The foundation of much of today’s technology depends on the applications of semiconductors and photonic materials. Semiconductors are the basis of microelectronics, computers, and information technologies. Modern research is aimed at increasing density and speed of electronic circuits and utilizing the electron degrees of freedom other than the charge, such as spin or valley.
Photonic materials span a broad range from conventional semiconductors and their nanostructures to novel two-dimensional materials, topological insulators, and metamaterials. They are used as active elements in lasers, detectors, modulators, and other optical devices. Exciting new applications include integrated photonic circuits, optical memory, all-optical computing, quantum information networks, and invisibility cloaks, among many others.