Quantifying excitonic light scattering in 2D nanophotonic metasurfaces

Supervisors: Thomas Bauer and Jorik van de Groep

Monolayer 2D semiconductors exhibit uniquely strong light-matter interactions in the visible spectral range due to quantum mechanical exciton resonances. When patterned on the nanoscale, light can be confined into these atomically thin layers of material and pick up a scattering phase and amplitude that is dictated by the coupling between the exciton resonance and the propagation mode. Such 2D metasurfaces provide new ways to control light with a single layer of atoms by leveraging quantum effects. To fully benefit from this, it is essential to first understand and quantify both the amplitude and phase of the scattered light. 

In this project, you will use a special spectroscopy technique (heterodyne detection) to measure both the amplitude and phase of the light scattered by excitons in such 2D metasurfaces. Next, you will combine your experimental results with numerical simulations and a theoretical model to quantify the key role that excitons play in the optical functionality of the metasurface. The results of this project will provide a detailed fundamental understanding of light scattering by excitons with applications in nanoscale photodetectors, light sources, and optical elements.