Strong terahertz (THz) radiation provides a powerful tool to manipulate and control complex condensed matter systems. This review provides an overview of progress in the generation, detection, and applications of intense THz radiation. The tabletop intense THz sources based on Ti:sapphire laser are reviewed, including photoconductive antennas (PCAs), optical rectification sources, plasma-based THz sources, and some novel techniques for THz generations, such as topological insulators, spintronic materials, and metasurfaces. The coherent THz detection methods are summarized, and their limitations for intense THz detection are analyzed. Applications of intense THz radiation are introduced, including applications in spectroscopy detection, nonlinear effects, and switching of coherent magnons. The review is concluded with a short perspective on the generation and applications of intense THz radiation.
Developing efficient and robust terahertz (THz) sources is of incessant interest in the THz community for their wide applications. With successive effort in past decades, numerous groups have achieved THz wave generation from solids, gases, and plasmas. However, liquid, especially liquid water has never been demonstrated as a THz source. One main reason leading the impediment is that water has strong absorption characteristics in the THz frequency regime.
A thin water film under intense laser excitation was introduced as the THz source to mitigate the considerable loss of THz waves from the absorption. Laser-induced plasma formation associated with a ponderomotive force-induced dipole model was proposed to explain the generation process. For the one-color excitation scheme, the water film generates a higher THz electric field than the air does under the identical experimental condition. Unlike the case of air, THz wave generation from liquid water prefers a sub-picosecond (200−800 fs) laser pulse rather than a femtosecond pulse (~50 fs). This observation results from the plasma generation process in water.
For the two-color excitation scheme, the THz electric field is enhanced by one-order of magnitude in comparison with the one-color case. Meanwhile, coherent control of the THz field is achieved by adjusting the relative phase between the fundamental pulse and the second-harmonic pulse.
To eliminate the total internal reflection of THz waves at the water-air interface of a water film, a water line produced by a syringe needle was used to emit THz waves. As expected, more THz radiation can be coupled out and detected. THz wave generation from other liquids were also tested.
As an outstanding two-dimensional material, black phosphorene, has attracted significant attention in the biomedicine field due to its large surface area, strong optical absorption, distinct bioactivity, excellent biocompatibility, and high biodegradability. In this review, the preparation and properties of black phosphorene are summarized first. Thereafter, black phosphorene-based multifunctional platforms employed for the diagnosis and treatment of diseases, including cancer, bone injuries, brain diseases, progressive oxidative diseases, and kidney injury, are reviewed in detail. This review provides a better understanding of the exciting properties of black phosphorene, such as its high drug-loading efficiency, photothermal conversion capability, high 1O2 generation efficiency, and high electrical conductivity, as well as how these properties can be exploited in biomedicine. Finally, the research perspectives of black phosphorene are discussed.
Metal halide perovskites are a class of materials that are ideal for photodetectors and solar cells due to their excellent optoelectronic properties. Their low-cost and low temperature synthesis have made them attractive for extensive research aimed at revolutionizing the semiconductor industry. The rich chemistry of metal halide perovskites allows compositional engineering resulting in facile tuning of the desired optoelectronic properties. Moreover, using different experimental synthesis and deposition techniques such as solution processing, chemical vapor deposition and hot-injection methods, the dimensionality of the perovskites can be altered from 3D to 0D, each structure opening a new realm of applications due to their unique properties. Dimensionality engineering includes both morphological engineering–reducing the thickness of 3D perovskite into atomically thin films–and molecular engineering–incorporating long-chain organic cations into the perovskite mixture and changing the composition at the molecular level. The optoelectronic properties of the perovskite structure including its band gap, binding energy and carrier mobility depend on both its composition and dimensionality. The plethora of different photodetectors and solar cells that have been made with different compositions and dimensions of perovskite will be reviewed here. We will conclude our review by discussing the kinetics and dynamics of different dimensionalities, their inherent stability and toxicity issues, and how reaching similar performance to 3D in lower dimensionalities and their large-scale deployment can be achieved.
With strong electron–phonon coupling, the self-trapped excitons are usually formed in materials, which leads to the local lattice distortion and localized excitons. The self-trapping strongly depends on the dimensionality of the materials. In the three-dimensional case, there is a potential barrier for self-trapping, whereas no such barrier is present for quasi-one-dimensional systems. Two-dimensional (2D) systems are marginal cases with a much lower potential barrier or nonexistent potential barrier for the self-trapping, leading to the easier formation of self-trapped states. Self-trapped excitons emission exhibits a broadband emission with a large Stokes shift below the bandgap. 2D perovskites are a class of layered structure material with unique optical properties and would find potential promising optoelectronic. In particular, self-trapped excitons are present in 2D perovskites and can significantly influence the optical and electrical properties of 2D perovskites due to the soft characteristic and strong electron–phonon interaction. Here, we summarized the luminescence characteristics, origins, and characterizations of self-trapped excitons in 2D perovskites and finally gave an introduction to their applications in optoelectronics.
