Keywordsnanophotonics, materials, optoelectronics, strong coupling, plasmonics
Very recently, a new paradigm to adjust the properties of materials was discovered. It was found that the electromagnetic environment can significantly change various bulk characteristics of materials. Up until then, it was thought these properties were largely independent of the electromagnetic density of states at optical frequencies. The mechanism rests on the introduction of a photonic structure in close contact with the material. If the so-called regime of strong coupling is obtained, various properties appear to be modified, because novel hybrid states are created. Remarkably, this phenomenon also works when there is no light exciting the structure, so that the vacuum itself modulates the electronic structure! A full understanding and exploitation of the effects is currently lacking, therefore there is a clear need for detailed theory and simulations to examine and design new devices, in collaboration with experimentalists. Multiple advanced architectures should be studied for electromagnetic manipulation, such as 2D materials and plasmonic metasurfaces. These photonic structures can then be applied to change a host of bulk properties, such as conductivity, work function, emission, wetting etc. Thus, this strong light-matter coupling effect could be very crucial for many optoelectronic devices such as lasers, LEDs and solar cells.