Frank Koppens

Frank Koppens

Institut de Ciències Fotòniques

Experimental Sciences & Mathematics

Prof. Frank Koppens is group leader at the Institute of Photonic Sciences (ICFO). The Quantum Nano-Optoelectronics Group, led by Prof. Koppens, is at the forefront of exploring the fundamental science and potential applications of heterostructures of stacked and twisted two-dimensional (2D) materials. The group integrates the realms of nanophotonics, 2D materials, topology, emerging phenomena, and strong light-matter interactions, creating a multidisciplinary approach in their research.
Koppens has received the ERC starting grant, the ERC consolidator grant, and five ERC proof-of-concept grants. Other awards include 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, in the physics category, and in 2022 he has been elected as fellow of the American Physical Society.

Research interests

The group focusses on the exploration of a wide array of novel materials that are a mere atom thick, such as graphene and other 2D materials. By layering and twisting these materials, like building with atomic Lego, we can engineer entirely new material systems and properties. The group employs a variety of innovative techniques to study the nano-optoelectronic properties, utilizing imaging methods that operate with infrared and terahertz light. This includes pioneering low-temperature near-field imaging techniques, which allow us to examine the electronic response to light with unprecedented nanometer-scale spatial resolution. Beyond advancing scientific knowledge, the group is pioneering new quantum technologies, including single-photon detection and quantum molecular sensing. The goal is to develop prototypes of these groundbreaking technologies in collaboration with industry partners, paving the way for revolutionary applications in the field.

Selected publications

- Ma Q, Kumar R, Xu SY, et al. 2023, 'Photocurrent as a multiphysics diagnostic of quantum materials', Nature Reviews Physics, 5, 170-184.

- Herzig Sheinfux H, Jung M, Orsini L, Ceccanti M, Mahalanabish A, Martinez-Cercós D, Torre I, Barcons Ruiz D, Janzen E, Edgar JH, Pruneri V, Shvets G & Koppens FHL 2023, 'Transverse Hypercrystals Formed by Periodically Modulated Phonon Polaritons', Acs Nano, 17, 8, 7377-7383.

- Kurman Y, Dahan R, Shenfux H, et al. 2023, 'Dynamics of optical vortices in van der Waals materials', Optica, 10, 5, 612 - 618.

- Soundarapandian KP, De Fazio D, Bernal-Texca F, et al. 2023, 'Hysteresis-free high mobility graphene encapsulated in tungsten disulfide', Applied Physics Letters, 123, 6, 063103.

- Mercier G, Polat EO, Shi S et al. 2023, 'Semitransparent Image Sensors for Eye-Tracking Applications', Acs Photonics, 10, 9, 2994-3000.

- Agarwal H, Nowakowski K, Forrer A et al. 2023, 'Ultra-broadband photoconductivity in twisted graphene heterostructures with large responsivity', Nature Photonics, 17,
- Barcons Ruiz D, Hesp NCH, Herzig Sheinfux H et al. 2023, ‘Experimental signatures of the transition from acoustic plasmon to electronic sound in graphene’, Sci. Adv. 9, 39, eadi0415.
- Koppens FHL 2023, '2D materials ratchet up biorealism in computing', Nature, 624 - 7992 - 534 - 536.
- Ruiz DB, Hesp NCH, Sheinfux HH, Marimón CR, Maissen CM, Principi A, Asgari R, Taniguchi T, Watanabe K, Polini M, Hillenbrand R, Torre I & Koppens FHL 2023, 'Experimental signatures of the transition from acoustic plasmon to electronic sound in graphene', Science advances, 9 - 39.

Selected research activities

Koppens is leading the QTWIST program with Prof. Pablo Jarillo-Herrero (MIT) with the aim to set up a large international effort with joined laboratories on quantum materials and its applications. Koppens is also leading the staff exchange program with MIT, Pisa, Weizmann and Max Planck.