APL Colloquium

June 21, 2013

Colloquium Topic: Of Waves, Electrons, and Metamaterials

Metamaterials and plasmonic optics provide mechanisms for controlling and taming photons and electrons in unprecedented ways. In my group we are exploring various features and characteristics of these concepts and investigating new classes of applications such paradigms may provide. We have been developing several concepts such as “optical metatronics”, i.e. metamaterial-inspired optical nanocircuitry and nanostrcutures, in which the three fields of “nanoelectronics”, “nanophotonics” and “magnetics” can be merged together, “computing metamaterials that do mathematical operations”, “digital metamaterials”, “extreme-parameter metamaterials”, “nonreciprocal plasmonics”, and “meta-electronics” in which one can tailor the effective mass of electrons for ultrafast response.  In such a unifying platform, the concept of metamaterials and plasmonics optics can be exploited to bridge the gaps among various fields, to modularize, standardize, and parameterize some of the optical and electronic phenomena, and to transplant concepts from one field into another. We have now extended some of the metamaterial concepts to other platforms such as graphene as one-atom-thick metamaterials and one-atom-thick optical devices and circuitry.  I will present an overview of our most recent results from a sample of these topics and discuss future directions and potentials.

Colloquium Speaker: Nader Engheta

Dr. Nader Engheta is the H. Nedwill Ramsey Professor at the University of Pennsylvania with affiliations in the Departments of Electrical and Systems Engineering, Bioengineering, Physics and Astronomy, and Materials Science and Engineering. He is the recipient of the 2012 IEEE Electromagnetics Award and the 2013 Benjamin Franklin Key Award. He received his B.S. degree from the University of Tehran, and his M.S and Ph.D. degrees from Caltech.  Selected as one of the Scientific American Magazine 50 Leaders in Science and Technology in 2006 for developing the concept of optical lumped nanocircuits, he is a Guggenheim Fellow, an IEEE Third Millennium Medalist, a Fellow of IEEE, American Physical Society (APS), Optical Society of America (OSA), American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), and SPIE-The International Society for Optical Engineering, and the recipient of the 2008 George H. Heilmeier Award for Excellence in Research, the Fulbright Naples Chair Award, NSF Presidential Young Investigator award, the UPS Foundation Distinguished Educator term Chair, and several teaching awards including the Christian F. and Mary R. Lindback Foundation Award, S. Reid Warren, Jr. Award and W. M. Keck Foundation Award.  His current research activities span a broad range of areas including metamaterials and plasmonics, nanooptics and nanophotonics, biologically-inspired sensing and imaging, miniaturized antennas and nanoantennas, physics and reverse-engineering of polarization vision in nature, mathematics of fractional operators, and physics of fields and waves phenomena.  He has co-edited (with R. W. Ziolkowski) the book entitled “Metamaterials:  Physics and Engineering Explorations” by Wiley-IEEE Press, 2006.  He was the Chair of the Gordon Research Conference on Plasmonics in June 2012.