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.

From a more fundamental perspective, nanophotonic devices can 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.

Specific projects that utilize these ideas and technology, and that our lab is interested in pursuing are listed below. For updates on our latest work, check our publications and conference activities.

Diamond nanophotonics, nanomechanics and quantum optics with nitrogen vacancy (NV) centers: NV centers are one of the most promising solid state systems for realizing qubits. Group members have recently developed diamond optomechanical waveguides and cavities with a unique combination of low optical and mechanical loss, and that enable the control of quantum states of NV centers in novel ways.

Nanocavity torque sensing: 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.

Dissipative cavity optomechanics: Two studies (here and here) from our group have revealed highly dissipative behaviour in nanocavity optomechanical devices. On-going research is focused on using this coupling mechanism for efficient optical cooling of nanomechanical devices, potentially enabling studies of the quantum mechanical properties of these structures.

High-cooperativity optomechanics: Gallium phosphide microcavities allow a large number of photons to be strongly coupled to nanomechanical resonances. These devices are promising for achieving coherent optomechanical-coupling, an effect being explored in collaboration with Kartik Srinivasan's group at NIST.

Nonlinear optics in GaP: 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.