There are a variety of elementary and collective terahertz-frequency excitations in condensed matter whose magnetic field dependence contains significant insight into the states and dynamics of the electrons involved. Often, determining the frequency, temperature, and magnetic field dependence of the optical conductivity tensor, especially in high magnetic fields, can clarify the microscopic physics behind complex many-body behaviors of solids. While there are advanced terahertz spectroscopy techniques as well as high magnetic field generation techniques available, a combination of the two has only been realized relatively recently. Here, we review the current state of terahertz time-domain spectroscopy (THz-TDS) experiments in high magnetic fields. We start with an overview of time-domain terahertz detection schemes with a special focus on how they have been incorporated into optically accessible high-field magnets. Advantages and disadvantages of different types of magnets in performing THz-TDS experiments are also discussed. Finally, we highlight some of the new fascinating physical phenomena that have been revealed by THz-TDS in high magnetic fields.
Si-based solar cells, which have the advantages of high efficiency, low manufacturing costs, and outstanding stability, are dominant in the photovoltaic market. Currently, state-of-the-art Si-based solar cells are approaching the practical limit of efficiency. Constructing Si-based tandem solar cells is one available pathway to break the theoretical efficiency limit of single-junction silicon solar cells. Various top cells have been explored recently in the construction of Si-based tandem devices. Nevertheless, many challenges still stand in the way of extensive commercial application of Si-based tandem solar cells. Herein, we summarize the recent progress of representative Si-based tandem solar cells with different top cells, such as III-V solar cells, wide-bandgap perovskite solar cells, cadmium telluride (CdTe)-related solar cells, Cu(In,Ga)(Se,S)2 (CIGS)-related solar cells, and amorphous silicon (a-Si) solar cells, and we analyze the main bottlenecks for their next steps of development. Subsequently, we suggest several potential candidate top cells for Si-based tandem devices, such as Sb2S3, Se, CdSe, and Cu2O. These materials have great potential for the development of high-performance and low-cost Si-based tandem solar cells in the future.
Perovskite-based optoelectronic devices, especially perovskite light-emitting diodes (PeLEDs) and perovskite solar cells, have recently attracted considerable attention. The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) chart inspires us to develop a counterpart for PeLEDs. In this study, we collect the record performance of PeLEDs including several new entries to address their latest external quantum efficiency (EQE), highest luminance, and stability status. We hope that these performance tables and future updated versions will show the frontiers of PeLEDs, assist researchers in capturing the overview of this field, identify the remaining challenges, and predict the promising research directions.
In this paper, we review the past and recent works on generating intense terahertz (THz) pulses from photoconductive antennas (PCAs). We will focus on two types of large-aperture photoconductive antenna (LAPCA) that can generate high-intensity THz pulses (a) those with large-aperture dipoles and (b) those with interdigitated electrodes. We will first describe the principles of THz generation from PCAs. The critical parameters for improving the peak intensity of THz radiation from LAPCAs are summarized. We will then describe the saturation and limitation process of LAPCAs along with the advantages and disadvantages of working with wide-bandgap semiconductor substrates. Then, we will explain the evolution of LAPCA with interdigitated electrodes, which allows one to reduce the photoconductive gap size, and thus obtain higher bias fields while applying lower voltages. We will also describe recent achievements in intense THz pulses generated by interdigitated LAPCAs based on wide-bandgap semiconductors driven by amplified lasers. Finally, we will discuss the future perspectives of THz pulse generation using LAPCAs.
Halide perovskites have attracted tremendous attention as semiconducting materials for various optoelectronic applications. The functional metal-halide octahedral units and their spatial arrangements play a key role in the optoelectronic properties of these materials. At present, most of the efforts for material exploration focus on substituting the constituent elements of functional octahedral units, whereas designing the spatial arrangement of the functional units has received relatively little consideration. In this work, via a global structure search based on density functional theory (DFT), we discovered a metastable three-dimensional honeycomb-like perovskite structure with the functional octahedral units arranged through mixed edge- and corner-sharing. We experimentally confirmed that the honeycomb-like perovskite structure can be stabilized by divalent molecular cations with suitable size and shape, such as 2,2′-bisimidazole (BIM). DFT calculations and experimental characterizations revealed that the honeycomb-like perovskite with the formula of BIMPb2I6, synthesized through a solution process, exhibits high electronic dimensionality, a direct allowed bandgap of 2.1 eV, small effective masses for both electrons and holes, and high optical absorption coefficients, which indicates a significant potential for optoelectronic applications. The employed combination of DFT and experimental study provides an exemplary approach to explore prospective optoelectronic semiconductors via spatially arranging functional units.
