Optical exploration of novel functionality in quantum condensed matter

Solid State Photo-Physics Group

Here we would like to introduce the research of the “Solid State Photo-Physics” Group.
Light is a type of electromagnetic wave and interacts with electrons and ions in matter, which cause optical phenomena such as reflection, refraction, absorption, and luminescence. Since the interaction of light with matter differs depending on the type of matter (for example, metal, semiconductor, insulator), it is possible to obtain various information and to elucidate the physical properties of matter using light as a probe. Using this methodology, the microscopic and macroscopic properties of various materials have been clarified, and the optical techniques have greatly contributed to the development of quantum theory and modern functional materials. Recently, by employing the nanofabrication technology it is no longer a dream to realize novel optical properties (for example, invisible cloak) that cannot be realized in natural materials. On the other hand, with the recent development of laser technology, light has been used not only as a probe but also as means to actively control the electric, magnetic, and optical properties of matter.


Fig. Development of quantum physical properties using new optical spintronics principles and optical imaging techniques

The “Solid State Photo-Physics” Group is investigating novel physical phenomena and material functionalities by utilizing various linear and nonlinear interactions of light with matter. One of the research themes is the search for novel functionality in quantum condensed matter which incorporate electron spins. This deals with magnetic metamaterials whose symmetry and optical response are intentionally controlled, multiferroic materials which have two or more forms of order, for example, electric order and magnetic order, and mesoscopic artificial magnets that realize novel magnetic states such as magnetic monopoles. More specifically, they include the development of a new opto-spintronics principle that controls electron spins (spin configurations or spin currents) [1,2], the elucidation of quantum physical properties using advanced optical imaging techniques [3,4], and the development of novel magneto-electro-optical functionalities. Based on the tradition in the past, we are exploring cutting-edge functionality in quantum condensed matter for the future.


[1] M. Matsubara et al., Nature Communications 6, 6724/1-7 (2015).
[2] M. Matsubara, Oyo Butsuri 88, 475-479 (2019).
[3] M. Matsubara et al., Science 348, 1112-1115 (2015).
[4] M. Matsubara et al., Solid State Physics 51, 173-185 (2016).

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