By using spectroscopic techniques (Raman, IR, absorption, Photoluminescence) and the synergy of theoretical calculations (phenomenological models, first-principles calculations, group theory) the optical properties of a wide range of materials (semiconductors, fullerenes, carbon nanotubes, garnets, low-dimensional materials etc.) are studied. These techniques and theoretical methods are utilized for materials characterization (identification of polytypes and phases, crystallinity, presence of mechanical stress/strain, chemical functionalization, electronic doping etc.) as well as for the study of fundamental physical phenomena (electron-phonon interaction, Kohn anomalies, immediate neighboring interactions etc.).
Moreover, the influence of external perturbations (temperature, uniaxial or biaxial mechanical deformation, hydrostatic pressure, electrochemical doping etc.) modifies drastically the optical properties of a material providing, thus, information on the physical phenomena themselves and allows the investigation of structural stability and the study of pressure induced structural or electronic phase transitions of materials.
1. "Speckle phenomena": Relating to the properties (statistically) of light (partial coherence and coherence) and the statistics of surfaces where the light is reflected or refracted. Our research is concerned with "Speckle" interferometry issues and optical image processing with carriers the "grains" of "Speckle".
2. Optical Image Processing: This is based on a general view of the scalar theory of diffraction of light in classical optics, which is called Furrier Optics. Our operations are mainly concerned with the research of methods of observing phase objects (e.g. transparent materials with variable refractive index).
3. Photorefractive Crystals: In these crystals phase gratings may be recorded. These phase gratings are carriers of record, storage and optical image processing. In specific sections of these crystals gratings are recorded versus the orientation of vector grating and versus the high voltage that is applied at their ends. With incidence in the grating of a proper light beam, the recorded information is reproduced via diffraction. We study the diffraction efficiency of gratings and the polarization properties of the diffracted beam, in terms of the polarization state of the incident beam, and other properties of phase gratings.
4.Physical Properties of Crystals: Here we are dealing with crystals which are: electro-optic, (Pockel effect), photo-elastic (via the inverse piezoelectric effect), optical-active, shows linear electro-gyration effect, etc. Using specified optical experimental arrangements we measure: The dispersion (depending on the wavelength) in the visible region of the electromagnetic spectrum: a) The refractive indices of crystals, b) The optical activity, c) The electro-optical coefficients and d) The electro-gyration coefficients.
1. Optical and mechanical systems controlled by PC
2. Optical components and systems
3. Sources of Light and Lasers
4. Electronic Systems (oscilloscopes, power supplies, etc.)
5. Monochromators, spectrometers
6. Full range of microscopes
7. Diffractometers, interferometers and other optical instruments
Study of the nanostructure (nearest neighbor distances, coordination numbers and bond angles) as well as optical properties (density of unoccupied states) in the soft and hard x-ray spectral region using x-ray absorption spectroscopies EXAFS & NEXAFS.
Elemental mapping using the x-ray fluorescence spectroscopy (XRF mapping) and micro XAFS. The samples under study are:
i) compounds of Si (mainly SiNx)
ii) group III nitrides (GaN, AlN, InN and their alloys)
iii) glasses and glass ceramics containing solid wastes (information on the sample preparation can be found in the web page of WFENV-NET http://web.auth.gr/wfenv-net
iv) biological samples for the determination of the trace element concentration
Moreover, inelastic X-ray (and alternatively neutron) scattering for the study of dispersion curves and the density of states of crystalline solids can be conducted.