- Nanophysics and nanosystems
- Optical properties and interactions with radiation
- Nonlineair optics and spectroscopy
- Chemistry of clusters, colloids and nanomaterials
Shortwave (SWIR) and midwave (MIR) infrared light has the unique potential of adding chemical information to images of scenes, without being harmful for the human eye or being blocked by fog or smoke. Even so, the current slate of infrared materials makes infrared technology prohibitively expensive and restricted to niche markets. Colloidal quantum dots (QDs) are printable semiconductors that can be active at infrared wavelengths, and have been used to create affordable integrated imagers for SWIR light that fit in hand-held devices. This initial step raises the prospect of MIR imagers at wavelengths used for molecular fingerprinting and SWIR/MIR sources to actively illuminate scenes. Intriqate aims at investigation fundamental aspects of the infrared transitions in QDs that must be understood before such next-step applications can take off. Taking In(As,P) QDs as a model system, the project will first address electronic transitions within the QD core and vibrational motion of the surface ligands separately, and then study energy relaxation through vibrational-electronic coupling. These processes will be monitored in real time using 1D and 2D femtosecond laser spectroscopy, for which dedicated experimental setups will be built. In this way, Intriqate will develop fundamental scientific insight that paves the way for new applications of QDs in IR opto-electronics and create new, unique experimental capacities for optical materials research in Flanders.