Special Issue "Nanophotonics and Its Applications"

A special issue of Nanomaterials (ISSN 2079-4991).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 September 2020.

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Rosalia Serna
Website
Guest Editor
Laser Processing Group, Instituto de Optica, IO, CSIC, 28006 Madrid, Spain
Interests: light-matter interaction; optical properties; nanophotonics; nanotechnology; nanostructures; laser processing
Dr. Johann Toudert
Website
Guest Editor
ICFO - Institut de Ciències Fotòniques, 08860 Castelldefels (Barcelona), Spain
Interests: nanophotonics; plasmonics; optical spectroscopy; sensors; energy conversion

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Nanophotonics is the field of science that aims at manipulating light at the nanoscale. It is based on the capability of nanostructures to absorb, emit, confine, enhance or guide electromagnetic waves in subwavelength dimensions. Furthermore, when assembled into metamaterials, nanostructures open the way to novel optical phenomena not found in nature, such as negative refraction or non-specular reflection. All these features are appealing for a variety of applications in areas such as energy, security, biomedicine or telecom.

The rapid growth of nanophotonics has profited from the continuous quest to design and build innovative nanostructures. At present, there is a strong interest in exploring the unconventional properties and advantages offered by alternative plasmonic nanostructures (beyond noble metals), high or giant refractive index nanostructures, perovskite nanostructures, quantum confined nanostructures (two-dimensional or three-dimensional), and hybrid nanostructures.

In this Special Issue, we aim at providing a timely perspective on the advances in nanophotonics, related to such novel nanostructures. Topics to be covered include (but are not limited to):

  • Fabrication of nanostructures.
  • Optical properties of nanostructures.
  • Advanced optical characterization of individual nanostructures or assemblies of nanostructures (e.g. dark-field, near-field, luminescence imaging, ultrafast spectroscopy, ellipsometry/polarimetry).
  • Relations between the nature, size, shape, organization of nanostructures and their optical properties (e.g. plasmon resonances, high or giant refractive index Mie resonances, anapole resonances, luminescence, non-linear effects).
  • External reversible tuning of the optical properties of nanostructures (e.g. with electricity, heat, light).
  • Nanostructured metamaterials: fabrication and optical properties.
  • Applications, e.g. sensing, photocatalysis, photovoltaics, lighting, and switching.

Experimental and theoretical contributions are both welcome.

Dr. Rosalia Serna
Dr. Johann Toudert
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Nanomaterials is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Nanostructures
  • Nanostructured metamaterials
  • Nanophotonics
  • Optical properties
  • High refractive index
  • Perovskites
  • Quantum confinement
  • Hybrid nanostructures
  • Luminescence
  • Applications of nanophotonics

