Junichiro Kono
Research Areas
  • Materials out of Equilibrium
  • Materials at Low Dimensions

Research Description

Professor Kono is an innovative leader in optical studies of condensed matter systems and photonic applications of nanosystems, including semiconductor nanostructures and carbon-based nanomaterials. His has made a number of contributions to the diverse fields of semiconductor optics, terahertz (THz) spectroscopy and devices, ultrafast and quantum optics, and condensed matter physics are truly outstanding and exceptional. Specifically, his high-impact achievements include: Exploration of extreme nonlinear optics in semiconductors using small-energy photons; ultrafast optical manipulation of collective spins in ferromagnetic semiconductors; observation of the Aharonov-Bohm effect in carbon nanotubes via magneto-optics; pioneering ultrafast and nonlinear optical studies of semiconducting carbon nanotubes; First observation of superfluorescence in a solid through corporative recombination of quantum degenerate electron-hole pairs.

Kono’s research group uses state-of-the-art spectroscopic techniques to probe charge, spin, and vibrational dynamics. Their experimental facilities include the RAMBO system -- a unique mini-coil-based 30-T pulsed magnet system equipped with ultrafast and nononlinear optical spectroscopy setups. Some of their current interests include:

  • Optics and photonics of carbon nanotubes, graphene, and 2D materials
  • Physics and applications of terahertz phenomena
  • Spintronics, opto-spintronics, and optical quantum information processing
  • Nonlinear, ultrafast, and quantum optical phenomena in solids
  • Optical processes in ultrahigh magnetic fields

Results of their research will lead to an increased understanding of non-equilibrium many-body dynamics in condensed matter as well as development of novel opto-electronic devices.


Junichiro Kono received his B.S. and M.S. degrees in applied physics from the University of Tokyo in 1990 and 1992, respectively, and completed his Ph.D. in physics from the State University of New York at Buffalo in 1995. He was a postdoctoral research associate in condensed matter physics at the University of California, Santa Barbara in 1995-1997 and the W. W. Hansen Experimental Physics Laboratory Fellow in the Department of Physics at Stanford University in 1997-2000. He joined the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering of Rice University in 2000 as an Assistant Professor and was promoted to Associate Professor in 2005 and to Professor in 2009. He is currently a Professor in the Departments of Electrical & Computer Engineering, Physics & Astronomy, and Materials Science & NanoEngineering at Rice University. Professor Kono was a recipient of the National Science Foundation CAREER Award in 2002 and has been a Fellow of the American Physical Society since 2009. Professor Kono is also the founder of the nationally recognized international program for science and engineering undergraduate students, NanoJapan, funded by the U.S. National Science Foundation, receiving the Heiskell Award for Innovation from the Institute of International Education in 2008.

