Project Overview

NIRT: Photon and Plasmon Engineering in Active Optical Devices based on Synthesized Nanostructures

# 0708905
Marko Loncar (Principal Investigator)
Hongkun Park (Co-Principal Investigator)
Mikhail Lukin (Co-Principal Investigator)

Intellectual Merits: The present project focuses on understanding of fundamental properties of light generation and control in active optical nanostructures, as well as development of robust and practical devices and systems for optical/ quantum information processing (e.g. single photon sources, nano-lasers). Promising routes include nano-scale surface plasmons and photonic crystals. The knowledge and techniques that will be developed in this program can find application in other fields, including life sciences and advanced photolithography. To achieve these goals, bottom-up synthesized nanoscale light emitters and top-down fabricated advanced structures for light localization and control will be combined. Bottom-up synthesized nanoemitters offer number of advantages over conventional epitaxially grown light emitters, including better uniformity, ease of fabrication, integration with passive optical platforms, and multi-wavelength operation. Important questions that pertain to these hybrid nanostructures such as, integration of different fabrication techniques, development of methodology for manipulation, positioning and efficiently in/out-coupling of light, will be investigated.

Broader Impacts: The proposed research will provide powerful educational opportunities for students by exposing them to an interdisciplinary collaboration (chemistry, physics and engineering) that encompasses theoretical calculations, nanostructure synthesis, device physics and design, nanofabrication and optical characterization. This will be accomplished by co-advising graduate students, holding joint group meetings and seminars, as well as organizing workshops. The educational component will be further enhanced by giving undergraduate students an opportunity to conduct research in this exciting interdisciplinary field through the NSF supported Research Experience for Undergraduates program and also by encouraging the participation of women and minority students. The team members will continue giving public lectures and organizing science projects at local public schools, mentoring high school students and working with high school teachers through the NSF supported Research Experience for Teachers program. The team members will also bring their expertise to ongoing Harvard outreach programs and engage the business-oriented public (e.g. Harvard Nanotechnology & Business Forum, Harvard Industrial Outreach Program).

Source: NSF