Cesium-based inorganic perovskite solar cells (PSCs) are paid more attention because of their potential thermal stability. However, prevalent salt-doped 2,2′,7,7′-tetrakis(N,N-dipmethoxyphenylamine)9,9′-spirobifluorene (Spiro-OMeTAD) as hole-transport materials (HTMs) for a high-efficiency inorganic device has an unfortunate defective thermal stability. In this study, we apply poly(3-hexylthiophene-2,5-diyl) (P3HT) as the HTM and design all-inorganic PSCs with an indium tin oxide (ITO)/SnO2/LiF/CsPbI3−xBrx/P3HT/Au structure. As a result, the CsPbI3−xBrx PSCs achieve an excellent performance of 15.84%. The P3HT HTM-based device exhibits good photo-stability, maintaining ~80% of their initial power conversion efficiency over 280 h under one Sun irradiation. In addition, they also show better thermal stability compared with the traditional HTM Spiro-OMeTAD.
Over the last decade, the power conversion efficiency of hybrid organic–inorganic perovskite solar cells (PSCs) has increased dramatically from 3.8% to 25.2%. This rapid progress has been possible due to the accurate control of the morphology and crystallinity of solution-processed perovskites, which are significantly affected by the concentration of the precursor used. This study explores the influence of precursor concentrations on the performance of printable hole-conductor-free mesoscopic PSCs via a simple one-step drop-coating method. The results reveal that lower concentrations lead to larger grains with inferior pore filling, while higher concentrations result in smaller grains with improved pore filling. Among concentrations ranging from 0.24–1.20 M, devices based on a moderate strength of 0.70 M were confirmed to exhibit the best efficiency at 16.32%.
Electromagnetically induced transparency (EIT) phenomenon is observed in simple metamaterial which consists of concentric double U-shaped resonators (USRs). The numerical and theoretical analysis reveals that EIT arises from the bright-bright mode coupling. The transmission spectra at different polarization angle of incident light shows that EIT transparency window is polarization sensitive. More interestingly, Fano resonance appears in the transmission spectrum at certain polarization angles. The sharp and asymmetric Fano lineshape is high valuable for sensing. The performance of sensor is investigated and the sensitivity is high up to 327 GHz/RIU. Furthermore, active control of EIT window is realized by incorporating photosensitive silicon. The proposed USR structure is simple and compact, which may find significant applications in tunable integrated devices such as biosensor, filters, and THz modulators.
Metal halide perovskites have received considerable attention in the field of electroluminescence, and the external quantum efficiency of perovskite light-emitting diodes has exceeded 20%. CH3NH3PbBr3 has been intensely investigated as an emitting layer in perovskite light-emitting diodes. However, perovskite films comprising CH3NH3PbBr3 often exhibit low surface coverage and poor crystallinity, leading to high current leakage, severe nonradiative recombination, and limited device performance. Herein, we demonstrate a rationale for composition engineering to obtain high-quality perovskite films. We first reduce pinholes by adding excess CH3NH3Br to the actual CH3NH3PbBr3 films, and we then add CsBr to improve the crystalline quality and to passivate nonradiative defects. As a result, the (CH3NH3)1−xCsxPbBr3 based perovskite light-emitting diodes exhibit significantly improved external quantum and power efficiencies of 6.97% and 25.18 lm/W, respectively, representing an improvement in performance dozens of times greater than that of pristine CH3NH3PbBr3-based perovskite light-emitting diodes. Our study demonstrates that composition engineering is an effective strategy for enhancing the device performance of perovskite light-emitting diodes.
Faster and better wound healing is a critical medical issue. Because the repair process of wounds is closely related to revascularization, accurate early assessment and postoperative monitoring are very important for establishing an optimal treatment plan. Herein, we present an extended depth-of-field photoacoustic microscopy system (E-DOF-PAM) that can achieve a constant spatial resolution and relatively uniform excitation efficiency over a long axial range. The superior performance of the system was verified by phantom and in vivo experiments. Furthermore, the system was applied to the imaging of normal and trauma sites of volunteers, and the experimental results accurately revealed the morphological differences between the normal and traumatized skin of the epidermis and dermis. These results demonstrated that the E-DOF-PAM is a powerful tool for observing and understanding the pathophysiology of cutaneous wound healing.
