IEEE Photonics Society

Boston Photonics Society Chapter

Boston Chapter of the IEEE Photonics Society


May 11, 2023
6 PM

MIT Lincoln Laboratory Forbes Road

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On-Chip Petahertz Electronics: From Science to Technology

Dr. Phillip D. Keathley, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA


Dr. Phillip D. Keathley, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA

Abstract:  When driven by intense, few-cycle optical field waveforms, nanoscale plasmonic antennas can emit free-electrons from nanometer-scale regions in space having sub-cycle temporal structure.  The emitted photocurrent is sensitive to the carrier-envelope phase of the driving waveform, and can be used to probe dynamics with attosecond-scale resolution.  In this talk, I will first review our team's work investigating the sub-optical-cycle, sub-femtosecond free-electron emission dynamics from plasmonic nanoantennas.  I will then present how the sub-cycle, field-sensitive nature of the electron emission process enables fundamentally new technologies for optical detection.  Our work demonstrating on-chip, electrically-connected devices for carrier envelope phase detection and optical field sampling with attosecond-scale resolution will be reviewed.  Before concluding, I will discuss how we plan to build on this work for further development of petahertz-scale technologies for optical field detection.


Biography:  Dr. Keathley is a Principal Research Scientist in the Research Laboratory of Electronics (RLE) at MIT.  His research experience spans the areas of ultrafast optics, strong-field science, attosecond physics, nanophotonics, nanoelectronics, and plasmonics. He is currently co-group leader of the Quantum Nanostructures and Nanofabrication group at MIT where he leads teams that develop optical-field-driven petahertz electronics, nanoscale free-electron light sources, and radiation-hard nanoscale vacuum-electronics.

He received his B.Sc. and M.Sc. degrees in Electrical Engineering from University of Kentucky in 2009 where he was named an Astronaut Scholar.  He received his PhD in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from MIT in 2015 where he studied as a National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate Fellow (NDSEG).  In 2018 he was named an Air Force Office of Scientific Research Young Investigator for work investigating methods for petahertz processing of optical fields using nanoscale electron emitters.


Location:  MIT Lincoln Laboratory Forbes Road