Photonics, Materials, and Sensors

The dramatic advances in nano-manufacturing have revolutionized the fields of optics and electronics. Composite materials referred to as electromagnetic metamaterials can provide the means to precisely control the flow of light and overcome previously believed physical limitations such as the diffraction of light. This is accomplished by precise nano-engineering of the composite materials which is equivalent to virtually creating new types of quasi-atoms and quasi-molecules. The potential of the field of metamaterials has been broadly recognized by the scientific community with the TIME magazine including it as one of the Top 10 Scientific Discoveries of 2008. The Center for Applied Physics Studies (CAPS) has been at the forefront of this emerging interdisciplinary field of study with our faculty working on

  • metamaterials and electromagnetic invisibility devices,
  • optical traps and mimicking gravitational effects in the lab,
  • plasmonic and nanophotonic devices,
  • optoelectronics devices operating at switching rates up to 1THz,
  • enhanced photovoltaic elements and solar cells,
  • thermal and microwave sensors,
  • electromagnetic radiation of biological tissue and
  • sub-diffraction optical microscopy.

Research Highlights

Dr. Genov’s research entitled “Mimicking celestial mechanics in metamaterials” was featured on the cover of the Nature Physics magazine. This work has attracted a broad academic and public interest with a number of feature articles published in the US and foreign media. A follow up experimental work in collaboration with Nanjing University (China) and published in Nature Photonics has demonstrated the predicted analogous gravitational lensing and trapping of light effects on a microchip. Dr. Genov’s work “Trapping light by mimicking gravitational lensing,” published in Nature Photonics, was featured by Nature magazine (“Curved space-time on a chip”), Scientific American (“Curved spacetime mimicked on a chip“), The Huffington Post (“Space-time curvature simulated on microchip for first time ever”), NewScientist (“Light bending black hole mimic is first you can watch“) and Science News. Dr. Simicevic reveals how light truly interacts with the human eye. (Click on the  photo to see a movie). TEDx Louisiana Tech University: In an invited TED presentation entitled “How to transform sewers into Energy”, Dr. Arun Jaganathan discusses how a system installed in the sewer can become a source of energy. (May 9, 2012) (Click on the photo to listen to the talk).

Dr. Genov’s research entitled “Quasi-effective medium theory for multilayered magneto-dielectric structures” was featured on the cover of the Journal of Optics. This work has proposed a radically new approach toward the design of complex optical systems with applications in optical invisibility devices and efficient nanoscopic light absorbers.