Published Papers (9 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle
Gold Nanoparticle Self-Aggregation on Surface with 1,6-Hexanedithiol Functionalization
Nanomaterials 2020, 10(3), 512; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano10030512 - 11 Mar 2020
Abstract
Here we study the morphology and the optical properties of assemblies made of small (17 nm) gold nanoparticles (AuNPs) directly on silicon wafers coated with (3-aminopropyl)trimethoxysilane (APTES). We employed aliphatic 1,6-hexanedithiol (HDT) molecules to cross-link AuNPs during a two-stage precipitation procedure. The first [...] Read more.
Here we study the morphology and the optical properties of assemblies made of small (17 nm) gold nanoparticles (AuNPs) directly on silicon wafers coated with (3-aminopropyl)trimethoxysilane (APTES). We employed aliphatic 1,6-hexanedithiol (HDT) molecules to cross-link AuNPs during a two-stage precipitation procedure. The first immersion of the wafer in AuNP colloidal solution led mainly to the attachment of single particles with few inclusions of dimers and small aggregates. After the functionalization of precipitated NPs with HDT and after the second immersion in the colloidal solution of AuNP, we detected a sharp rise in the number of aggregates compared to single AuNPs and their dimers. The lateral size of the aggregates was about 100 nm, while some of them were larger than 1μm. We propose that the uncompensated dipole moment of the small aggregates appeared after the first precipitation and acts further as the driving force accelerating their further growth on the surface during the second precipitation. By having such inhomogeneous surface coating, the X-ray reciprocal space maps and modulation polarimetry showed well-distinguished signals from the single AuNPs and their dimers. From these observations, we concluded that the contribution from aggregated AuNPs does not hamper the detection and investigation of plasmonic effects for AuNP dimers. Meantime, using unpolarized and polarized light spectroscopy, the difference in the optical signals between the dimers, being formed because of self-aggregation and the one being cross-linked by means of HDT, was not detected. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanophotonics and Its Applications)
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Open AccessArticle
High-Sensitivity Terahertz Refractive Index Sensor in a Multilayered Structure with Graphene
Nanomaterials 2020, 10(3), 500; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano10030500 - 10 Mar 2020
Abstract
In this paper, we propose a high-sensitivity optical sensor at terahertz frequencies based on a composite structure containing a one-dimensional photonic crystal (1D PC) coated with a layer of monolayer graphene. Between the 1D PC and the graphene there is a sensing medium. [...] Read more.
In this paper, we propose a high-sensitivity optical sensor at terahertz frequencies based on a composite structure containing a one-dimensional photonic crystal (1D PC) coated with a layer of monolayer graphene. Between the 1D PC and the graphene there is a sensing medium. This high-sensitivity phenomenon originates from the excitation of optical resonance between the graphene and the 1D PC. The proposed sensor is highly sensitive to the Fermi energy of graphene, the thickness and refractive index of the sensing medium, and the number of graphene layers. By selecting appropriate parameters, the maximum sensitivity ( 407.36 / RIU ) is obtained. We believe the proposed configuration is promising for fabricating graphene-based biosensor- or gas-sensor devices and other related applications in the terahertz band. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanophotonics and Its Applications)
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Open AccessArticle
High-Efficiency, Broadband, Near Diffraction-Limited, Dielectric Metalens in Ultraviolet Spectrum
Nanomaterials 2020, 10(3), 490; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano10030490 - 09 Mar 2020
Abstract
Ultraviolet (UV) optical devices have plenteous applications in the fields of nanofabrication, military, medical, sterilization, and others. Traditional optical components utilize gradual phase accumulation phenomena to alter the wave-front of the light, making them bulky, expensive, and inefficient. A dielectric metasurface could provide [...] Read more.
Ultraviolet (UV) optical devices have plenteous applications in the fields of nanofabrication, military, medical, sterilization, and others. Traditional optical components utilize gradual phase accumulation phenomena to alter the wave-front of the light, making them bulky, expensive, and inefficient. A dielectric metasurface could provide an auspicious approach to precisely control the amplitude, phase, and polarization of the incident light by abrupt, discrete phase changing with high efficiency due to low absorption losses. Metalenses, being one of the most attainable applications of metasurfaces, can extremely reduce the size and complexity of the optical systems. We present the design of a high-efficiency transmissive UV metalens operating in a broadband range of UV light (250–400 nm) with outstanding focusing characteristics. The polarization conversion efficiency of the nano-rod unit and the focusing efficiency of the metasurface are optimized to be as high as 96% and 77%, respectively. The off-axis focusing characteristics at different incident angles are also investigated. The designed metalens that is composed of silicon nitride nanorods will significantly uphold the advancement of UV photonic devices and can provide opportunities for the miniaturization and integration of the UV nanophotonics and its applications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanophotonics and Its Applications)
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Open AccessArticle
Ultraviolet Photoactivated Room Temperature NO2 Gas Sensor of ZnO Hemitubes and Nanotubes Covered with TiO2 Nanoparticles
Nanomaterials 2020, 10(3), 462; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano10030462 - 04 Mar 2020
Abstract
Prolonged exposure to NO2 can cause lung tissue inflammation, bronchiolitis fibrosa obliterans, and silo filler’s disease. In recent years, nanostructured semiconducting metal oxides have been widely used to fabricate gas sensors because of their unique structure and surface-to-volume ratio compared to layered [...] Read more.
Prolonged exposure to NO2 can cause lung tissue inflammation, bronchiolitis fibrosa obliterans, and silo filler’s disease. In recent years, nanostructured semiconducting metal oxides have been widely used to fabricate gas sensors because of their unique structure and surface-to-volume ratio compared to layered materials. In particular, the different morphologies of ZnO-based nanostructures significantly affect the detection property of NO2 gas sensors. However, because of the large interaction energy of chemisorption (1–10 eV), metal oxide-based gas sensors are typically operated above 100 °C, overcoming the energy limits to attain high sensitivity and fast reaction. High operating temperature negatively affects the reliability and durability of semiconductor-based sensors; at high temperature, the diffusion and sintering effects at the metal oxide grain boundaries are major factors causing undesirable long-term drift problems and preventing stability improvements. Therefore, we demonstrate NO2 gas sensors consisting of ZnO hemitubes (HTs) and nanotubes (NTs) covered with TiO2 nanoparticles (NPs). To operate the gas sensor at room temperature (RT), we measured the gas-sensing properties with ultraviolet illumination onto the active region of the gas sensor for photoactivation instead of conventional thermal activation by heating. The performance of these gas sensors was enhanced by the change of barrier potential at the ZnO/TiO2 interfaces, and their depletion layer was expanded by the NPs formation. The gas sensor based on ZnO HTs showed 1.2 times higher detection property than those consisting of ZnO NTs at the 25 ppm NO2 gas. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanophotonics and Its Applications)
