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1.
Opt Express ; 28(12): 17219-17231, 2020 Jun 08.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-32679934

RESUMO

We report on the design, fabrication and characterisation of large-area photoconductive THz array structures, consisting of a thin LT-GaAs active region transferred to an insulating substrate using a wafer-scale bonding process. The electrically insulating, transparent substrate reduces the parasitic currents in the devices, allowing peak THz-fields as high as 120 kV cm-1 to be generated over a bandwidth >5 THz. These results are achieved using lower pulse energies than demanded by conventional photoconductive arrays and other popular methods of generating high-field THz radiation. Two device sizes are fully characterised and the emission properties are compared to generation by optical rectification in ZnTe. The device can be operated in an optically saturated regime in order to suppress laser noise.

2.
Nat Commun ; 11(1): 428, 2020 Jan 22.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-31969569

RESUMO

Magnetic skyrmions are topologically non-trivial nanoscale objects. Their topology, which originates in their chiral domain wall winding, governs their unique response to a motion-inducing force. When subjected to an electrical current, the chiral winding of the spin texture leads to a deflection of the skyrmion trajectory, characterised by an angle with respect to the applied force direction. This skyrmion Hall angle is predicted to be skyrmion diameter-dependent. In contrast, our experimental study finds that the skyrmion Hall angle is diameter-independent for skyrmions with diameters ranging from 35 to 825 nm. At an average velocity of 6 ± 1 ms-1, the average skyrmion Hall angle was measured to be 9° ± 2°. In fact, the skyrmion dynamics is dominated by the local energy landscape such as materials defects and the local magnetic configuration.

3.
Sci Rep ; 9(1): 19967, 2019 Dec 27.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-31882867

RESUMO

Artificial Spin Ice (ASI), consisting of a two dimensional array of nanoscale magnetic elements, provides a fascinating opportunity to observe the physics of out-of-equilibrium systems. Initial studies concentrated on the static, frozen state, whilst more recent studies have accessed the out-of-equilibrium dynamic, fluctuating state. This opens up exciting possibilities such as the observation of systems exploring their energy landscape through monopole quasiparticle creation, potentially leading to ASI magnetricity, and to directly observe unconventional phase transitions. In this work we have measured and analysed the magnetic relaxation of thermally active ASI systems by means of SQUID magnetometry. We have investigated the effect of the interaction strength on the magnetization dynamics at different temperatures in the range where the nanomagnets are thermally active. We have observed that they follow an Arrhenius-type Néel-Brown behaviour. An unexpected negative correlation of the average blocking temperature with the interaction strength is also observed, which is supported by Monte Carlo simulations. The magnetization relaxation measurements show faster relaxation for more strongly coupled nanoelements with similar dimensions. The analysis of the stretching exponents obtained from the measurements suggest 1-D chain-like magnetization dynamics. This indicates that the nature of the interactions between nanoelements lowers the dimensionality of the ASI from 2-D to 1-D. Finally, we present a way to quantify the effective interaction energy of a square ASI system, and compare it to the interaction energy computed with micromagnetic simulations.

4.
Opt Lett ; 44(23): 5663-5666, 2019 Dec 01.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-31774748

RESUMO

Owing to their intrinsic stability against optical feedback (OF), quantum cascade lasers (QCLs) represent a uniquely versatile source to further improve self-mixing interferometry at mid-infrared and terahertz (THz) frequencies. Here, we show the feasibility of detecting with nanometer precision, the deeply subwavelength ($ \lt \lambda /6000 $<λ/6000) mechanical vibrations of a suspended $ {{\rm Si}_3}{{\rm N}_4} $Si3N4 membrane used as the external element of a THz QCL feedback interferometer. Besides representing an extension of the applicability of vibrometric characterization at THz frequencies, our system can be exploited for the realization of optomechanical applications, such as dynamical switching between different OF regimes and a still-lacking THz master-slave configuration.

5.
Sci Rep ; 9(1): 15989, 2019 Nov 05.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-31690773

RESUMO

Designing and constructing model systems that embody the statistical mechanics of frustration is now possible using nanotechnology. We have arranged nanomagnets on a two-dimensional square lattice to form an artificial spin ice, and studied its fractional excitations, emergent magnetic monopoles, and how they respond to a driving field using X-ray magnetic microscopy. We observe a regime in which the monopole drift velocity is linear in field above a critical field for the onset of motion. The temperature dependence of the critical field can be described by introducing an interaction term into the Bean-Livingston model of field-assisted barrier hopping. By analogy with electrical charge drift motion, we define and measure a monopole mobility that is larger both for higher temperatures and stronger interactions between nanomagnets. The mobility in this linear regime is described by a creep model of zero-dimensional charges moving within a network of quasi-one-dimensional objects.

