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May 13

by Sheng Liu

Sandia-National-Laboratories-2As the highest level optics/photonics general conference, CLEO is not just for universities, but also heavily participated by national laboratories in USA. This year at CLEO, Sandia National Laboratories will present 26 oral and poster presentations. Notably, 12 (total 17 including coauthored papers) of these will be presented by researchers from the department of Applied Photonic Microsystems, an impressive number from a small department comprised of less than 20

people including staff scientists, post-docs, and student interns.

Some highlights of our papers that will be presented in this year’s CLEO are:

FTu3C.7. Strong Light-Matter Coupling in Mid-Infrared Monolithic Metamaterial  Nanocavities
Alexander Benz; Salvatore Campione; Sheng Liu; Ines Montano; John F. Klem; Michael B. Sinclair; Filippo Capolino; Igal Brener

FTu1C.6. Electrically Tunable Mid-Infrared Metamaterials Based on Strong Light-Matter Coupling
Alexander Benz; Ines Montano; John F. Klem; Igal Brener

FTu1K.5. Apertureless Optical Near-Field Imaging of Localized Modes of Silicon Nanodisks
Terefe G. Habteyes; Isabelle Staude; Katie E. Chong; Jason Dominguez; Manuel Decker; Andrey Miroshnichenko; Yuri S. Kivshar; Igal Brener

FF2C.3. Maximizing Strong Coupling between Metasurface Resonators and Intersubband Transitions
Salvatore Campione; Alexander Benz; John F. Klem; Michael B. Sinclair; Igal Brener; Filippo Capolino

STh4M.7. Wavelength Control of Resonant Photonic Modulators with Balanced Homodyne Locking
Jonathan A. Cox; Anthony L. Lentine; Daniel J. Savignon; Douglas Trotter; Andrew Starbuck

SF2M.6. Coherent Excitation of Multiple Nano-opto-mechanical Modes in Silicon with Ultrafast Time-domain Spectroscopy
Jonathan A. Cox; Aleem Siddiqui; Peter Rakich; Robert L. Jarecki; Andrew Starbuck

FTh4C.3. Investigation of Quantum Dot—Quantum Dot Coupling at High Hydrostatic Pressure
Sheng Liu; Binsong Li; Hongyou Fan; Ting S. Luk; Michael B. Sinclair; Igal Brener

FF2C.6. Optical Magnetic Mirrors using All Dielectric Metasurfaces
Sheng Liu; Igal Brener; Jeremy B. Wright; Thomas Mahony; Young Chul Jun; Salvatore Campione; James Ginn; Daniel A. Bender; Joel R. Wendt; Jon Ihlefeld; Paul Clem; Michael B. Sinclair

STh1N.7. Ultra-Long Duration Time-Resolved Spectroscopy with Enhanced Temporal Resolution of High-Q Nano-Optomechanical Modes using Interleaved Asynchronous Optical Sampling (I-ASOPS)
Aleem M. Siddiqui; Robert L. Jarecki; Andrew Starbuck; Jonathan A. Cox

SM1M.2. Gallium Nitride Nanowire Distributed Feedback Lasers
Jeremy B. Wright; Salvatore Campione; Sheng Liu; Julio Martinez; Huiwen Xu; Ting S. Luk; Qiming Li; George T. Wang; Brian S. Swartzentruber; Igal Brener

SM2J.3. InGaN Quantum Dots for High Efficiency Blue and Green Light Emitters
Arthur J. Fischer; Xiaoyin Xiao; Jeffrey Y. Tsao; Daniel D. Koleske; Ping Lu; Jeremy B. Wright; Sheng Liu; George T. Wang

SW1G.3. Gallium Nitride Nanotube Lasers
Changyi Li; Antonio Hurtado; Jeremy B. Wright; Huiwen Xu; Sheng Liu; Ting S. Luk; Igal Brener; Steven R. Brueck; George T. Wang

