Dielectric Antennas

Antennas are at the heart of modern radio and microwave frequency communications technologies. Researchers have recently extended antenna concepts to the optical frequency domain, greatly enhancing light-matter interactions in a variety of nanophotonic systems (e.g. solar cells, molecular sensors, optical tweezers) [1]. Thus far, optical antennas have primarily been constructed from metallic materials which support plasmonic resonances. In contrast, we have recently exploited the scattering resonances of high-permittivity semiconductor nanowires to realize all-dielectric optical antennas. These systems exhibit a series of multipole resonances (Fig. 1) with unique properties [2] that enable novel antenna-based metamaterials [3], light emitters [4], photodetectors [5], and solar cells [6-8].

Selected Publications

Affiliated Researchers

Nikita Butakov received his Bachelors in Electrical Engineering and Mathematics from SUNY Buffalo in 2013. He is currently pursuing a Ph.D. at the University of California at Santa Barbara. He is a DOD NDSEG Fellow. His research focuses upon using unique metal-dielectric transitions in VO2 to construct tunable metasurfaces.

Light-matter interactions at the nanoscale depend on both properties of the illuminating light, and properties of the nanostructure under consideration. To better understand these interactions, Tanya studies the effects of illumination engineering on multipolar resonances in sub-wavelength particles.  Of particular interest are the spectral response and radiative properties of sub-wavelength structures, as well as the selective excitation of individual multipolar resonances through beam engineering.  Tanya established a "local field theory" approach to understanding the multipolar resonances of spherical nanoparticles, and has used this to develop novel computation time-saving techniques for running FDTD electromagnetics simulations.

We study the optical properties of organic and semiconducting thin films in order to understand the connection between thin film morphology and optical anisotropies.  With this, we hope to gain insight into the fundamental electric and magnetic light-matter interactions in these systems, as well as possible ways of increasing absorption/emission properties in, e.g., LEDs.


See Publications.

 Efficient control of light-matter interaction at the nanoscale.