6.
Opt Express ; 27(15): 20231-20240, 2019 Jul 22.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-31510121

RESUMO

Miniaturized frequency combs (FCs) can be self-generated at terahertz (THz) frequencies through four-wave mixing in the cavity of a quantum cascade laser (QCL). To date, however, stable comb operation is only observed over a small operational current range in which the bias-depended chromatic dispersion is compensated. As most dispersion compensation techniques in the THz range are not tunable, this limits the spectral coverage of the comb and the emitted output power, restricting potential applications in, for example, metrology and ultrashort THz pulse generation. Here, we demonstrate an alternative architecture that provides a tunable, lithographically independent, control of the free-running coherence properties of THz QCL FCs. This is achieved by integrating an on-chip tightly coupled mirror with the QCL cavity, providing an external cavity and hence a tunable Gires Tournois interferometer (GTI). By finely adjusting the gap between the GTI and the back-facet of an ultra-broadband, high dynamic range QCL, we attain wide dispersion compensation regions, where stable and narrow (~3 kHz linewidth) single beatnotes extend over an operation range that is significantly larger than that of dispersion-dominated bare laser cavity counterparts. Significant reduction of the phase noise is registered over the whole QCL spectral bandwidth (1.35 THz). This agile accommodation of a tunable dispersion compensator will help enable uptake of QCL-combs for metrological, spectroscopic and quantum technology-oriented applications.

7.
Nat Commun ; 10(1): 2938, 2019 Jul 03.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-31270325

RESUMO

Miniaturized frequency comb sources across hard-to-access spectral regions, i.e. mid- and far-infrared, have long been sought. Four-wave-mixing based Quantum Cascade Laser combs (QCL-combs) are ideal candidates, in this respect, due to the unique possibility to tailor their spectral emission by proper nanoscale design of the quantum wells. We demonstrate full-phase-stabilization of a QCL-comb against the primary frequency standard, proving independent and simultaneous control of the two comb degrees of freedom (modes spacing and frequency offset) at a metrological level. Each emitted mode exhibits a sub-Hz relative frequency stability, while a correlation analysis on the modal phases confirms the high degree of coherence in the device emission, over different power-cycles and over different days. The achievement of fully controlled, phase-stabilized QCL-comb emitters proves that this technology is mature for metrological-grade uses, as well as for an increasing number of scientific and technological applications.

8.
Opt Express ; 27(7): 10221-10233, 2019 Apr 01.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-31045166

RESUMO

We report a coherent terahertz (THz) imaging system that utilises a quantum cascade laser (QCL) operating in pulsed-mode as both the source and detector. The realisation of a short-pulsed THz QCL feedback interferometer permits both high peak powers and improved thermal efficiency, which enables the cryogen-free operation of the system. In this work, we demonstrated pulsed-mode swept-frequency laser feedback interferometry experimentally. Our interferometric detection scheme not only permits the simultaneous creation of both amplitude and phase images, but inherently suppresses unwanted background radiation. We demonstrate that the proposed system utilising microsecond pulses has the potential to achieve 0.25 mega-pixel per second acquisition rates, paving the pathway to video frame rate THz imaging.

9.
Light Sci Appl ; 8: 43, 2019.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-31044073

RESUMO

Random lasers are a class of devices in which feedback arises from multiple elastic scattering in a highly disordered structure, providing an almost ideal light source for artefact-free imaging due to achievable low spatial coherence. However, for many applications ranging from sensing and spectroscopy to speckle-free imaging, it is essential to have high-radiance sources operating in continuous-wave (CW). In this paper, we demonstrate CW operation of a random laser using an electrically pumped quantum-cascade laser gain medium in which a bi-dimensional (2D) random distribution of air holes is patterned into the top metal waveguide. We obtain a highly collimated vertical emission at ~3 THz, with a 430 GHz bandwidth, device operation up to 110 K, peak (pulsed) power of 21 mW, and CW emission of 1.7 mW. Furthermore, we show that an external cavity formed with a movable mirror can be used to tune a random laser, obtaining continuous frequency tuning over 11 GHz.

10.
Opt Express ; 27(3): 2248-2257, 2019 Feb 04.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-30732264

RESUMO

Intersubband (ISB) transitions in semiconductor multi-quantum well (MQW) structures are promising candidates for the development of saturable absorbers at terahertz (THz) frequencies. Here, we exploit amplitude and phase-resolved two-dimensional (2D) THz spectroscopy on the sub-cycle time scale to observe directly the saturation dynamics and coherent control of ISB transitions in a metal-insulator MQW structure. Clear signatures of incoherent pump-probe and coherent four-wave mixing signals are recorded as a function of the peak electric field of the single-cycle THz pulses. All nonlinear signals reach a pronounced maximum for a THz electric field amplitude of 11 kV/cm and decrease for higher fields. We demonstrate that this behavior is a fingerprint of THz-driven carrier-wave Rabi flopping. A numerical solution of the Maxwell-Bloch equations reproduces our experimental findings quantitatively and traces the trajectory of the Bloch vector. This microscopic model allows us to design tailored MQW structures with optimized dynamical properties for saturable absorbers that could be used in future compact semiconductor-based single-cycle THz sources.

