IEEE Photonics Society

Boston Photonics Society Chapter

Boston Chapter of the IEEE Photonics Society


September 12, 2013
6:30 PM

MIT Lincoln Laboratory

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Singular Nano-Photonics: Hydrodynamics-Inspired Light Trapping And Routing Slides

Dr. Svetlana V. Boriskina, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA


Dr. Svetlana V. Boriskina, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA

Abstract:  Efficient delivery of light into nanoscale volumes enables technological innovation in biosensing, spectroscopy, photovoltaics and quantum computing. I will discuss a new approach to trap and manipulate light in nanoscale structures, which is fundamentally different from the traditional way of designing that treats photonic and plasmonic components as nanoscale analogs of radio frequency antennas and waveguides. This approach draws inspiration from hydrodynamics, which studies how the flow of fluids can be manipulated by obstacles strategically positioned in the flow path. In particular, I will show how optical energy flow can be molded into optical vortices – tornado-like areas of circular motion of energy flux – which are 'pinned' to nanostructures and connected into transmission-like sequences. Optical vortices form around points of destructive interference (i.e., zero field intensity accompanied by a phase singularity), and thus the design focus shifts from achieving constructive interference of electromagnetic fields to creating phase singularities at pre-designed positions.

The structures sustaining coupled vortex sequences were termed Vortex Nanogear Transmissions (VNTs). Just as mechanical gears and hydrodynamic turbines form the basis of complex machinery, VNTs can be combined into complex reconfigurable networks to enable nanoscale light routing and switching. Efficient light nanofocusing in VNTs can be explained by invoking an analogy of the ‘photon fluid,’ whose kinetic energy is locally increased via convective acceleration and then converted into pressure energy to generate localized areas of high field intensity. I will demonstrate several nano-photonic platforms designed and fabricated in the frame of the new approach, which enable efficient light trapping and routing with low dissipative losses.

Recommended reading before the seminar:


Biography:  Svetlana V. Boriskina is a Research Scientist at the MIT Mechanical Engineering Department. She obtained her M.Sc. Degree in Radiophysics & Electronics (summa cum laude) and Ph.D. degree in Physics & Mathematics from Kharkov National University (Ukraine). Prior to her current job at MIT, Svetlana worked as a NATO/Royal Society Postdoctoral Fellow at University of Nottingham (UK), a Senior Research Scientist at Kharkov National University, and a Research Associate at Boston University. Her current research interests include nano-photonics, plasmonics, optoelectronics, metamaterials, photovoltaics, biosensing and heat transfer. Dr. Boriskina is a holder of the Joint Award of the International Commission for Optics and the Abdus Salam International Centre for Theoretical Physics, an IEEE MTT Society Graduate Scholarship Award, and a Fellowship in Advanced Electromagnetics from the SUMMA Foundation. She served as a guest editor for Optics Express and as a member or the chair on numerous conference and award committees in the fields of optics, plasmonics, microwave engineering, and mathematical physics.


Location:  MIT Lincoln Laboratory