Research group

Functional materials

Research Group Leader: dr Tomasz Stefaniuk

Information Optics Department

The progress in the development of optics in recent years can be considered as a real revolution. It happened thanks to technological development, which made it possible to study more and more subtle optical phenomena. The results of experiments often require verification of our existing knowledge.

The research carried out in our group corresponds with this trend and is related to the idea of nanostructured optical functional materials. It is a class of materials whose unique optical properties result from the nanostructure process and go beyond the material properties of the components used. We make most of such areas of knowledge as nanophotonics, plasmonics, and metamaterials. We work on computer modeling, fabrication, and characterization of nanostructures. We collaborate with foreign universities, including King's College London, Wigner Research Center for Physics (Hungarian Academy of Sciences), and Sapienza Università di Roma.

Currently, our research focus is:

·        designing dispersion and nonlinear properties of new generation optical elements

·        ultrafast light modulation

·        generating hot electrons for renewable energy applications

·        development of metamaterials with a 2-level structure.

·        optical fibers integrated with metamaterials

Our most important last year achievements include:

·        Generation of a self-organizing metamaterial with an amplified non-linear optical response.

The segregation phenomenon had been used to construct a self-organizing meta-surface, which is characterized by an optical nonlinearity amplified by two orders of magnitude. The effect, presented for the first time in our publication, can be used in the future to build a new class of metamaterials, in which, apart from the classic top-down nanostructuring, there would be an element of bottom-up structuring at the level of single grains of the material. As a result, the efficiency of metamaterials would increase, and thus the range of applications could be broadened.

T. Stefaniuk, N. Olivier, A. Belardini, C. McPolin, C. Sibilia, A. Wronkowska, A. Wronkowski, T. Szoplik. A. Zayats, "Self-Assembled Silver–Germanium Nanolayer Metamaterial with the Enhanced Nonlinear Response." Advanced Optical Materials 5(22), 6 stron (2017). Impact Factor: 6.875.

·        Measurement of amplified nanoplasmonic fields by ultrafast photoemission method.

The development of plasmonics has opened new perspectives in the control of light propagation at the nanoscale and allowed to obtain amplification of electric fields by several orders of magnitude. In our article, we described an innovative method of direct measurement of the intensity of these fields using ultrafast photoemission. Thanks to this, it is possible not only to design the optical properties of plasmonic nanostructures more precisely but also to study the behavior of ultra-hot electrons associated with the plasmonic wave. Such electrons in the future can be used to catalyze chemical reactions, generate hydrogen from water, or build supersensitive optoelectronic detectors.

P. Rácz, Z. Pápa, I. Márton, J. Budai, P. Wróbel, T. Stefaniuk, C. Prietl, J. R. Krenn, and P. Dombi, "Measurement of Nanoplasmonic Field Enhancement with Ultrafast Photoemission," Nano Lett. 17, 1181-1186 (2017). Impact Factor: 12.712

Research project


Julia Szymczak

Alexander Korneluk

Katarzyna Pietrusińska

mgr Arkadiusz Ciesielski