Dr. Sorger wins AFOSR grant to study 2D materials photonics

December 18, 2020

Volker Sorger

The Air Force Office of Scientific Research has awarded Dr. Volker Sorger a $650,000 grant for the project “Monolithically-Integrated 2D-Materials Photonics: Scalable and Foundry-Near Processes and Device Concepts.” The work will have civilian applications, as well as military applications.



This project seeks to a) adapt large-scale foundry-ready synthesis processes for 2D transition metal disulfides and -tellurides to the specific requirements of photonic device structures, b) explore TMD heteroepitaxy on amorphous patterned substrates for preparation of monolithic structures including strained films, and combine these resulting quality films with c) strainoptronics device concepts to enhance photoabsorption in elsewise unattainable frequency bands, d) prototype figure-of-merit engineered optoelectronic devices based on synergistic combinations of heterojunctions and geometric setup for enhanced light-matter-interactions, and e) demonstrate optical gain by monolithic integration of 2D material films into photonic integrated circuits (PIC). Our work will use foundry-based commercial tape-out or foundry-near waferscale substrates and seeks to avoid any non-scalable techniques such as transfer and exfoliation.

Our novel synthesis capabilities paired with figure-of-merit enhanced optoelectronic device prototypes bears relevance for the USAF, general military, but also civilian applications since PICs, detectors, and modulators are integral components for the ever-increasing data communication and processing needs, especially in light of emerging photonic intelligence information processing such as in artificial photonic neural networks for machine learning tasks.