Going through our papers, you will find out that all of our papers involve internal collaborations with other departments inside Sandia National Laboratories or external collaborations with universities or research laboratories within or outside USA. This is because of the extreme friendly collaborative environment and world class specialists here in Sandia National Laboratories. For example, staff scientist Igal Brener has 12 coauthored papers this year although he only has 4 post-docs and 1 student intern. Our collaborations with external universities/labs are boosted by The Center for Integrated Nanotechnologies (CINT), which is a joint center between Sandia National Laboratories and Los Alamos National Laboratories. CINT is a Department of Energy/Office of Science Nanoscale Science Research Center (NSRC) operating as a national user facility devoted to establishing the scientific principles that govern the design, performance, and integration of nanoscale materials.  It is a user facility with experts in variety of fields such as physics, chemistry, biology and computational science. Here in CINT, we have the world class cleanroom facilities open to both universities and industry. The best part is that it is free of charge, as long as you have a very good idea of how to use our facilities to do great science. We have staff scientists, postdocs and technologies here to train you how to use our facilities. Detailed information of CINT can be found here: http://cint.lanl.gov/


Sandia Doc. 2014-3947W

Feb 24

By Howard Lee

If you work in Optics and Photonics, more than likely you have heard about the CLEO US conference. I have been working on Optics and Photonics research for almost 10 years, and have heard from everyone in the community that CLEO is a great peer-reviewed conference. However, because of issues in the past with my visa, I have never been to the CLEO-US conference. This is one of the reasons why I’m very excited about attending CLEO-US this year!

I spent several years in Germany as a graduate student in Max Planck Institute for the Science of Light so I have been to CLEO-Europe twice in 2009 and 2011. The conferences were excellent, and I enjoyed almost everything there, including the short courses, tutorial talks, invited talks, poster sessions, welcome reception and the beer. (yes, German beer is definitely good).

Now I am in US working as a postdoc at California Institute of Technology, and have been invited as a scientific blogger for CLEO-US 2014 in San Jose this year. The first thing I looked up on the CLEO: 2014 official website is the short courses. This is the best place for you to learn something fundamental if you are not very familiar with a particular topic. Scanning through the list of the short courses provided, I find that we have very high-quality speakers lined up this year. As my research focuses are nano-photonics and plasmonics, I am particular interested in the courses of:SCoursePostcard

  • Silicon Photonic Devices and Applications from Michal Lipson (Cornell Univ.)
  • Transformational Optics from Ulf Leonhardt (Weizmann Inst. of Science in Israel)
  • Plasmonics from Mark Brongersma (Stanford Univ.)
  • MetaMaterials from Vladimir M. Shalaev (Purdue Univ.)
  • Quantum Cascade Lasers: Science, Technology, Applications and Markets from Federico Capasso (Harvard Univ.)
  • Nano Photonics: Physics and Techniques from Axel Scherer (Caltech)

Prof. Brongersma’s lectures are the only ones I’ve ever attended amongst the above. According to my personal experience, I would recommend you to attend his short course if you are interested in learning something on plasmonics. I have taken his short courses twice in CLEO-Europe. Prof. Brongersma always gives an excellent course from the basic knowledge to new and interesting ideas about plasmonics. Of course, I believe all courses will be excellent and the choice is all up to you depending on your preferred topic and research interest!

Other than the short courses, I suggest you also look up the titles of the tutorial and invited talks now and find out the exciting talks which are related to your field. I also look forward to seeing the full program schedules and at that time we can go through more carefully all the interesting contributed talks in different topics and all the events.

Let me know if you find any particularly interesting talks at CLEO this year.  I wish I could  attend all of them!  Luckily, CLEO is recording a significant portion of the CLEO technical program.  Full conference registrants can purchase on demand viewing of these talks as an option for only $45 when registering online.

By the way, my name is Howard Lee. I look forward to seeing you at CLEO: 2014 to discuss  the science and  research interests in photonics. Don’t forget to arrange for  registration, hotels, visa etc. in advance, as the US visa application may take 1-2 months depending on the country.

