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Javier Taboada Gutierrez obtains a SNSF postdoctoral fellowship

Published on June 21, 2024

Javier Taboada Gutierrez, in the group of Alexey Kuzmenko has received a highly competitive SNSF postdoctoral fellowship. In his proposal, he investigates polariton-Landau level coupling in layered structures to pioneer nano-opto-magnetic tools for precise light manipulation at the nanoscale.
The coupling of light and matter faces challenges due to the diffraction limit, restricting light confinement to volumes smaller than half its wavelength. Polaritons, hybrid particles combining photons (light) with matter excitations, offer solutions to this problem. Very recently, anisotropic layered materials like hexagonal boron nitride and molybdenum trioxide facilitate efficient polaritonic manipulation with minimal losses, enabling new polaritonic manipulation opportunities. On the other hand, the movement of electrons in layered semimetals such as graphene and zirconium penta-telluride is highly altered under magnetic fields, resulting in circular orbits called Landau levels.

His main goal is to develop and contribute to the emerging field of magneto-nano-optics. Specifically, he aims to create structures from the mentioned layered materials and study how polaritons couple with Landau levels experimentally. Simultaneously, he will develop new theoretical models to understand these interactions and exploit the capabilities they offer.

The proposal lies within the growing field of polaritonics. By coupling Landau levels with polaritons, new methods for detecting human tissues or molecules, such as currently undetectable cancer cells, will become possible. Furthermore, due to the magnetic nature of Landau levels, on-chip manipulation of electronic spin could be achieved, with applications in quantum computing.