Physicists from MIPT and Vladimir State University made graphene absorb the energy of light. This is reported by the scientific journal Laser & Photonics Reviews.

The global goal of our research is to create ultra-compact devices that could turn the energy of light into so-called surface plasmon polaritons with high efficiency. On their basis, it is possible to create converters of light energy like solar cells, only with the efficiency many times higher.
Valentin Volkov, one of the authors, director of the Center for Photonics and 2D Materials at MIPT.

Recall that graphene is a single layer of carbon atoms, which are connected to each other by the structure of chemical bonds, reminiscent of the structure of bee honeycombs.

In order to increase the efficiency of transmission of light energy into vibrations on the surface of graphene up to 90%, the group of researchers used an energy conversion scheme similar to laser, as well as collective resonance effects.

It turns out that the strongest effect can be achieved when light is concentrated on a two-dimensional material with a thickness of only one atomic layer. Since these two-dimensional materials have a sufficiently large refractive index.

The group of scientists determined that if in addition to making defects in the structure of the graphene sheet itself and cover it with quantum dots, placing them at a well-defined distance above the surface of graphene, the interaction force between graphene and light particles can be increased by several times.

As a result, the efficiency of energy flow into plasmon polaritons was no higher than 10%.

Scientists hope that further experiments will confirm the results of their calculations, and also show that graphene can be used to concentrate the energy of light and mass of other purposes.