Aug 28
This post originally appeared on CLEO BLOG by Frank Kuo and is reproduced with permission from its author.

     If you think metamaterial has only “invisible cloak” and/or “negative index of refraction” in her hat, think again. Researchers from the school of engineering and applied science at Harvard utilize a powerful feature of the metamaterial to create ultra-thin and flat lens that is diffraction limited. They also create a flat axicon as another example when pioneering in this field (A quick glimpse on the Axicon: A lens with a flat surface on one side, and a conical shape on the other, has the ability to focus a Gaussian beam into a Bessel beam at the focal region, and create hollow ring beam shape in the far field).

     To focus light, we need to create a converging spherical wavefront, or at least, a wavefront that is converging. To do so, we need to introduce different phase retardation on different portion of the incident light. A spherical lens does so by letting the light pass through different amount of material. For example, when light is passing through the center of the lens, it lags behind compared with that passes through the edge of the lens. As a result, there is a phase difference between them. This phase difference, or phase retardation between them, produces a converging wavefront. However, when a plane wave like light passes through a spherical lens, it suffers from spherical aberration. That is to say the spherical lens does not produce a perfectly converging spherical wavefront which is required for the light to focus tightly. The light exiting from the edge of the lens suffers stronger deviation. The best way to solve this so far is to use an aspherical lens to correct this imperfection.

Continue reading »

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Nov 15

This post originally appeared on CLEO BLOG by Frank Kuo and is reproduced with permission from its author.

Figure 1. An invisibility cloak made by a faceted dodecahedral. This simulation shows that the plane wave can propagate through it without too much distortion and objects can be hidden inside the dodecahedral. Courtesy of Oliver Paul, Yaroslav Urzhumov, Christoffer Elsen, David Smith, and Marco Rahm.

Various forms of metamaterial have generated a lot of scientific attention in the past few decades. Some exciting “potential” applications include the well-publicized invisibility cloak (Thanks to Harry Potter). As you may know already, metamaterial gains its bizarre optical property (such as negative index of refraction) by its internal composition or structure, rather than its original physical property. Most metamaterial has its magic only in specific wavelength region and this wavelength region is correlated to how small you can make the internal structures of the metamaterial. This is exactly why almost all the research on metamaterial focuses on THz region since THz has very long wavelength and we do not need to make the structures awfully small to concoct the magic (I did read some articles about “universal metamaterials”, but it seems a long way to go. Let’s dream of that coming in CLEO 2012).

Digging into more details, you can have 2D or 3D metamaterial depending on your applications. 2D metamaterial – or so called metamaterial tiles (m-tiles) – seems to make a huge leap in guiding the advance in the invisibility cloak and sensing platform. And they are easier to make (through the help of photo-lithography, or micro-machining on the surface). With this powerful combination, a booming in this field seems inevitable. Let us take a peek of its potential application in invisibility cloak first: Continue reading »

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May 06

This post originally appeared on CLEO 2011 by Frank Kuo and is reproduced with permission from its author.

Just want to touch a few more fields before we wrap up this amazing CLEO 2011. The truth is, we all learn a lot and we will crave for more soon.

I guess we are by now all familiar with the metamaterials thanks to the powerful broadcasting media and online news. Metamaterials have some complex indices of refractions, which bend the light in a whole new way. Even nature utilizes it. The amazing colors on the butterflies, insects, are all originated from the nanostructures – some variations of metamaterials. However, I realized yesterday, this is OLD news.

Researchers now have something new called (well, new to me) “configurable metamaterials”. Unlike before, a specific metameterial is only suitable for one frequency; nowadays we can tune the properties of them by varying the temperature, through optical pumping, and more. If we use some materials that have strong thermal or optical responses to construct the metamaterials, these phoeneoma can be achieved. The concept seems to be there for quite a while, but it is just thrilling to see the real works have been done.

