Optics in Two-Dimensional Systems

Graphene crystal lattice
The investigation of two-dimensional materials beyond graphene is a fascinating and highly active area of research. Transition metal dichalcogenides (TMDCs) are layered materials similar to graphite, with a chemical structure of MX2 where M is a transition metal atom and X is a chalcogen atom. Single monolayers of TMDCs in many cases are semiconducting and can be addressed via optical techniques. We will use optical techniques to study interactions between TMDCs and other nanomaterials such as nanocrystals, nanotubes, and other TMDCs in the hopes of advancing photovoltaic technologies.

Nanowire Networks

Image credit: Fig 1b, Bellew et al.,
Nanoscale, 6, 9632-9, 2014
Research into memristor technology is accelerating due to applications in low power electronics, as non-volatile RAM, and potential for increased information storage density. While there are a variety of candidate systems, nickel nanowire networks are among the most promising. Prior work has already demonstrated memristive behavior in these systems, however important aspects of the switching process remain uncharacterized. We have partnered with the Naval Research Laboratory and Trinity College Dublin to answer this outstanding challenge by studying the role of spin in the switching dynamics.

Charge Transfer Crystals

Charge transfer crystal formation process
Charge transfer (CT) crystals are a class of organic materials that are exceptionally promising for optoelectronics. These materials are synthesized by combining electron donor and acceptor molecules in solution to form a mixed stack crystal (right). Theoretical studies suggest that the carrier mobility and optical properties of CT crystals can tuned by varying donor and acceptor molecules. We will use optical spectroscopy combined with electronic measurements to understand the physics behind this tunability.


Dr. Patrick Vora

Office: PLAN 237
Office Phone: 703.993.4214

Planetary Hall, Room 10
George Mason University
4400 University Dr.
Fairfax, VA 22030