Center member attends APS March 2014 meeting

The APS March Meeting was held this year at Denver, CO from March 3rd to 7th. It is considered one of the major conferences in physics and the most well attended event amongst physicists. More than 8000 attendees and exhibitors from around the world presented their innovative work during the five-day conference program.

I have been invited to chair a session with title ‘Plasmonics and Metamaterials’. I also presented a poster about all-optical switching effects with nonlinear film-coupled nanoantennas. The presentations in my session were very interesting and raised a lot of interest amongst the audience. During the presentation of my poster, I received interesting feedback regarding our results from other research groups, which focus their studies in similar research areas.

Several talks were dedicated in metamaterial and plasmonic research. There were several focus sessions about plasmonic devices based on 2D materials, such as graphene, hBN, MoS2 and many more. In particular, Prof. Basov’s group from UCSD presented several exciting results about ultra-confined surface plasmons in graphene and phonon polaritons in hexagonal boron nitride (hBN) crystals. Prof. Baumberg from Cambridge, UK demonstrated tunable plasmonic structures based on graphene and gold plasmonic resonators. Prof. Engheta from Upenn had an interesting invited talk about digital metamaterials and ultrathin metasurfaces to achieve signal processing. Several groups presented nonlinear and tunable plasmonic and metamaterial devices during the meeting. It seems that the research efforts in metamaterial community are moving towards the design of ‘metadevices’ and ‘metasystems’, instead of just single metamaterial unit cells. These advances will lead to the implementation of integrated metamaterial and nanophotonic circuits with exciting new functionalities.

Innovative solar energy harvesting devices were presented from Prof. Brongersma. His research group in Stanford is focused in developing different ways to achieve efficient and robust photon management in the nanoscale. Their efforts will eventually lead to the design of more efficient and thinner solar cells. The Rabi splitting in nanophotonic cavities formed by the combination of excitons and plasmons was studied by Halas group from Rice University. Prof. Li from UT Austin presented two interesting works about assembling three-dimensional optical stereo-nanocircuits and magnetic plasmonic structures. Several efficient acoustic metamaterial absorber designs were presented by Prof. Sheng from Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. Finally, Prof. Nelson from MIT spoke about THz metamaterials and their great potentials as tunable THz devices.

In addition, each day consisted by a poster session with approximately 150 contributions from researchers around the world. To sum up, it was one of the most interesting conferences in the research areas of metamaterials and plasmonics from the physicist perspective. It was a great opportunity to meet and discuss about the recent advances in these evolving research areas."