EE Distinguished Speakers Seminar: Nano-optics gets practical
Abstract: Twenty years of extensive research in the field of nanooptics have enabled us to considerably advance light control on the nanometer scale. Beyond the original peak of inflated expectation, the assets of nanooptics over other technologies, along with its limitations, became clearer. More recently, the field has entered into the slope of enlightenment in which its actual contribution to both basic research and novel technologies has been better identified. In this talk, following a general introduction on the main assets of nano-optics, we will review different aspects of our research where nano-optical resonators are used as an enabling technology that can benefit a wide range of scientific disciplines, all the way from reconfigurable planar optics to biomedicine.
The first part of the talk focuses on our recent efforts towards reconfigurable metasurfaces. Our approach relies on dynamically controlling the refractive index in the close vicinity of a silicon metalens by means of a resistor embedded in a thermo-optical polymer. We demonstrate precise and continuous tuneability of the focal length, and achieve focal length variations larger than the Rayleigh length for voltage as low as 10V and time-response in the 10ms range. We also demonstrate that by solving the inverse problem, we are able to deterministically achieve any desired phase front. In the second part of the talk, we discuss the use of both dielectric and metallic nanoresonators in the context of biosensing and lab-on-a-chip technology. The sensors are integrated into a state-of-the-art PDMS microfluidic environment and their surface functionalized to achieve specific detection of the targeted biomarkers. We directly compare the performance of gold and silicon nanosensors and discuss their respective advantages. Finally, we discuss our latest advances in the field of thermoplasmonics, presenting two new application in additive manufacturing (3D printing) and disinfection of surgical implants.
Zoom link: https://epfl.zoom.us/j/97572543914