Professor Jesper Mørk, leder af NanoPhoton, DTU's grundforskningscenter. Foto: Mikael Schlosser

DTU’s basic research centre for nanophotonics inaugurated

Thursday 04 Nov 21

Contact

Anders Overgaard Bjarklev
President
+45 45 25 10 00

Contact

Jesper Mørk
Professor, Section Head
DTU Fotonik
+45 45 25 57 65

About NanoPhoton

NanoPhoton is a close collaboration between DTU Fotonik, DTU Nanolab, DTU Mechanical Engineering and DTU Electrical Engineering on the development of new quantum theory, mathematical topology optimization, and nanofabrication technology and visualization to explore and understand a whole new regime of interaction between light and matter in the form of photons and electrons.

Other participants in addition to Jesper Mørk: Ole Sigmund, Professor, DTU Mechanical Engineering; Ole Hansen, Professor, DTU Nanolab; Kresten Yvind, Professor, DTU Fotonik; Shima Kadkhodazadeh, Senior Researcher, DTU Nanolab; Elizaveta Semenova, Senior Researcher, DTU Fotonik; Søren Stobbe, Associate Professor, DTU Fotonik; Martijn Wubs, Associate Professor, DTU Fotonik; Andrei Laurynenka, Associate Professor, DTU Fotonik.

Find out more about NanoPhoton

The researchers' latest results

The Danish National Research Foundation boosts research into light and semiconductor nanostructures, which will lead to efficient computer and quantum technology.

Today, information technology accounts for an increasing share of global energy consumption, and light has been identified as a key technology for identifying new solutions that can both transport large data amounts and use minimal energy.

Research in this area was strengthened last year with a grant of DKK 62.5 million from the Danish National Research Foundation, which enabled DTU to establish the Center for NanoPhotonics which conducts research into the interaction between light and semiconductor nanostructures. Delayed by the coronavirus, the centre finally got to celebrate its official opening on 4 November.

“With the establishment of a nanophotonics basic research centre, we strengthen the framework for an international world-class interdisciplinary research environment. This enables the development of innovative solutions and brand-new knowledge on how we can exploit light in the computer and quantum technologies of the future. The world urgently needs us to find new sustainable solutions in this area, as the digitalization of society is only increasing,” says DTU President Anders Bjarklev, who was present at the inauguration and has a background in photonics.

Researchers at the centre are well under way and have already achieved new results since the centre’s professor and manager Jesper Mørk first received the news that the Danish National Research Foundation would support the research activity.

“We have shown that it is possible to reduce quantum noise in a laser by controlling the interaction between light and matter in a new way. Specifically, we have manufactured a new type of microlaser, a so-called Fano laser, with a spectral line width 20 times smaller than existing microlasers. We believe that this type of laser can be used in future computers, in which light is used to communicate between individual processors,” says Jesper Mørk.

The result is published in an article in the recognized journal Nature Photonics.

Jesper Mørk continues:

“It is not possible to simply downscale existing laser designs to achieve the goals of the next generation of integrated computing devices. That is why we need new inventions in nanophotonics if we are to create technology that can both transport enormous amounts of data and save energy.”

He emphasizes that this is basic research:

“In NanoPhoton, we explore a completely new and groundbreaking way in which light can be concentrated to a volume that is considerably smaller than the so-called diffraction limit. This extreme concentration greatly increases the interaction between the light and the semiconductor and opens up new possibilities and new discoveries – microscopic and efficient lasers are just the beginning,” says Jesper Mørk.

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