Agency Code:4900
Funding Agency Code:4900
CFDA Number:47.049
Primary Program Source:040100 NSF RESEARCH & RELATED ACTIVIT
Award Title or Description:High-Field Terahertz Driven Photocarrier Dynamics in Nanomaterials
Federal Award ID Number:1905634
DUNS ID:053599908
Parent DUNS ID:053599908
Program Officer:
  • Tom Oder
  • (703) 292-8590

Awardee Location

Awardee Cong. District:04

Primary Place of Performance

Organization Name:Oregon State University
Street:301 Weniger Hall, Physics Dept
Cong. District:04

Abstract at Time of Award

Non-Technical Abstract The goal of this project is to study the movement of electrons in semiconductor materials when exposed to electromagnetic waves with short pulses but large energy. Better knowledge of the fundamental science of this interaction could lead to making electronic and photonic devices that operate at high-speed. Naturally occurring electromagnetic waves fill up space of everyday life, so it is important to understand how electrons in semiconductors react when exposed to high-energy electromagnetic waves. This research team will employ extremely short electromagnetic pulses with large energy to investigate the movement of electrons in materials with nanometer-scale dimensions such as carbon nanotubes, graphene and vanadium dioxide. The outcome of this project could uncover new knowledge crucial for developing devices for quantum information processing and for the next generation high-speed electronic and photonic devices. This project will also educate and train graduate and undergraduate students, giving them profound knowledge that will prepare them for employment in high-tech industries. The summer outreach activities in the project include optics demonstrations and research experience for high school students and minority students in the Portland Community College system. Technical Abstract High-field electron dynamics in nanomaterials in the terahertz (THz) regime is an uncharted subject, yet the importance of field-control of nanostructures cannot be emphasized enough considering its potential application to high-speed electronics and quantum information processing among other areas. This project aims to understand ultrafast photocarrier dynamics in nanomaterials driven by intense terahertz pulses, where the terahertz field is strong enough to make substantial changes in the electronic band structure of the material. The research team investigates ultrafast insulator-to-metal transition in a strongly correlated material, vanadium dioxide, driven by strong THz pulses and femtosecond laser excitations, and characterize the dynamics of correlated electrons in highly non-equilibrium states. It also studies the microscopic mechanisms underlying the high-field photocarrier dynamics in low-dimensional materials, such as carbon nanotubes, graphene and molybdenum disulfide, under extreme conditions where the THz field is strong enough to induce band-to-band tunneling. Time-resolved optical and THz spectroscopy is employed to observe and to coherently control the extreme non-equilibrium dynamics of many electrons with sub-picosecond resolution, while exploiting the field enhancement and subwavelength confinement in THz plasmonic devices. This research project lays the groundwork for the potential applications to ultrahigh-speed electronics and photonics such as field-effect transistors, optical modulators, wireless interconnects, and frequency converters. The fundamental understandings and experimental methods obtained from this research is valuable information for studying high-field light-matter interactions in various material systems such as anharmonic phonon dynamics in solids, nonperturbative dynamics of superconductors, and nonlinear vibrations in molecules. The field enhancement and subwavelength focusing in terahertz plasmonic devices can be applied to imaging and sensing applications. The students working on the research project will gain profound knowledge about the fundamental science and technical skills to conduct experiments using state-of-the-art optoelectronic instruments. The project involves undergraduate researchers working on their senior thesis or participating in REU activities and support outreach activities inspiring young minds. This award reflects NSF's statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation's intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.

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