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Open AccessArticle
Generation of Flat Top Surface Plasmon Polariton Beams by Near Field Holography
Nanomaterials 2019, 9(10), 1377; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano9101377 - 26 Sep 2019
Abstract
Controlling the shape and trajectory of the surface plasmon polariton (SPP) beams is the key to all SPP-based applications. In this paper, a novel plasmonic device that can generate in-plane flat top SPP beams is designed by near field holography. The relationship between [...] Read more.
Controlling the shape and trajectory of the surface plasmon polariton (SPP) beams is the key to all SPP-based applications. In this paper, a novel plasmonic device that can generate in-plane flat top SPP beams is designed by near field holography. The relationship between the transverse profile intensity of the generated flat top SPP beams and the structural parameters of the designed device is analyzed. The results of this paper can provide the possibility for further practical application utilizing flat top SPP beams. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanophotonics and Its Applications)
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Open AccessArticle
Ultra-Narrow Band Mid-Infrared Perfect Absorber Based on Hybrid Dielectric Metasurface
Nanomaterials 2019, 9(10), 1350; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano9101350 - 20 Sep 2019
Cited by 4
Abstract
Mid-infrared perfect absorbers (PAs) based on metamaterials have many applications in material analysis and spectral detection thanks to the associated strong light–matter interaction. Most of the PAs are built as ‘metal nanostructure’-insulator-metals (MIM). In this paper, we propose an ultra-narrow band absorber based [...] Read more.
Mid-infrared perfect absorbers (PAs) based on metamaterials have many applications in material analysis and spectral detection thanks to the associated strong light–matter interaction. Most of the PAs are built as ‘metal nanostructure’-insulator-metals (MIM). In this paper, we propose an ultra-narrow band absorber based on dielectric metasurface with a metal film substrate. The absorptance comes from the plasmonic absorption in the metal film, where the absorption is enhanced (while the band of that is compressed) by the super cavity effect of the dielectric metasurface. Based on our numerical calculation, the full-width at half-maximum (FWHM) can reach 67 nm at 8 μm (8‰), which is more than two orders of magnitude smaller than the resonance wavelength and much narrower than the theoretical FWHMs of MIM absorbers. Moreover, we studied their application in infrared thermal imaging, which also has more benefits than MIM absorbers. This kind of hybrid dielectric metasurface provides a new route to achieve ultra-narrow band perfect absorbers in the mid-infrared regime and can be broadly applied in detectors, thermal emitters and bio-spectroscopy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanophotonics and Its Applications)
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Open AccessArticle
Tunable Duplex Metalens Based on Phase-Change Materials in Communication Range
Nanomaterials 2019, 9(7), 993; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano9070993 - 10 Jul 2019
Cited by 3
Abstract
Metalenses recently have attracted attention because of their more compact size in comparison with conventional lenses; they can also achieve better optical performance with higher resolution. Duplexer is an interesting function of a metalens that can distinguish different sources and divide them into [...] Read more.
Metalenses recently have attracted attention because of their more compact size in comparison with conventional lenses; they can also achieve better optical performance with higher resolution. Duplexer is an interesting function of a metalens that can distinguish different sources and divide them into two parts for specific purposes. In this article, we design tunable duplex metalenses with phase-change material Ge2Sb2Te5 for the first time. Two types of special unit cells are designed to modulate the incident lights, and four metalenses are designed based on the two types of unit cells. Specific phase profiles are calculated for different sections of metalens in which the corresponding unit cells are settled; accordingly, the metalenses can focus the incident lights at any positions according to our design. Moreover, the metalenses become selectable via tuning the state of phase-change material, which means that the output light field can be actively controlled. The proposal of our tunable duplex metalenses will offer new opportunities for active three-dimensional imaging or optical coding. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanophotonics and Its Applications)
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Open AccessArticle
Improving Upconversion Efficiency Based on Cross-Patterned Upconversion Material Slot Waveguides on a Silicon Layer
Nanomaterials 2019, 9(4), 520; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano9040520 - 03 Apr 2019
Abstract
Upconversion (UC) materials can be used to harvest near-infrared (NIR) light and convert it into visible light. Although this improves optical device operating spectral range and efficiency, e.g., solar cells, typical UC material conversion efficiency is too low for practical devices. We propose [...] Read more.
Upconversion (UC) materials can be used to harvest near-infrared (NIR) light and convert it into visible light. Although this improves optical device operating spectral range and efficiency, e.g., solar cells, typical UC material conversion efficiency is too low for practical devices. We propose a cross-patterned slot waveguide constructed from UC material embedded in a high index semiconductor layer to improve UC. Since the slot waveguide mode is induced in the low index UC slot, NIR absorption (~970 nm) increased 25-fold compared with film structures. Furthermore, the spontaneous emission enhancement rate at 660 nm increased 9.6-fold compared to the reference film due to resonance excited in the UC slot (Purcell effect). Thus, the proposed UC slot array structure improved UC efficiency 240-fold considering absorption and emission enhancements. This double resonance UC improvement can be applied to practical optical devices. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanophotonics and Its Applications)
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Review