11.
ACS Nano ; 13(2): 2213-2222, 2019 Feb 26.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-30588800

RESUMO

For over ten years, arrays of interacting single-domain nanomagnets, referred to as artificial spin ices, have been engineered with the aim to study frustration in model spin systems. Here, we use Fresnel imaging to study the reversal process in "pinwheel" artificial spin ice, a modified square ASI structure obtained by rotating each island by some angle about its midpoint. Our results demonstrate that a simple 45° rotation changes the magnetic ordering from antiferromagnetic to ferromagnetic, creating a superferromagnet which exhibits mesoscopic domain growth mediated by domain wall nucleation and coherent domain propagation. We observe several domain-wall configurations, most of which are direct analogues to those seen in continuous ferromagnetic films. However, charged walls also appear due to the geometric constraints of the system. Changing the orientation of the external magnetic field allows control of the nature of the spin reversal with the emergence of either one- or two-dimensional avalanches. This property of pinwheel ASI could be employed to tune devices based on magnetotransport phenomena such as Hall circuits.

12.
Sci Rep ; 8(1): 17648, 2018 Nov 30.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-30504784

RESUMO

A correction to this article has been published and is linked from the HTML and PDF versions of this paper. The error has been fixed in the paper.

13.
Nat Commun ; 9(1): 5181, 2018 11 30.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-30504849

RESUMO

The original version of this Article contained an error in the Acknowledgements, which incorrectly omitted the following: 'We also acknowledge support from the Australian Research Council's Discovery Projects Funding Scheme (Grant DP 160 103910).' This has been corrected in both the PDF and HTML versions of the Article.

14.
Nat Nanotechnol ; 13(12): 1161-1166, 2018 12.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-30275493

RESUMO

Magnetic skyrmions are knot-like quasiparticles. They are candidates for non-volatile data storage in which information is moved between fixed read and write terminals. The read-out operation of skyrmion-based spintronic devices will rely on the electrical detection of a single magnetic skyrmion within a nanostructure. Here we present Pt/Co/Ir nanodiscs that support skyrmions at room temperature. We measured the Hall resistivity and simultaneously imaged the spin texture using magnetic scanning transmission X-ray microscopy. The Hall resistivity is correlated to both the presence and size of the skyrmion. The size-dependent part matches the expected anomalous Hall signal when averaging the magnetization over the entire disc. We observed a resistivity contribution that only depends on the number and sign of skyrmion-like objects present in the disc. Each skyrmion gives rise to 22 ± 2 nΩ cm irrespective of its size. This contribution needs to be considered in all-electrical detection schemes applied to skyrmion-based devices. Not only the area of Néel skyrmions but also their number and sign contribute to their Hall resistivity.

15.
Opt Express ; 26(14): 18423-18435, 2018 Jul 09.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-30114022

RESUMO

At terahertz (THz) frequencies, scattering-type scanning near-field optical microscopy (s-SNOM) based on continuous wave sources mostly relies on cryogenic and bulky detectors, which represents a major constraint for its practical application. Here, we devise a THz s-SNOM system that provides both amplitude and phase contrast and achieves nanoscale (60-70nm) in-plane spatial resolution. It features a quantum cascade laser that simultaneously emits THz frequency light and senses the backscattered optical field through a voltage modulation induced inherently through the self-mixing technique. We demonstrate its performance by probing a phonon-polariton-resonant CsBr crystal and doped black phosphorus flakes.

16.
Nat Commun ; 9(1): 3076, 2018 08 06.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-30082762

RESUMO

Single-mode frequency-tuneable semiconductor lasers based on monolithic integration of multiple cavity sections are important components, widely used in optical communications, photonic integrated circuits and other optical technologies. To date, investigations of the ultrafast switching processes in such lasers, essential to reduce frequency cross-talk, have been restricted to the observation of intensity switching over nanosecond-timescales. Here, we report coherent measurements of the ultrafast switch-on dynamics, mode competition and frequency selection in a monolithic frequency-tuneable laser using coherent time-domain sampling of the laser emission. This approach allows us to observe hopping between lasing modes on picosecond-timescales and the temporal evolution of transient multi-mode emission into steady-state single mode emission. The underlying physics is explained through a full multi-mode, temperature-dependent carrier and photon transport model. Our results show that the fundamental limit on the timescales of frequency-switching between competing modes varies with the underlying Vernier alignment of the laser cavity.

