The work in our lab can be best summarized as experimental and theoretical exploration of nanoscale optics, with emphasis on all aspects of the problem: design, fabrication and characterization. We believe that this integrated approach is the best way to understand these complex optical systems.
Our research efforts focus on the study of phenomena resulting from the interaction of light and matter on a nano-scale level. These phenomena include efficient light confinement and emission within photonic crystals, light generation in engineered semiconductors (e.g. nanowires, quantum dots, quantum cascade lasers), manipulation of nano-scale objects using guided waves, etc. We are also interested in development of state of the art nano-photonics devices and networks that can be used in optical communication systems, can be integrated with microfluidic systems to realize lab on a chip platforms, or can be used to study phenomena in the field of quantum optics.
Some of the topics that are presently being investigated include:
- Photonic crystal nanolasers and single photon sources
- Nonlinear optics and photonic crystal nanobeam cavities
- Photonic Crystal Nanobeam Cavities
- Diamond Photonics and Quantum Optics
- Intra-cavity, on-chip bio-chemical sensing
Photonic crystals have recently emerged as a leading platform for efficient manipulation of photons on a chip, and realization of functional photonic devices and their large-scale integration. These periodic optical nano-structures are designed to form frequency bands, photonic bandgaps, within which the propagation of light is forbidden irrespective of the propagation direction (“insulators for light”). Photonic crystals offer a unique opportunity to realize optical cavities with high quality factor (~106) and extremely small mode volume (~ cubic wavelength), that is to store photons in an extremely small volume for long periods of time. This makes them the geometry of choice in applications that require strong interaction between light and matter, including enhancement of light emission in single photon sources and nanolasers, cavity QED nanoscale optomechanics, etc.
In addition to conventional active nanophotonic devices, based on epitaxially grown emitters (quantum wells and quantum dots), our group is also developing new class of hybrid light emitting devices that combine bottom-up synthesized light-emitters and top-down fabricated structures. For example, nanocrystal quantum dots offer number of advantages over conventional, epitaxially grown ones. These include better uniformity, ease of fabrication, integration with passive optical platforms, and multi-wavelength operation on the same chip. Our group explores several routes to realize these hybrid active nanophotonic devices, including metallic nanostructures (surface plasmon based approach), photonic crystal cavities, and meta-materials.