This morning, Dr. John E. Bowers gave an amazing talk on silicon photonics. I feel like soon in the future, silicon will replace the metallic wires in the computer, become the light source of miniature sizes penetrating to our daily lives, and constitute the cores of our gadgets. Furthermore, the data transmission rate is much higher (with tens of GBs per second, more than enough to watch all channels of HDTV at once), and the heat generation is negligible compared with the computers of modern days.

Continue reading »

Apr 07

Program Chairs Video Interviews: From CLEO website

This post originally appeared on Jim’s Cleo Blog and is reproduced with permission from its author.

If you haven’t been to the CLEO 2011 conference website in the last week (or even if you have), it is worth taking a look at the video interviews with the programming chairs. There are 11 videos addressing the chairs’ top picks for talks, their views of trends in optics, advice for conference goers, and their impressions of CLEO’s scope and impact for optics research.

In the interviews, the chairs spoke in unison of how CLEO is unique among optics conferences in its breadth of research, particularly spanning basic research to market-ready products. On one hand, you can find talks on fundamental quantum mechanics such as those in the Symposium on the Zeno Effect in Optoelectronics and Quantum Optics whose subject delves into the fundamental nature of measurement. The quantum Zeno effect (or paradox) refers to inhibiting quantum transitions by frequent, repeated measurement. On the other hand, in session “Laser Micro and Nano Structuring”, in CLEO: Technology and Applications: Industrial, Guido Hennig from Daetwyler Graphics AG, will give an invited talk, AMD4, “Laser Microstructuring and Processing in Printing Industry, discussing the use of high-power fiber lasers for engraving printing plates, as well as high-speed laser modulation for laser-induced ink transfer. In one of the video interviews, Harold Metcalf, from SUNY Stoneybrook, CLEO:QELS Fundamental Science General Co-Chair, aptly characterizes the wide scope of such interesting topics. “Looking over the program and the titles of the sessions, I feel like a kid in a candy store- with unlimited funds, but limited time. It’s impossible to do everything,” quips Metcalf. To view the “candy store” selection, which I highly recommend as a way of searching for interesting talks you might otherwise miss, go to the conference itinerary planner and click on “Search” and then the “Session Title” drop down menu. You’ll be overwhelmed, impressed, and excited.

Some of the specific goodies highlighted by the program chairs in the video-interviews were contributed papers and invited talks discussing UV LEDs, photovoltaics, nanoscale laser sources, metamaterials, broadband spectroscopy, and integrating optics on-chip….to view the entire original post, click here.

May 23

Before I finalize this post, it is very important to write something about the post-deadline session. Especially that it was outstandingly good! The quality of the talks and the work presented was amazing.

I would also like to mention a very artistic performance of Prof. Evgenii Narimanov from Purdue University (QPDA6), giving a talk on radiation-absorbing metamaterials. The authors developed a new approach to radiation-absorbing systems, based on the broadband super-singularity in the density of states of hyperbolic metamaterials. The broadband singularity leads to a dramatic enhancement of the light scattering from the defects and surface corrugations at the interface of the hyperbolic metamaterials, with nearly all the incident light scattered into the guided modes of the metamaterials. Hyperbolic metamaterials are materials that have one of the components of the dielectric tensor negative, so that in the k-space they are described by two hyperboloids, so that the phase volume and, hence, the density of states limited between them is infinite. The authors have experimentally demonstrated the reduced reflectance from the surface of hyperbolic metamaterials made of silver nanowires upon corrugation. … (May 23, 2010) Click here to read the complete post.

May 21

I have attended most of the session on Nonlinear Integrated Optics, as this subject is of my primary interest. I liked the presentation given by Dr. Pasquazi on Net Parametric Gain in a High Index Doped Silica Waveguide (QWE1). The materials they used in order to obtain phase-matched four-wave mixing with a good efficiency was a special kind of glass, doped with some ions to have a nonlinear refractive index five times greater than that of SiO2, retaining at the same time the low linear and nonlinear absorption in the telecom range. … (May 20, 2010) Click here to read the complete post.