Selected Publications
  1. Q. Zhang, T. Arikawa, E. Kato, J. L. Reno, W. Pan, J. D. Watson, M. J. Manfra, M. A. Zudov, M. Tokman, M. Erukhimova, A. Belyanin, and J. Kono, “Superradiant Decay of Cyclotron Resonance of Two-Dimensional Electron Gases,” Physical Review Letters 113 (2014) 047601 [6 pages].
  2. X. He, N. Fujimura, J. M. Lloyd, K. J. Erickson, A. A. Talin, Q. Zhang, W. Gao, Q. Jiang, Y. Kawano, R. H. Hauge, F. Léonard, and J. Kono, “Carbon Nanotube Terahertz Detector,” Nano Letters 14 (2014), pp. 3953-3958.
  3. S. R. Phillips, C. A. Matherly, and J. Kono, “NanoJapan: An International Research Experience,” Optics & Photonics News, June 2014, pp. 18-19.
  4. Q. Zhang, E. H. Hároz, Z. Jin, L. Ren, X. Wang, R. S. Arvidson, A. Lüttge, and J. Kono, “Plasmonic Nature of the Terahertz Conductivity Peak in Single-Wall Carbon Nanotubes,” Nano Letters 13 (2013), pp. 5991-5996.
  5. J.-H. Kim, G. T. Noe II, S. A. McGill, Y. Wang, A. K. Wójcik, A. A. Belyanin, and J. Kono, “Fermi-Edge Superfluorescence from a Quantum-Degenerate Electron-Hole Gas,” Scientific Reports 3 (2013), 3283 [7 pages].
  6. L. Ren, Q. Zhang, J. Yao, Z. Sun, R. Kaneko, Z. Yan, S. Nanot, Z. Jin, I. Kawayama, M. Tonouchi, J. M. Tour, and J. Kono, “Terahertz and Infrared Spectroscopy of Gated Large-Area Graphene,” Nano Letters 12 (2012), pp. 3711-3715.
  7. G. T. Noe, J.-H. Kim, J. Lee, Y. Wang, A. K. Wójcik, S. A. McGill, D. H. Reitze, A. A. Belyanin, and J. Kono, “Giant Superfluorescent Bursts from a Semiconductor Magneto-plasma,” Nature Physics 8 (2012), pp. 219-224.
  8. T. A. Searles, Y. Imanaka, T. Takamasu, H. Ajiki, J. A. Fagan, E. K. Hobbie, and J. Kono, “Large Anisotropy in the Magnetic Susceptibility of Metallic Carbon Nanotubes,” Physical Review Letters 105 (2010), 017403 [4 pages].
  9. X. Wang, A. A. Belyanin, S. A. Crooker, D. M. Mittleman, and J. Kono, “Interference-Induced Terahertz Transparency in a Semiconductor Magneto-plasma,” Nature Physics 6 (2010), pp. 126-130.
  10. L. Ren, C. L. Pint, L. G. Booshehri, W. D. Rice, X. Wang, D. J. Hilton, K. Takeya, I. Kawayama, M. Tonouchi, R. H. Hauge, and J. Kono, “Carbon Nanotube Terahertz Polarizer,” Nano Letters 9 (2009), pp. 2610-2613.
  11. J.-H. Kim, K.-J. Han, N.-J. Kim, K.-J. Yee, Y.-S. Lim, G. D. Sanders, C. J. Stanton, L. G. Booshehri, E. H. Hároz, and J. Kono, “Chirality-Selective Excitations of Coherent Phonons in Carbon Nanotubes by Femtosecond Optical Pulses,” Physical Review Letters 102 (2009), 037402 [4 pages].
  12. Y. Murakami and J. Kono, “Nonlinear Photoluminescence Excitation Spectroscopy of Carbon Nanotubes: Exploring the Upper Density Limit of One-Dimensional Excitons,” Physical Review Letters 102 (2009), 037401 [4 pages].
  13. A. Srivastava, H. Htoon, V. I. Klimov, and J. Kono, “Direct Observation of Dark Excitons in Individual Carbon Nanotubes: Inhomogeneity in the Exchange Splitting,” Physical Review Letters 101 (2008), 087402 [4 pages].
  14. J. Wang, C. Sun, J. Kono, A. Oiwa, H. Munekata, Ł. Cywiński, and L. J. Sham, “Ultrafast Quenching of Ferromagnetism in InMnAs Induced by Intense Laser Irradiation,” Physical Review Letters 95 (2005), 167401 [4 pages].
  15. A. Srivastava, R. Srivastava, J. Wang, and J. Kono, “Laser-Induced Above-Band-Gap Transparency in GaAs,” Physical Review Letters 93 (2004), 157401 [4 pages].
  16. S. Zaric, G. N. Ostojic, J. Kono, J. Shaver, V. C. Moore, M. S. Strano, R. H. Hauge, R. E. Smalley, and X. Wei, “Optical Signatures of the Aharonov-Bohm Phase in Single-Walled Carbon Nanotubes,” Science 304 (2004), pp. 1129-1131.
  17. A. H. Chin, O. G. Calderón, and J. Kono, “Extreme Midinfrared Nonlinear Optics in Semiconductors,” Physical Review Letters 86 (2001), pp. 3292-3295.
  18. A. H. Chin, J. M. Bakker, and J. Kono, “Ultrafast Electro-Absorption in Semiconductors at the Transition between Classical and Quantum Response,” Physical Review Letters 85 (2000), pp. 3293-3296.
  19. J. Kono, M. Y. Su, T. Inoshita, T. Noda, M. S. Sherwin, S. J. Allen, Jr., and H. Sakaki, “Resonant Terahertz Optical Sideband Generation from Confined Magnetoexcitons,” Physical Review Letters 79 (1997), pp. 1758-1761.
  20. J. Kono, B. D. McCombe, J.-P. Cheng, I. Lo, W. C. Mitchel, and C. E. Stutz, “Far-Infrared Magneto-Optical Study of Two-Dimensional Electrons and Holes in InAs/AlxGa1xSb Quantum Wells,” Physical Review B 55 (1997), pp. 1617-1636.

Recent Publications