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Research

Nonlinear Optics

Slow and Fast Light, Quantum Imaging Techniques, Optical Metamaterials

Professor Robert Boyd

Slow and fast light: Professor Boyd and his group are working on the development of methods that will allow them to control the group velocity of light for a variety of materials of interest in photonics. This group is presently working on a several topics in this area, including fast and slow light in erbium doped fiber amplifiers, applications of slow and fast light in telecommunications, and the use of surface plasmon polaritons to induce slow-light effects.

Quantum imaging: Professor Boyd's group is also working on the development of techniques in the field of quantum imaging, which utilizes the quantum nature of light to perform image formation with higher resolution or sensitivity than can be achieved with classical light sources. Two specific projects of current interest include the development of methods for quantum lithography and for achieving enhanced spatial resolution in microscopy.

Composite photonic materials: The goal of this research is to form nanocomposite materials with superior properties for use in nonlinear optics and laser engineering. One aspect of this work entails forming composites in such a manner that, as a consequence of local field effects, the nonlinear response of the composite is larger than that of the constituent materials. Another aspect of the work is to construct composites with a very large response by forming metal/dielectric composites. Still another aspect of this work is to form laser gain media in which the optical properties can be tailored through use of local field effects. 

High-Intesity Femtosecond Laser Laboratory

Professor Chunlei Guo

His group is studying a variety of unique nonlinear optical properties of metals with femtosecond laser technique. Extreme nonlinear optical effects, such as high-order harmonics and ultrashort pulse generation can be studied in strong fields.

Integrated Nonlinear Photonics

Professor Qiang Lin

Nonlinear optical processes have attracted long-lasting interest ever since the first observation of second-harmonic generation, which founded a broad range of applications including photonic signal processing, tunable coherent radiation, frequency metrology, optical microscopy, and quantum information processing. In general, nonlinear optical effects are fairly weak and have to rely on substantial optical power to support nonlinear wave interaction. However, high-quality nanophotonic devices are able to confine strongly the optical waves into a tiny volume/area with significant optical field inside, resulting in dramatically enhanced nonlinear optical effects to an extent inaccessible in conventional bulk media. On the other hand, operating in the micro-/nano-scopic scale offers unprecedented freedom of versatile device design that enables flexible engineering of device characteristics (such as geometry, dispersion, quality factor, optical/mechanical resonance, etc) for various application purposes. We currently explore new material platforms and innovative device designs for novel nonlinear photonic functionalities with high efficiency, long coherence, broad bandwidth, and/or large tunability. 

Ultrafast Material Processing

Professor Wayne Knox