About the Research Program

PETACom: Petahertz Quantum Optoelectronic Communication

Today, switching speeds in the multi gigahertz range are technologically mastered and terahertz electronics is at its birth. Soon electronic components will push forward towards the petahertz range. It is however unknown how the movement of electrons can be controlled at such frequencies. 2D and 3D semiconductors exhibit properties of high electron mobility that allows driving intense electron currents coherently in the conduction band when submitted to terawatt laser fields. A strong electron current oscillates at petahertz frequencies in the conduction band with a momentum that depends on the laser field frequency, intensity, polarization and carrier envelope phase. In addition, high order harmonic radiation is emitted when those electrons recombine to the valence band. The strong electron current from which high harmonics originate can be manipulated in space and time and be the very first elementary blocks of novel petahertz frequency electronic devices, thus operating orders of magnitude faster than the state-of-the-art terahertz devices. The PETACom project proposes to create future optoelectronic devices commutating at petahertz frequencies, bridging the gap between electronics and photonics. We will establish on the one hand petahertz electron switching in 2D and 3D systems using intense femtosecond IR to mid-IR laser excitation. On the other hand, optoelectronic devices from laser induced petahertz electron oscillation will be developed. In addition, a new paradigm for future electronics and ultrahigh speed communication and computation will be established.

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We gratefully acknowledge funding by the European Commission/Horizon 2020.

European Commission