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Open AccessReview
Device Engineering for All-Inorganic Perovskite Light-Emitting Diodes
Nanomaterials 2019, 9(7), 1007; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano9071007 - 12 Jul 2019
Cited by 6
Abstract
Recently, all-inorganic perovskite light-emitting diodes (PeLEDs) have attracted both academic and industrial interest thanks to their outstanding properties, such as high efficiency, bright luminance, excellent color purity, low cost and potentially good operational stability. Apart from the design and treatment of all-inorganic emitters, [...] Read more.
Recently, all-inorganic perovskite light-emitting diodes (PeLEDs) have attracted both academic and industrial interest thanks to their outstanding properties, such as high efficiency, bright luminance, excellent color purity, low cost and potentially good operational stability. Apart from the design and treatment of all-inorganic emitters, the device engineering is another significant factor to guarantee the high performance. In this review, we have summarized the state-of-the-art concepts for device engineering in all-inorganic PeLEDs, where the charge injection, transport, balance and leakage play a critical role in the performance. First, we have described the fundamental concepts of all-inorganic PeLEDs. Then, we have introduced the enhancement of device engineering in all-inorganic PeLEDs. Particularly, we have comprehensively highlighted the emergence of all-inorganic PeLEDs, strategies to improve the hole injection, approaches to enhance the electron injection, schemes to increase the charge balance and methods to decrease the charge leakage. Finally, we have clarified the issues and ways to further enhance the performance of all-inorganic PeLEDs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanophotonics and Its Applications)
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