The Vora Laboratory is a member of the new George Mason University Quantum Science and Engineering Center. The mission of this Center is to undertake the computational design of quantum materials, synthesize and characterize these materials, and incorporate them into novel computing devices. Our team explores spin phenomena in these novel materials and their heterostructures using Raman spectroscopy.
2D Materials and Alloys
Atomically-thin materials provide new opportunities for studies of condensed matter physics in the two-dimensional (2D) limit. There are thousands of 2D materials predicted to exist including, but not limtied to, topological metals, direct and indirect band gap semiconductors, superconductors, and ferromagnets. Creating alloys of 2D materials creates new opportunities to tune the physical behaviors of the material and in some cases obtain entirely new phenomena. We work with our collaborators to discover new 2D materials, create novel 2D alloys, and explore the novel physics arising in these materials using cryogenic optical, electronic, and magnetic techniques. These studies find eventual application in the development of next-generation computing and detector technologies.
van der Waals Heterostructures
An additional benefit of 2D materials is that they can be mechanically stacked without the restriction of lattice matching. This opens the door to creating heterostructures from atomically-thin materials with wildly different properties. We explore how interactions in these van der Waals heterostructures lead to new physics absent from the constituent 2D materials.
DNA serves as the building block of life but can also be a useful structural molecule. Our group explores the Forster Resonant Energy Transfer (FRET) between molecular dyes and quantum dots covalently bonded to a DNA molecule. The DNA in this configuration effectively behaves as a photonic wire and transports light along its length. Our team has found that under cryogenic conditions the energy transfer rate can be enhanced by a factor of 250X. Future investigations will explore the photonics of more complex DNA-quantum dot structures using excitation dependent optical techniques.
III-V quantum dot molecules provide a number of advantageous behaviors that are suitable for incorporation in quantum information technologies. The VoraLab explores how the properties of these molecules are modified upon incorporation within a photonic crystal cavity.