IEEE Photonics Society

Boston Photonics Society Chapter

Boston Chapter of the IEEE Photonics Society


February 12, 2009
6:30 PM

MIT Lincoln Laboratory

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Subwavelength photonics: from light manipulation to quantum levitation at the nanoscale Slides

Prof. Federico Capasso, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA


Prof. Federico Capasso, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA

Abstract:  Surface Plasmon Polaritons (SSPs) allow one to achieve concentration of light into sub- wavelength regions thus opening up rich new directions in physical optics and photonics A wide range of phenomena and applications enabled by SPPs and bridging several fields, are currently being investigated by our group and will be presented in this talk: (a) plasmonic collimators that have allowed to dramatically reduce the divergence of semiconductor lasers, creating  exciting opportunities in beam  engineering; (b)  plasmonic polarizers for arbitrary control of laser polarization;  (c) new light sources such as plasmonic laser antennas, capable of creating intense nanospots for spatially resolved chemical imaging and ultra high density optical storage; (d)  antenna arrays for surface enhanced Raman scattering; (e) frequency selective surfaces enabled by a new soft lithography technique; (f) optomechanical forces between waveguides at sub-wavelength distances. Finally at this distance scale forces arising from quantum fluctuations of the electromagnetic field cannot be neglected give rising to both attractive and repulsive Casimir forces. The latter, recently measured by us for the first time, could lead to ultralow friction mechanical devices based on quantum levitation.


Biography:  Federico Capasso is the Robert Wallace Professor of Applied Physics at Harvard University, which he joined in 2003 after a 27 years career at Bell Labs where he did research and held several management positions including VP for Physical Research.

He holds a doctor of Physics degree, summa cum laude, from the University of Rome, Italy.  His research has spanned a broad range of topics from applications to basic science in the areas of electronics, photonics, mesoscopic physics, nanotechnology and quantum electrodynamics. He is a co-inventor of the quantum cascade laser, a fundamentally new light source, which has now been commercialized.

He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering and a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences His awards include the King Faisal International Prize for Science, the Arthur Schawlow Prize of the American Physical Society, the IEEE Edison Medal, the Wetherill Medal of the Franklin Institute, the Wood Prize of the Optical Society of America (OSA), the NASA Group Achievement Award, the William Streifer Award of the Laser and Electro-optic Society (IEEE), the Rank Prize in Optoelectronics (UK), the IEEE David Sarnoff Award in Electronics, the Duddell Medal of the Institute of Physics (UK), the Willis Lamb Medal for Laser Science and Quantum Optics, the Materials Research Society Medal, the  "Vinci of Excellence" Prize (France), the  Welker Memorial Medal (Germany), the  New York Academy of Sciences Award, the Newcomb Cleveland Prize of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He is a Fellow of OSA, APS, IEEE, SPIE and AAAS.


Location:  MIT Lincoln Laboratory