A numerical method that compensates image distortions caused by random fluctuations of the distance to an object in spectral-domain optical coherence tomography (SD OCT) has been proposed and verified experimentally. The proposed method is based on the analysis of the phase shifts between adjacent scans that are caused by micrometer-scale displacements and the subsequent compensation for the displacements through phase-frequency correction in the spectral space. The efficiency of the method is demonstrated in model experiments with harmonic and random movements of a scattering object as well as during in vivo imaging of the retina of the human eye.
As a new method of cell–cell communication, tunneling nanotubes (TNTs) play important roles in cell–cell signaling and mass exchanges. However, a lack of powerful tools to visualize dynamic TNTs with high temporal/spatial resolution restricts the exploration of their formation and cleavage, hindering the complete understanding of its mechanism. Herein, we present the first example of using stochastic optical reconstruction microscopy (STORM) to observe the tube-like structures of TNTs linking live cells with an easily prepared fluorescent dye. Because of this new imaging microscopy, the cleavage process of TNTs was observed with a high spatial resolution.
Organic–inorganic hybrid perovskite solar cells have generated wide interest due to the rapid development of their photovoltaic conversion efficiencies. However, the majority of the reported devices have been fabricated via spin coating with a device area of <1 cm2. In this study, we fabricated a wide-bandgap formamidinium lead bromide (FAPbBr3) film using a cost-effective, high-yielding doctor-blade-coating process. The effects of different surfactants, such as l-α-phosphatidylcholine, polyoxyethylene sorbitan monooleate, sodium lauryl sulfonate, and hexadecyl trimethyl ammonium bromide, were studied during the printing process. Accompanying the optimization of the blading temperature, crystal sizes of over 10 mm and large-area perovskite films of 5 cm × 5 cm were obtained using this method. The printed FAPbBr3 solar cells exhibited a short-circuit current density of 8.22 mA/cm2, an open-circuit voltage of 1.175 V, and an efficiency of 7.29%. Subsequently, we replaced the gold with silver nanowires as the top electrode to prepare a semitransparent perovskite solar cell with an average transmittance (400–800 nm) of 25.42%, achieving a high-power efficiency of 5.11%. This study demonstrates efficient doctor-blading printing for preparing large-area FAPbBr3 films that possess high potential for applications in building integrated photovoltaics.
In this paper, we propose a bored core hexagonal photonic crystal fiber (BC-HPCF) which obtains ultra-high negative dispersion and large nonlinearity simultaneously. The aim of the proposed design is to achieve the desired optical properties by using circular air holes only to make the fiber simple and manufacturable. To investigate the light guiding properties of the proposed BC-HPCF, finite element method (FEM) with circular perfectly matched boundary layer (PML) is used. According to numerical simulation, it is possible to obtain a large value of negative dispersion of −2102 ps·nm−1·km−1 and large value of nonlinearity of 111.6 W−1·km−1 at optimum wavelength of 1550 nm. In addition, ±2% deviation in optical characteristics is evaluated and reported in order to study the practical feasibility of the proposed BC-HPCF. The large negative dispersion and high nonlinearity of our proposed design make it a strong candidate for optical broadband communication, super continuum generation, and sensing.
Text detection and recognition is a hot topic in computer vision, which is considered to be the further development of the traditional optical character recognition (OCR) technology. With the rapid development of machine vision system and the wide application of deep learning algorithms, text recognition has achieved excellent performance. In contrast, detecting text block from complex natural scenes is still a challenging task. At present, many advanced natural scene text detection algorithms have been proposed, but most of them run slow due to the complexity of the detection pipeline and cannot be applied to industrial scenes. In this paper, we proposed a CCD based machine vision system for real-time text detection in invoice images. In this system, we applied optimizations from several aspects including the optical system, the hardware architecture, and the deep learning algorithm to improve the speed performance of the machine vision system. The experimental data confirms that the optimization methods can significantly improve the running speed of the machine vision system and make it meeting the real-time text detection requirements in industrial scenarios.
