The research efforts are organized into three thrusts, outlined below.
- Applications Drivers and Experimentation
- This work will demonstrate ultra-compact devices from wavelength division multiplexing, aperiodic plasmonic structures to enhance photo-detection and energy generation, and high-Q nano-scale light localization. The success of each of these tasks represents a significant breakthrough in on-chip photonics. Integrated together, they form the foundation that leads to intelligent photonic chips.
- Advances in Simulations, Optimizations and Theory
- The overall goal of this effort is to develop a conceptual and computational framework that enables fast systematic design and intuitive understanding of complex non-periodic nanophotonic structures. These efforts will strongly be motivated by the application drivers outlined above, and the theoretical development will enable new and more rapid advances in experiments. We will establish the basic theoretical bound on the performance of non-periodic structures and validate it with extensive numerical simulations, as well as develop ultra-efficient electromagnetic simulation techniques specifically tailored for fast optimization, and the theory for photonic and plasmonic quasi-crystals. We will also develop advanced optimization techniques for designing structures with high performance that are robust against fabrication inaccuracies and disorders.
- Integration and Control
- The end goal of this effort is to develop intelligent photonic chips, building upon and integrating the theoretical and experimental capabilities described above. We will develop an ultra-compact coupler that enables integration of sources, waveguides, filters, switches and detectors. We will integrate dynamic modulation, photodetectors and CMOS electronics to enable direct and feedback control of complex nanophotonic circuits. We will also develop strategies for co-design and optimization of both the structure of the nanophotonic circuits, and the dynamic sequence that controls it.