Frank Koppens

Frank Koppens

Institut de Ciències Fotòniques

Experimental Sciences & Mathematics

Prof. Frank Koppens obtained his PhD in experimental physics at Delft University, at the Kavli Institute of Nanoscience, The Netherlands.  After a postdoctoral fellowship at Harvard University, Since August 2010, Koppens is group leader at the Institute of Photonic Sciences (ICFO).  Prof. Koppens is vice-chairman of the executive board and optoelectronics WP leader of the graphene flagship program.Koppens has received five ERC awards (including three ERC proof-of-concept grants), the Christiaan Hugyensprijs 2012, the national award for research in Spain, the IUPAP young scientist prize in optics, and the ACS photonics investigator award. 

Since 2018 Koppens is on the Clarivate list for highly cited researchers. Koppens has been elected as fellow of the American Physical Society in 2022. In total, Koppens has published more than 120 refereed papers (H-index 67), and total number of citations exceeds 33.000 (google scholar).

Research interests

The quantum nano-optoelectronics group, led by Prof. Koppens, studies the basic science and applications of two-dimensional materials, and in particular the interactions with light at extreme limits.  Central in these studies are the rich variety of novel materials that are only one atom thick: graphene and 2d materials. These materials exhibit fascinating properties and in particular, by building stacks of these layered materials, completely new material systems can be created atom-by-atom: atomic lego! By stacking and twisting these materials, completely new optical, electronic and optoelectronic properties can be realized. We apply several unique and novel techniques study physical processes with nano-optoelectronic imaging techniques, operating with infrared and terahertz light.

The group has developed (worldwide unique) low-temperature near-field imaging techniques for terahertz light to probe the electronic response to light with nanometer-scale spatial resolution. One of the more recent objectives is to study the interplay between topological and many-body phenomena of 2d-material heterostructures.  

To further boost light-matter interactions at the nanoscale and to enhance light-matter interactions, we are exploring the vast library of polaritonic modes in 2D materials. Confinement of light down to the atomic scale has been demonstrated and paves the way to strong interactions between light and quantum materials, with potential to unveil new states of matter not accessible before. In addition to the new science and physics, the group develops new concepts for photo-detection, imaging systems, optical modulation, nano-scale light processing and switching, as well as flexible and wearable health and fitness devices. We aim to build prototypes of these disruptive technologies, in collaboration with industry. 



Selected publications

- Yin J, Tan C, Barcons-Ruiz D, et al.  2022, 'Tunable and giant valley-selective Hall effect in gapped bilayer graphene', Science, 375, 6587, 1398 - 1402.

- Barcons Ruiz D, Herzig Sheinfux H, Hoffmann R, et al. 2022, 'Engineering high quality graphene superlattices via ion milled ultra-thin etching masks', Nature Communications, 13, 1, 6926.

- Hesp NCH, Svendsen MK, Watanabe K, et al. 2022, 'WSe2 as Transparent Top Gate for Infrared Near-Field Microscopy', Nano Letters, 22(15), 6200-6206.

- Vangelidis I, Bellas DV, Suckow S, et al. 2022, 'Unbiased Plasmonic-Assisted Integrated Graphene Photodetectors', Acs Photonics, 9, 6, 1992 - 2007.

- Calafell IA, Rozema LA, Trenti A, Bohn J, Dias EJC, Jenke PK, Menghrajani KS, Iranzo DA, de Abajo, FJGKoppens FHL, Hendry E & Walther P 2022, 'High-Harmonic Generation Enhancement with Graphene Heterostructures', Advanced Optical Materials, 10, 19, 2200715.

Selected research activities

Founder of the program "TWIST" aiming to build a joint research program and joint laboratories at ICFO, with 4 USA National Academy of Sciences members from MIT, Columbia, Stanford, Harvard, Max Planck and Weizzman. 

Board member and founder of spin-off company Qurv, with ~10 employees, bringing graphene-based image sensors to the markets of autonomous vehicle, smart robots. etc.