17.
Opt Lett ; 43(10): 2225-2228, 2018 May 15.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-29762559

RESUMO

We demonstrate a gas spectroscopy technique, using self-mixing in a 3.4 terahertz quantum-cascade laser (QCL). All previous QCL spectroscopy techniques have required additional terahertz instrumentation (detectors, mixers, or spectrometers) for system pre-calibration or spectral analysis. By contrast, our system self-calibrates the laser frequency (i.e., with no external instrumentation) to a precision of 630 MHz (0.02%) by analyzing QCL voltage perturbations in response to optical feedback within a 0-800 mm round-trip delay line. We demonstrate methanol spectroscopy by introducing a gas cell into the feedback path and show that a limiting absorption coefficient of ∼1×10-4 cm-1 is resolvable.

18.
Nat Commun ; 9(1): 1122, 2018 03 16.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-29549267

RESUMO

Terahertz (THz) quantum cascade lasers (QCLs) have undergone rapid development since their demonstration, showing high power, broad-tunability, quantum-limited linewidth, and ultra-broadband gain. Typically, to address applications needs, continuous-wave (CW) operation, low-divergent beam profiles and fine spectral control of the emitted radiation, are required. This, however, is very difficult to achieve in practice. Lithographic patterning has been extensively used to this purpose (via distributed feedback (DFB), photonic crystals or microcavities), to optimize either the beam divergence or the emission frequency, or, both of them simultaneously, in third-order DFBs, via a demanding fabrication procedure that precisely constrains the mode index to 3. Here, we demonstrate wire DFB THz QCLs, in which feedback is provided by a sinusoidal corrugation of the cavity, defining the frequency, while light extraction is ensured by an array of surface holes. This new architecture, extendable to a broad range of far-infrared frequencies, has led to the achievement of low-divergent beams (10°), single-mode emission, high slope efficiencies (250 mW/A), and stable CW operation.

19.
Nature ; 556(7699): 85-88, 2018 04 05.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-29579743

RESUMO

Room-temperature operation is essential for any optoelectronics technology that aims to provide low-cost, compact systems for widespread applications. A recent technological advance in this direction is bolometric detection for thermal imaging, which has achieved relatively high sensitivity and video rates (about 60 hertz) at room temperature. However, owing to thermally induced dark current, room-temperature operation is still a great challenge for semiconductor photodetectors targeting the wavelength band between 8 and 12 micrometres, and all relevant applications, such as imaging, environmental remote sensing and laser-based free-space communication, have been realized at low temperatures. For these devices, high sensitivity and high speed have never been compatible with high-temperature operation. Here we show that a long-wavelength (nine micrometres) infrared quantum-well photodetector fabricated from a metamaterial made of sub-wavelength metallic resonators exhibits strongly enhanced performance with respect to the state of the art up to room temperature. This occurs because the photonic collection area of each resonator is much larger than its electrical area, thus substantially reducing the dark current of the device. Furthermore, we show that our photonic architecture overcomes intrinsic limitations of the material, such as the drop of the electronic drift velocity with temperature, which constrains conventional geometries at cryogenic operation. Finally, the reduced physical area of the device and its increased responsivity allow us to take advantage of the intrinsic high-frequency response of the quantum detector at room temperature. By mixing the frequencies of two quantum-cascade lasers on the detector, which acts as a heterodyne receiver, we have measured a high-frequency signal, above four gigahertz (GHz). Therefore, these wide-band uncooled detectors could benefit technologies such as high-speed (gigabits per second) multichannel coherent data transfer and high-precision molecular spectroscopy.

20.
Sci Rep ; 8(1): 4750, 2018 Mar 19.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-29556046

RESUMO

Artificial spin ices (ASI) are arrays of single domain nano-magnetic islands, arranged in geometries that give rise to frustrated magnetostatic interactions. It is possible to reach their ground state via thermal annealing. We have made square ASI using different FePd alloys to vary the magnetization via co-sputtering. From a polarized state the samples were incrementally heated and we measured the vertex population as a function of temperature using magnetic force microscopy. For the higher magnetization FePd sample, we report an onset of dynamics at T = 493 K, with a rapid collapse into >90% ground state vertices. In contrast, the low magnetization sample started to fluctuate at lower temperatures, T = 393 K and over a wider temperature range but only reached a maximum of 25% of ground state vertices. These results indicate that the interaction strength, dynamic temperature range and pathways can be finely tuned using a simple co-sputtering process. In addition we have compared our experimental values of the blocking temperature to those predicted using the simple Néel-Brown two-state model and find a large discrepancy which we attribute to activation volumes much smaller than the island volume.

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