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  1. Abstract

    Phase-change materials (PCMs) offer a compelling platform for active metaoptics, owing to their large index contrast and fast yet stable phase transition attributes. Despite recent advances in phase-change metasurfaces, a fully integrable solution that combines pronounced tuning measures, i.e., efficiency, dynamic range, speed, and power consumption, is still elusive. Here, we demonstrate an in situ electrically driven tunable metasurface by harnessing the full potential of a PCM alloy, Ge2Sb2Te5(GST), to realize non-volatile, reversible, multilevel, fast, and remarkable optical modulation in the near-infrared spectral range. Such a reprogrammable platform presents a record eleven-fold change in the reflectance (absolute reflectance contrast reaching 80%), unprecedented quasi-continuous spectral tuning over 250 nm, and switching speed that can potentially reach a few kHz. Our scalable heterostructure architecture capitalizes on the integration of a robust resistive microheater decoupled from an optically smart metasurface enabling good modal overlap with an ultrathin layer of the largest index contrast PCM to sustain high scattering efficiency even after several reversible phase transitions. We further experimentally demonstrate an electrically reconfigurable phase-change gradient metasurface capable of steering an incident light beam into different diffraction orders. This work represents a critical advance towards the development of fully integrable dynamic metasurfaces and their potentialmore »for beamforming applications.

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  2. Abstract

    Semiconducting transition metal dichalcogenides (TMDs) are promising for flexible high-specific-power photovoltaics due to their ultrahigh optical absorption coefficients, desirable band gaps and self-passivated surfaces. However, challenges such as Fermi-level pinning at the metal contact–TMD interface and the inapplicability of traditional doping schemes have prevented most TMD solar cells from exceeding 2% power conversion efficiency (PCE). In addition, fabrication on flexible substrates tends to contaminate or damage TMD interfaces, further reducing performance. Here, we address these fundamental issues by employing: (1) transparent graphene contacts to mitigate Fermi-level pinning, (2) MoOxcapping for doping, passivation and anti-reflection, and (3) a clean, non-damaging direct transfer method to realize devices on lightweight flexible polyimide substrates. These lead to record PCE of 5.1% and record specific power of 4.4 W g−1for flexible TMD (WSe2) solar cells, the latter on par with prevailing thin-film solar technologies cadmium telluride, copper indium gallium selenide, amorphous silicon and III-Vs. We further project that TMD solar cells could achieve specific power up to 46 W g−1, creating unprecedented opportunities in a broad range of industries from aerospace to wearable and implantable electronics.