Materials, where charge carriers have a linear energy dispersion, usually exhibit a strong nonlinear optical response in the absence of disorder scattering. This nonlinear response is particularly interesting in the terahertz frequency region. We present a theoretical and numerical investigation of charge transport and nonlinear effects, such as the high harmonic generation in topological materials including Weyl semimetals (WSMs) and a-T3 systems. The nonlinear optical conductivity is calculated both semi-classically using the velocity operator and quantum mechanically using the density matrix. We show that the nonlinear response is strongly dependent on temperature and topological parameters, such as the Weyl point (WP) separation b and Berry phase
In this paper, we presented single mode terahertz quantum cascade lasers (THz QCLs) with sampled lateral grating emitting approximately 3.4 THz. Due to strong mode selection, the implementation of sampled lateral grating on THz QCL ridges can result in stable single longitudinal mode emission with a side-mode suppression ratio larger than 20 dB. The measured peak power of the grating laser is improved by about 11.8% compared to the power of devices with uniform distributed feedback gratings. Furthermore, the far-field pattern of the presented device is uninfluenced by grating structures.
This paper reports on the latest advances in line-field confocal optical coherence tomography (LC-OCT), a recently invented imaging technology that now allows the generation of either horizontal (x× y) section images at an adjustable depth or vertical (x× z) section images at an adjustable lateral position, as well as three-dimensional images. For both two-dimensional imaging modes, images are acquired in real-time, with real-time control of the depth and lateral positions. Three-dimensional (x× y× z) images are acquired from a stack of horizontal section images. The device is in the form of a portable probe. The handle of the probe has a button and a scroll wheel allowing the user to control the imaging modes. Using a supercontinuum laser as a broadband light source and a high numerical microscope objective, an isotropic spatial resolution of ~1 mm is achieved. The field of view of the three-dimensional images is 1.2 mm × 0.5 mm × 0.5 mm (x× y× z). Images of skin tissues are presented to demonstrate the potential of the technology in dermatology.
Although laser pumping using electron beam (EB) has high transient power output and easy modulation based on perovskite quantum dot (PQD) film, its lasing emitting direction is the same as the pumped EB’s direction. Thus, realizing the conventional direct device structure through the film lasing mechanism is extremely difficult. Therefore, using the random lasing principle, herein, we proposed a corona modulation device structure based on PQDs random laser pumped using an EB. We discussed and stimulated the optimized designed method of the device in terms of parameters of the electronic optical device and the utilization ratio of output power and its modulation extinction ratio, respectively. According to the simulation results, this type of device structure can effectively satisfy the new random lasing mechanism in terms of high-speed and high-power modulation.
Suppressing sintering of supported particles is of importance for the study and application of metal-TiO2 system. Theoretical study of Ostwald ripening of TiO2(110)-supported Pd particles would be helpful to extend the understanding of the sintering. In this paper, based on density functional theory (DFT), the surface energy of Pd and the total activation energy (the sum of formation energy and diffusion barrier) of TiO2-supported Pd were calculated. Since the total activation energy is mainly contributed from the formation energy, it is indicated that the ripening of Pd particles would be in the interface control limit. Subsequently, the calculated surface energy and total activation energy were used to simulate Ostwald ripening of TiO2(110)-supported Pd particles. As a result, in comparison with larger particles, smaller particles would worsen the performance of ripening-resistance according to its lower onset temperature and shorter half-life time. The differences on ripening-resistance among different size particles could be mitigated along with the increase of temperature. Moreover, it is verified that the monodispersity can improve ripening resistance especially for the smaller particles. However, the different performances of the ripening originating from difference of the relative standard deviation are more obvious at higher temperature than lower temperature. This temperature effect for the relative standard deviation is the inverse of that for the initial main particle size. It is indicated that the influence of dispersity of TiO2(110)-supported Pd particles on ripening may be more sensitive at higher temperature. In this contribution, we extend the first principle kinetics to elaborate the ripening of Pd on TiO2(110). It is expected that the information from first principle kinetics would be helpful to the study in experiments.
Dielectric metasurfaces-based planar optical spatial differentiator and edge detection have recently been proposed to play an important role in the parallel and fast image processing technology. With the development of dielectric metasurfaces of different geometries and resonance mechanisms, diverse on-chip spatial differentiators have been proposed by tailoring the dispersion characteristics of subwavelength structures. This review focuses on the basic principles and characteristic parameters of dielectric metasurfaces as first- and second-order spatial differentiators realized via the Green’s function approach. The spatial bandwidth and polarization dependence are emphasized as key properties by comparing the optical transfer functions of metasurfaces for different incident wavevectors and polarizations. To present the operational capabilities of a two-dimensional spatial differentiator in image information acquisition, edge detection is described to illustrate the practicability of the device. As an application example, experimental demonstrations of edge detection for different biological cells and a flower mold are discussed, in which a spatial differentiator and objective lens or camera are integrated in three optical pathway configurations. The realization of spatial differentiators and edge detection with dielectric metasurfaces provides new opportunities for ultrafast information identification in biological imaging and machine vision.