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Less is More: A New Class of Optics with Zero Refractive Index for the Applications in Nanophotonics, Nonlinear Optics, and Quanum Entanglement

William Mong Distinguished Lecture by Professor Eric Mazur
Mar 24, 2017

Date: March 24, 2017 (Friday)

Time: 4:30pm – 5:30pm (Reception 4:00pm)

Venue: Lecture Theatre A, Chow Yei Ching Building, HKU

Speaker: Professor Eric Mazur
                     Area Dean of Applied Physics and
                     Balkanski Professor of Physics and of Applied Physics
                     Harvard University

Abstract:
Nanotechnology has enabled the development of nanostructured composite materials (metamaterials) with exotic optical properties not found in nature. In the most extreme case, we can create materials which support light waves that propagate with infinite phase velocity, corresponding to a refractive index of zero. This zero index can only be achieved by simultaneously controlling the electric and magnetic resonances of the nanostructure. We present an in-plane metamaterial design consisting of silicon pillar arrays, embedded within a polymer matrix and sandwiched between gold layers. Using an integrated nano-scale prism constructed of the proposed material, we demonstrate unambiguously a refractive index of zero in the optical regime. This design serves as a novel on-chip platform to explore the exotic physics of zero-index metamaterials, with applications to super-coupling, integrated quantum optics, and phase matching.

Biography:
Prof. Eric Mazur is an internationally recognized scientist and researcher, he leads a vigorous research program in optical physics and supervises one of the largest research groups in the Physics Department at Harvard University. Prof. Mazur founded several companies and plays an active role in industry. He is the Vice President of the Optical Society.

Prof. Mazur has made important contributions to spectroscopy, light scattering, the interaction of ultrashort laser pulses with materials, and nanophotonics. Prof. Mazur received an Honorary Doctorate from the Ecole Polytechnique and the University of Montreal (2008) and holds Honorary Professorships from Beijing University of Technology, Beijing Normal University, and the Institute of Semiconductor Physics of the Chinese Academy of Sciences.

Prof. Eric Mazur has received numerous awards, including the Esther Hoffman Beller award from the Optical Society of America and the Millikan Medal from the American Association of Physics Teachers. In 2014, Prof. Mazur became the inaugural recipient of the Minerva Prize for Advancements in Higher Education. He is Fellow of the Optical Society of America and Fellow of the American Physical Society. He is a Member of the Royal Academy of Sciences of the Netherlands and a Member of the Royal Holland Society of Sciences and Humanities. He has held appointments as Visiting Professor or Distinguished Lecturer at Princeton University, Vanderbilt University, the University of Leuven in Belgium, National Taiwan University in Taiwan, Carnegie Mellon University, and The University of Hong Kong.

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All are welcome!