Academic history prior to coming to MIT:
BA in physics, Harvard University
What brought you to MIT?
The beauty and the appeal of Prof. Soljacic’s work is that it is a combination of theory and experiment; from developing novel theoretical tools, to pioneering nanofabrication techniques, often all steps of device development happen in-house. Besides the ability to work on problems I find fascinating, I enjoy the mix of academic backgrounds within the group.
What problem are you trying to solve with your current research and what are some possible applications?
Broadly speaking, I am interested in various resonant phenomena related to light-matter interaction at the nanoscale. For example: in one project, I study radiative near-field energy transfer between plasmonic materials, including graphene; in another, I design and characterize photonic crystal filters used for light recycling. While we focus on understanding the underlying physics, our projects are often inspired by potential real-world applications, some of which include more efficient solar cells and efficient lighting.
What interests you most about your research?
Many problems of light-matter interaction at length scales much smaller than wavelength of light could – until recently – be analyzed only theoretically. Technological advances in nanoscale fabrication techniques allow us unprecedented control and manipulation of optical properties of matter. Given the diverse set of skills in our group, I particularly enjoy being able to pursue an idea from its theoretical conception and analysis all the way to experimental realization.
What are your future plans?
Academic or industry research