May 20

This post originally appeared on Jim’s Cleo Blog and is reproduced with permission from its author.

Get ready for the post deadline frenzy beginning at 8:00 pm this evening. Make sure to stretch and warm-up properly as you race from room to room. Some areas that caught my interest when browsing through the abstracts were new spectroscopic techniques, novel sources for trace gas detection and molecular fingerprinting, and how to make something really, really, black.

Many of us at CLEO are interested in building or using light sources, particularly lasers. After all, that’s what the “L” stands for in CLEO. However, two papers in tonight’s postdeadline session, CPDA5, “Coherent Perfect Absorbers: Time-reversed Laser,” and CPDA6, “Darker than Black: radiation-absorbing metamaterials,” address either destroying it or fully converting it into another form of energy. The former may be helpful for controlled optical energy transfer, and the latter for optimized energy harvesting in solar cells. Though physically different, both techniques utilize negative contributions of dielectric permittivity (one relies on a negative imaginary part and the other a negative real part).

If you are interested in light absorption, or cool optical analogs to astrophysics, you may also want to check out related work by Evgenii Narimanov, author of CPDA6, using metamaterials to create a propagation medium for EM fields analogous to the curved space-time near a black hole, in this case, an “optical black hole.”

May 07

It’s a tenuous connection, I know, but I want to start this blog with a line from my favorite comedy writer:

“I was thrown out of college for cheating on the metaphysics exam: I looked into the soul of another boy” – Woody Allen.

With more US patent applications filed within the last year than in the previous five years, enigmatic metamaterial science justly deserves scholarly concentration.

For my money the most interesting metamaterial applications emerging from commercial laboratories at the moment are THz sources, EM boundary engineering, and millimeter wave components.

THz sources

Lured by the goal of an ideal THz source, academic and commercial researchers alike are investigating negative-index metamaterials (‘NIMs’) to generate and transmit electromagnetic radiation in the 0.1 to 10 THz range. For example, the use of alternately positive- and negative-index metamaterials in a Smith Purcell antenna to enhance the efficiency of THz radiation is a particularly interesting area of research. Joyously we have a full morning session (CTu THz Metamaterials) to discuss this and other exciting areas of academic and commercial science.

EM boundaries

Electromagnetic (‘EM’) surfaces represent boundaries that can be modeled to influence EM propagation in applications such as spatial filtering, surface wave suppression, surface radiation support and diffraction suppression. For example, low-index metamaterials can be used to form soft and/or hard EM boundaries to provide wider bandwidths than conventional large-scale period structures such as corrugated or strip-loaded dielectric liners. Those interested in this field will be spoilt for choice, but my pick would be the QELS Symposium on Nanophotonics and Metamaterials (QTuH).

Millimeter wave lenses

With millimeter wave (‘MMW’) transducers now being built into automotives for ranging-finding and collision avoidance systems, OEMs are examining the role of metamaterials in reducing the cost of MMW components such as lenses and antennas. The idea here is that since the properties of metamaterials arise from their structure rather than directly from their composition, this may provide route to low-cost manufacturing.  Here the talk (QTuD4) by Vassili Fedotov (Univ. of Southampton) et al seems particularly relevant.

I now want to turn attention to the contentious (in some circles) issue of the presentation of technical papers at CLEO/QELS by commercial entities. By my reckoning, there is novel and deserving metamaterial research underway at corporations such as Rayspan Inc. (San Jose, USA).  Yet scanning the congress proceedings I find no papers from this metamaterial specialist. Did they submit any papers? If not, why not? If yes, why were they not accepted? I’d love to know.

Anyway, must get back to scouring the voluminous CLEO agenda for more nuggets of metamaterial innovation. This reminds me of another eternal one-liner from Woody:

“I took a speed-reading course and read War and Peace in twenty minutes. It involves Russia.”

I’ll say no more!

Dr David Nugent is Founder and CEO of Elucidare Limited, a boutique technology development and investment advisory business.

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