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New project aims to lay the foundations of a new information technology

PHENOMEN is a project coordinated by the Catalan Institute of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (ICN2). It is at the intersection of photonics, radio frequency signal processing and phononics and proposes to build the first practical optically-driven phonon sources and detectors.

 

First meeting of the PHENOMEN partners, recently at the ICN2.PHENOMEN is a ground breaking project designed to harness the potential of combined phononics, photonics and radio-frequency (RF) electronic signals to lay the foundations of a new information technology.

This new Project, funded though the highly competitive H2020 FET-Open call, joins the efforts of three leading research institutes, three internationally recognised universities and a high-tech SME.

The project is coordinated by ICREA Research Prof Dr Clivia M. Sotomayor-Torres, at the Catalan Institute of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (ICN2), center that has the CSIC as one of its patrons. Clivia Sotomayor-Torres heads the ICN2’ Phononic and Photonic Nanostructures (P2N) Group.

Most information is currently transported by electrical charge (electrons) and by light (photons). Phonons are the quanta of lattice vibrations with frequencies covering a wide range up to tens of THz and provide coupling to the surrounding environment. In PHENOMEN the core of the research will be focused on phonon-based signal processing to enable on-chip synchronisation and transfer information carried between optical channels by phonons.
This ambitious prospect could serve as a future scalable platform for, e.g., hybrid information processing with phonons. To achieve it, PHENOMEN proposes to build the first practical optically-driven phonon sources and detectors including the engineering of phonon lasers to deliver coherent phonons to the rest of the chip pumped by a continuous wave optical source. It brings together interdisciplinary scientific and technology oriented partners in an early-stage research towards the development of a radically new technology.

The experimental implementation of phonons as information carriers in a chip is completely novel and of a clear foundational character. It deals with interaction and manipulation of fundamental particles and their intrinsic dual wave-particle character. Thus, it can only be possible with the participation of an interdisciplinary consortium which will create knowledge in a synergetic fashion and add value in the form of new theoretical tools,  develop novel methods to manipulate coherent phonons with light and build all-optical phononic circuits enabled by optomechanics.

The PHENOMEN project has been selected in the H2020 FET-Open call "Novel ideas for radically new technologies", aimed at supporting the early stages of joint science and technology research for radically new future technological possibilities. The call is entirely non-prescriptive with regards to the nature or purpose of the technologies that are envisaged and thus targets mainly the unexpected.

Web of the project:

http://www.phenomen-project.eu