In nanoscale optical devices, both the particle and the wave nature of light can play important roles. This creates new opportunities for engineering the optoelectronic properties, for instance the amount of light absorption in a device.
The optoelectronics properties of nanostructures represent a very interesting regime of operation. On one hand, due to typical photon energies of around an electron-volt, interband transistions play a major role in the device operation, that is the particle nature of the electromagnetic radiation is strongly pronounced, similar to the situation in traditional optoelectronic devices. On the other hand, device dimensions can be comparable to the wavelength of light: consider nanotube light emitters and detectors with lengths of a few hundred nanometers as an example. This means that the wave nature of light will also have a strong presenece and diffraction and antenna effects will play a major role in device operation. This creates new opportunities for engineering the optoelectronic properties, for instance the amount of light absorption in a device. Our target applications include miniaturized communication devices for wireless on-chip interconnect and efficient solar cells.