We study topics in nanophotonics, quantum optics, and nonlinear optics. Generally, the goal of research in nanophotonics is to create technology to manipulate light within micro- and nanoscale circuits. Nanophotonic circuits are created with many of the same nanoscale fabrication and patterning tools and techniques used to create electronic microchips, and are beginning to play a role in high performance computing and data center architectures at companies like HP, IBM and Intel, and in quantum computing technologies being developed by a growing list of startups.

From a more fundamental perspective, nanophotonic devices create extremely high electromagnetic energy densities at even the single photon level. They accomplish this by concentrating optical energy into nanoscale volumes, and trapping it there for relatively long lengths of time (above a nanosecond, which is a million times longer than a single oscillation at the frequency of light). These enhanced electromagnetic energy densities result in strong interactions between light and the nanophotonic devices, and amplify nominally small optical effects such as nonlinear absorption and optical coupling to mechanical resonances. In the ultimate limit, even for a weak input consisting of only a single photon, these effects can significantly modify the linear response of a nanophotonic device.

Broad efforts being developed in the lab utilizing these ideas and technolog are listed below. For updates on our latest work, check our publications and conference activities.

Diamond quantum nanophotonics and nanomechanics

Impurities in diamond are one of the most promising solid state systems for realizing qubits. Group members have recently developed diamond waveguides and cavities that are among the best in the world for applications in quantum optomechanics (controlling single quanta of mechanical vibration with light) and spin-phonon coupling.

Using these devices we are working to create several technologies aimed at quantum applications: quantum memories (based on both optomechanics and spin storage), efficient light-matter interfaces for quantum networking, quantum devices that harness phonons for controlling and coupling qubits, wavelength converters, and more.

Nanophotonic cavity optomechanical sensors

We have recently demontrated nanocavity optomechanical devices which can detect sources of torque with unprecedented sensitivity. The these structure are currently being used to probe nanomagnetic phenomena and demomstrate magnetic field sensors with unique combination of spatial resolution, sensitivity and dynamic range.

Nonlinear optics

Thanks to its large electronic bandgap, GaP is one few semiconductors which is transparent at both visible and telecom wavelengths. This makes it a promising material for nonlinear and quantum optics applications involving frequency and photon pair conversion. These experiments are on-going, and have the potential to result in highly-efficient chip-based sources of quantum light. We recently demonstrated conversion of light from 1550nm to 775nm with record efficiency using these devices, and want to next use them to create entangled photon pairs for quantum communication.