Lab

The laboratory of ferroelectric and optical materials is located in the department of physics at the Royal Military College of Canada in Kingston, Ontario, Canada. Our primary research focus is studying and optimizing the physical properties of transducer materials. Transducer materials can change a certain input energy signal, such as voltage, light signal, temperature change, etc... into a different output energy signal, such as strain (or movement), refractive index change, electricity, light emission, etc...

We conduct research on transducer materials in order to:

  • Measure their material coefficients and predict their behaviour under varying operating conditions.
  • Study the physical principles at work in order to increase or enhance the transducer effects present in materials.
  • Utilize these materials in the creation of functional and practical devices, such as solar cells, sensors and actuators, and light emitting diodes.

Currently, the following transducer effects are experimentally and theoretically researched in our group:

  • Photomechanical behaviour and laser-induced nano-structures in azobenzene-containing materials.
  • Surface plasmon resonance, electromagnetic energy interaction between light and matter.
  • Photovoltaic properties of solar cells.
  • Photoluminescence and electroluminescence properties of organic compounds (OLEDs).
  • Electromechanical, which includes piezoelectric and electrostrictive effects.
  • Dielectric and polarization properties.
  • Electro-optic effects.
  • Thermo-optical effects.
  • Non-linear optical effects.

The following types of transducer materials are studied in our group:

  • Ceramics, bulk and single crystals.
  • Thin films.
  • Polymers.
  • Composites.
  • Glasses.
SRG image

Laser-induced surface relief diffraction gratings (linear on the left and circular on the right)
.

Solar cells

Plasmonic organic thin film solar cells fabricated in our lab.


linear1

Atomic Force Microscope image of a linear surface relief diffraction grating on azo-glass thin film produced in our lab.

crossed

Atomic Force Microscope image of a crossed-superimposed surface relief diffraction grating on azo-glass thin film produced in our lab.

cloudiness 1

Atomic Force Microscope image of electric-field induced nanostructures on azo-glass thin film produced in our lab.

cloudiness 2

Atomic Force Microscope image of electric-field induced nanostructures on azo-glass thin film produced in our lab, at a wider view.

biosensor

Nanoplasmonic biosensor designed and tested in our lab for the detection of streptavidin−biotin−cysteamine via surface plasmon resonance and based on crossed surface relief gratings.

SEM SRG

Scanning Electron Microscope image of a surface relief diffraction grating produced in our lab.

SEM PZT

Scanning Electon Microscope image of a piezoelectric lead zirconate titanate ceramic.

SRG efficiency

Diffraction efficiency of a circular surface relief diffraction grating inscribed using a laser.

Photocurrent

Photocurrent enhancement in organic solar cells with surface plasmon resonance.

nanolithography

Nanolithography using our Bruker AFM, the image scale is approximately 2-3 times smaller than the average human hair.