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Quantum optics, spintronics and diffraction-free imaging with low loss are among the technologies that may benefit from recently predicted effects in twisted bilayer photonic structures. The work takes inspiration from a burgeoning field of condensed matter research—"twistronics," in which electronic behaviour can be dramatically altered by controlling the twist between layers of 2-D materials.

When Pablo Jarillo-Herrero and his group announced observations of electronic properties tuned between superconducting and Mott insulating states there was excitement not just among those researchers working closely with graphene and 2-D materials but many other fields. Naturally, not all research communities expected to find associated phenomena in the systems they studied.

"There was no reason to think this would happen in photonics—the effects stem from correlated electrons and we instead work with photons," explains Andrea Alù, Einstein Professor at City University of New York (CUNY). Nonetheless in a recent Nano Letters paper, he and colleagues at CUNY, the National University of Singapore, and the University of Texas at Austin have reported theoretical predictions of photonic behaviour changes with twisting that is in many ways analogous to the changes in electronic behaviour first observed in .

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Category: Science