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HE ERC Proof of Concept Grant 2024-2025

Colloidal Indium Arsenide quantum dots as short-wave infrared single photon emitters

Sommario: MOONSHOT aims at developing a novel single-photon emitting material that operates in the telecommunication wavelength range (1300-1600 nm, O- and C-bands) and is compliant with the “Restriction of Hazardous Substances in Electrical and Electronic Equipment” (RoHS). The main motivation for such objective is that single-photon sources based on epitaxial quantum dots (QDs) are now a mature technology available on the market that is outperforming laser cooled atoms or spontaneous parametric down conversion via nonlinear crystals. Yet, three major issues afflict epitaxial QDs: first, the epitaxial approach presents drawbacks in terms of limited throughput and CMOS incompatibility. Secondly, often the emission wavelength of epitaxial QDs for single-photon generation is limited to less than 1000 nm. Finally, single-photon sources based on this class of QDs require low-temperature operation (T ≈ 4K). Colloidal QDs present similar light-emission properties to their epitaxial counterpart and they can tackle most of the drawbacks of the latter. For example, solution processing enables controlled placement of QDs on-chip as well as very high throughput preparation via wet-chemistry approaches. In addition, colloidal QDs have the potential for operation beyond cryogenic temperatures. Nonetheless, state-of-the-art colloidal QDs with shortwave infrared emission (SWIR, 750-1600 nm) contain either lead or mercury, which are severely restricted by the RoHS. Indium arsenide (InAs) QDs are among the few SWIR-emitting RoHS-compliant materials; yet only a limited number of synthetic approaches lead to emissive QDs. MOONSHOT will focus on developing highly emissive and blinking-free InAs colloidal QDs based on a synthetic route employing commercially available precursors. MOONSHOT adopts a high-risk strategy to realize a new technology in the field of quantum light sources with an immediate outcome in the form of optimized single-photon SWIR emitting QDs.

Total budget: 150.000,00€

Total contribution: 150.000,00€


H2020 ERC - Starting Grant 2020-2024

Toward single colloidal nanocrystal light-emitting diodes

Sommario: Nanomaterials are a promising technology that includes a variety of applications ranging from electronics to medicine.Within the family of nanomaterials, colloidal semiconductor nanocrystal (NCs) are among the most investigated,thanks to their desirable optoelectronic properties.Up until now, NCs have been employed in light-emitting diodes (LEDs) and lasers of relatively large size (devicesof at least few hundred microns in area), therefore exploiting the properties of the ensemble (i.e., a NC film). LEDsbased on ensemble of NCs show good performance in terms of efficiency and luminance but their applicability is stilllimited to standard consumer electronics products such as displays and illumination. Interestingly, thanks to quantum confinement a single isolated NC displays single photon emission, a desirable property for application in quantum technologies. Such property has been studied in detail using optical excitation. Yet, the challenge is to exploit singlephoton emission from a NC under electrical excitation but this requires the development of complex fabrication tools and methods for device preparation. NANOLED aims at developing light-emitting diodes based on individual colloidal NCs, thus paving the way to novel electrically driven single-photon sources with small footprint that are embeddable in photonic quantum networks. Further development of quantum technologies requires the investigation of devices based on novel materials for single photon generation. The project identifies 3 objectives to reach the final goal of fabricating a light-emitting diode based on a singlenanocrystal: i) Identification and synthesis of semiconductor NCs with the necessary properties. ii) Development of methods for precise spatial positioning of a single semiconductor NC within electrodes able to inject a current into it; iii) Study of the electroluminescence of a single NC and investigation of its applicability toward single-photon and classical light sources.

Total budget: 1.496.250,00€

Total contribution: 1.496.250,00€