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Enabling Nanophotonics, Data Storage and Energy Conversion with New Plasmonic Materials

Feb 4, 2015
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ABOUT THIS WEBINAR
Over the past decade, one of the major focal points for the area of nanophotonics has been developing a new class of plasmonic structures and metamaterials as potential building blocks for advanced optical technologies, including data processing, exchange and storage; a new generation of cheap, enhanced-sensitivity sensors; nanoscale-resolution imaging techniques; new concepts for energy conversion including improved solar cells, as well as novel types of light sources.

Designing plasmonic metamaterials with versatile properties that can be tailored to fit almost any practical need promises a range of potential breakthroughs. However, to enable these new technologies based on plasmonics, grand limitations associated with the use of metals as constituent materials must be overcome. In the structures demonstrated so far, too much light is absorbed in the metals (such as silver and gold) commonly used in plasmonic metamaterials. The fabrication and integration of metal nanostructures with existing semiconductor technology is challenging, and the materials need to be more precisely tuned so that they possess the proper optical properties to enable the required functionality.

Our recent research aims at developing novel plasmonic materials (other than the metals used so far) that will form the basis for future low-loss, CMOS-compatible devices that could enable full-scale development of plasmonic and metamaterial technologies. In this work, we replace metals with new plasmonic ceramics, such as transition metal nitrides, whose properties resemble those of gold. However, unlike gold, these materials have tunable optical properties. They are also cost-effective, robust, refractory (withstanding very high temperatures) and compatible with standard semiconductor processing.

Here, we will demonstrate that titanium nitride’s addition to the short list of plasmonic materials paves the way to a new class of data recording systems and CMOS-compatible, on-chip hybrid nanophotonic devices with unprecedented compactness, speed and efficiency. TiN may also enable novel energy conversion schemes. This talk will cover the new material platform, as well as novel designs and concepts for nanophotonic devices, data storage and energy conversion.

Presenter Vladimir "Vlad" M. Shalaev is the scientific director for nanophotonics at the Birck Nanotechnology Center and distinguished professor of electrical and computer engineering at Purdue University, specializes in nanophotonics, plasmonics and optical metamaterials. He has received several awards for his research in the field of nanophotonics and metamaterials, including the Max Born Award of The Optical Society (OSA) for his pioneering contributions to the field of optical metamaterials, the Willis E. Lamb Award for Laser Science and Quantum Optics, the UNESCO Medal for the development of nanosciences and nanotechnologies, and the OSA and SPIE Joseph W. Goodman Book Writing Award. He is a Fellow of the IEEE, APS, SPIE, and OSA. Shalaev has authored three books, 26 invited book chapters and more than 400 research publications.
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