Nicholas X. Fang

Tunable Light-matter Interaction With Quantum Spillover and 2D materials

Speaker: Nicholas Fang, MIT

Abstract: Recently, exciting new physics of plasmonics has inspired a series of key explorations to manipulate, store and control the flow of information and energy at unprecedented dimensions. In this talk I will report our recent efforts on controlling light absorption and emission process through quantum effects in sub-20nm scale coatings. For example, we experimentally demonstrated strong absorption of 20nm thin oxides in the visible spectrum assisted by silver films. We found such a broadband light absorption below the bandgap of the oxide is a manifestation of quantum electron tunneling that penetrate into the thin oxide layer, and it is controlled by the static dielectric constant of the oxide instead of dopant. We also found quantum emitters on a graphene-hBN heterostructure can be switched on and off at mid infrared, by transferring energy into surface phonon polaritons, and this effect can be electrically tuned by biasing the graphene layer. I will also discuss application of these nanostructure for efficient light harvesting and controllable emission, with potential impact in high resolution mid-IR spectroscopy and imaging.

Biosketch: Nicholas X. Fang received his BS and MS in physics from Nanjing University, and his PhD in mechanical engineering from University of California Los Angeles. He arrived at MIT in Jan 2011 as Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering. Prior to MIT, he worked as an assistant professor at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. Professor Fang’s areas of research look at nanophotonics and nanofabrication.  His recognitions include the ASME Chao and Trigger Young Manufacturing Engineer Award (2013); the ICO prize from the International Commission of Optics (2011); an invited participant of the Frontiers of Engineering Conference by National Academies in 2010; the NSF CAREER Award (2009) and MIT Technology Review Magazine’s 35 Young Innovators Award (2008).