Photo of Yang Chen

Nanotechnology & materials

Yang Chen

He has investigated, enhanced and modulated chiral light-matter interactions at the nanoscale.

Year Honored

University of Science and Technology of China

Asia Pacific

Hails From
Asia Pacific

Chirality is a fundamental attribute of nature. As an important branch of optics, chiroptics has been widely applied in drug development, disease diagnosis, optoelectronic devices, quantum optics, etc. However, there is a key bottleneck problem in the field of chiroptics: the chiroptical responses of natural materials are extremely weak, and thus hard to be detected or harnessed.

To overcome this challenge, Yang Chen combined cutting-edge physics, emerging materials and state-of-the-art fabrication techniques to find enhancement and flexible modulation of optical chirality at the nanoscale. Chen has made the following significant contributions:

Firstly, he has simultaneously realized near-maximum chirality (CD = 0.92) and high-quality factor (Q = 2662) over an ultrathin nanostructured film of only 220 nm, which provides a versatile platform for spin quantum emitters, chiral light sources and detector, etc.

Secondly, he has achieved near-perfect circular polarization, large directionality and tunable emission angles all in a compact light-emitting device, paving the way for portable, integratable and multifunctional light sources.

Thirdly, he has demonstrated high-fidelity, long-distance and unidirectional transportation of valley photons for the first time, which could push forward the development of valleytronic devices and help keep Moore’s law alive.

Last but not least, Chen has completed the demonstration of strong coupling induced by weakly chiral enantiomers for high-sensitivity chiral detection. Chiral signals are enhanced three orders higher than the conventional method. This could promote the development of portable chiral detector.