Physics and engineering of optics at the nanoscale synopsis
Nanostructured media exhibit exotic optical properties not easily obtainable or unavailable in nature. Besides having fundamental implication for optics, such as negative refraction, they provide an innovative platform for developing disruptive optical technologies, among which nanoantennas are among the most recent examples.
The ultimate application of optics at the nanoscale demands new nanofabrication techniques to implement large-area, multi-scale and cost- effective architectures. In addition, nanostructured media constructively interfere with plasmonics in the optical domain, which manifests uniqueness in subwavelength field confinement and strong field enhancement.
The interplay between optical metamaterials and nanofabrication offers novel opportunities to stimulate new cross- disciplinary approaches in broader perspectives such as sustainability, health and energy.
This course aims at bringing together concepts from different disciplines, including physics, materials science, engineering, to share recent breakthroughs in nanoscale optics, identify critical issues and exchange ideas for future directions.
I will provide an overview of the physics and development of optical metamaterials. In particular, those that exploit surface plasmon-polaritons can dramatically enhance optical fields and form the platform for novel optical devices. Here, I will also outline plasmonics fundamentals including modal confinement and dispersion relations for guided wave and resonant structures. I will then discuss metasurfaces, a monolayer of plasmonic structures capable of arbitrarily controlling the wave front of light and to function, for example, as ultrathin flat lenses.
Next, I will introduce the concept of a nanoantenna, which leads to important applications such as sub- wavelength optical devices for sensing and energy harvesting based on metallic nanoparticles, in contrast to surface-plasmon-polariton optics. Moreover, I will explain the relationship between resonators and nanoantennas and show how the latter may be advantageous for pushing the device operation into unprecedented regimes.
I will then discuss the requirements and opportunities for plasmonics in information processing. Optical interconnects will need to play a critical role if information processing technology is to continue to scale. To exploit this opportunity, advanced, integrated, compact optics and optoelectronics are required. Here, I will discuss examples in chip-based waveguide plasmonic devices comprised of noble metal materials.
I will finally present new directions for plasmonics by examining the relationship between plasmon- polariton modes and active elements, including single quantum emitters. In particular, I will discuss opportunities for their deployment into quantum technologies.