Technological advances of the past decade have enabled the control of the material structure at length-scales smaller than the wavelength of light. This enabled creation of new material-systems (e.g. photonic bandgap crystals, or various surface plasmon systems ), whose optical properties are dramatically different than those of any naturally occurring material. For example, nanostructured materials which display diffraction-less propagation of light , exhibit negative refraction, or support very slow propagation of light , have all been demonstrated. Our research interests are in exploring the new and exciting physical phenomena supported by such materials. Our work is roughly equally split between theoretical and experimental studies.
For some representative examples of this, please check out our work on one-way waveguides, plasmons in graphene, Dirac points in Photonic Crystals, a unique way of trapping light (2013), novel transparent displays (2014), systems for angular selectivity (2014) of light, Weyl points (2015), exceptional rings (2015), novel X-ray sources (2015), enhanced incadescent sources (2016), allowing “forbidden” transitions (2016), as well as optical deep learning (2017).
The unique properties of optical nano-structured materials have already enabled a wide range of very important applications (e.g. in medicine, energy , telecommunications, defense, etc.) and are expected to do even more so in the future.
We are also interested in various topics in nonlinear optical physics. Maxwell’s equations as presented in most undergraduate text books are linear. However, all materials in nature are nonlinear ( including vacuum ), and sure enough, at high light intensities, optical phenomena becomes nonlinear, displaying a wide range of rich and beautiful behavior. For example, almost every general non-linear dynamics phenomenon (e.g. solitons , pattern formation, fractals , etc.) can now be studied in optical material systems.
In addition, we are excited about the feasibility of wireless power transfer.
The last, but not the least, Artificial Intelligence techniques have progressed immensely over the past few years: many fields of science and engineering can now make use of these techniques. We are very interested in exploring how AI can help our research, and also how physics insights can lead to even more powerful AI algorithms (learn more).