Research overview

Our research brings together the fields of ferroelectric and photonic sciences. Using lithium niobate as a model system, we leverage the tools of nanotechnology and integrated optics to study the fundamental physics of interactions involving spontaneous polarisation and light in classical and quantum regimes, and explore their implications for information processing, optical sensing and actuation. Our activities cover the entire spectrum from modeling over fabrication to experiments.


A material with a spontaneous polarisation comes with a number of attractive properties, such as piezoelectricity, pyroelectricity, and often optical nonlinearity. In ferroelectric materials the polarisation can be switched electrically, a feature exploited in a broad range of applications, ranging from nonvolatile electrically-addressable memories, to high-density data storage, memristors and tunnel junctions,, micro-electro-mechanical systems, ferroelectric lithography, and telecom optical systems. Nanotechnology has been pushing the frontiers of all those fields in recent years, while advancing also basic science by addressing more fundamental questions, concerning e.g. the ultimate size limits of ferroelectricity, multiferroics and correlated systems.


Photonics is the enabling technology a wide range of applications ranging from lighting, telecommunications, manufacturing and defence, to environmental sensing, health care and life sciences. Over the last decades, the science of light has also been providing the ground for fascinating developments of physics with striking manifestations of the wave-particle duality in light-matter interactions, linking the nanoscopic to the macroscopic, the quantum to the classical world. In more recent years, photonics has leveraged the power of integrated optics and nanotechnology on several material platforms – to boost the efficiency and compactness of optical devices, and at the same time established new paradigms for e.g. lasers, metrology, quantum optics, opto-mechanical sensors and actuators.
Page responsible:Katia Gallo
Belongs to: Applied Physics
Last changed: Jun 17, 2018