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OSE Seminar by Dr. Stavroula Foteinopoulou on Extreme infrared photonics with phonon-polaritons

Departmental News

Dr. Stavroula Foteinopoulou  seminar image

Posted: February 13, 2018

Date: Wednesday, February 14, 2018 

Time:  11:00 AM to Noon

Location:  P&A, Room 190 

Map to P&A:

Parking is available in the parking structure on Lomas just east of the Lomas and Yale intersection.


To enable new capabilities with modern photonic devices, entirely new extreme domains of light control must be reached. Extreme spatial or temporal light properties are desirable, such as deep-subwavelength light confinement, giant electromagnetic (EM) enhancement, unidirectionality or ultra-slow light-propagation speed. Throughout the EM spectrum, new ways of controlling light are continually investigated. The vast range of conceived platforms for unconventional light control have all an underlying common characteristic; all exploit a judicious synergy between the optical material responses of the constituent building blocks and their geometry and arrangement in space.

For light in the optical regime, metal-based building blocks have completely transformed traditional Optics as we knew it, by breaking the diffraction limit in both focusing and waveguiding, and even bringing lasing to the nanoscale. All these extra-ordinary effects emanate from the plasmonic properties of the metal, which enable well-localized high-intensity resonances at metallic interfaces. These new effects, gave rise to the exciting and continuously growing field of plasmonics. Although metallic-based platforms have been used also for infrared light, the progress with infrared metal-based platforms has not mirrored the advancements of plasmonics in the optical regime.

In this talk, I will explain what are the limitations of metal Optics for infrared light. I will discuss another class of materials, phonon-polariton materials or otherwise known as Reststrahlen-band materials, that have been hitherto overlook for infrared photonic applications due to their near-perfect reflector properties in bulk form. I will explain how the full plasmonic “powerhouse” can be unleashed for infrared light with the use of phonon-polariton materials. I will present examples of infrared phonon-polariton platforms from our work demonstrating interesting capabilities such as exotic EM wave dispersions as well as artificial magnetism. Finally, I will focus my discussion on our recent results on phonon-polariton enabled uni-directional absorption and thermal emission. 

Speaker's Biography

Stavroula Foteinopoulou is a Research Professor with the Electrical and  Computer Engineering Dept. (ECE) of University of New Mexico. She  received her Ph.D. in Condensed Matter Physics from Iowa State  University, and has held post-doctoral positions in U. of Namur  (Belgium) as well as the Institute of Electronic Structure and Laser  (IESL) of FORTH (Greece). She was a Lecturer at the University of Exeter  (UK) until 2014 prior to joining Univ. of New Mexico. Her research in  theoretical/computational photonics focuses on conceiving new photonic  structured materials for extra-ordinary light control across the EM  spectrum. She has authored more than 30 journal publications and  conferencepapers, which have attracted to-date more than 2800 citations  (source google scholar). She also holds one US patent. Stavroula is  serving as an associate editor for the OSA Optical Materials Express  (OMEX) Journal, as well as for the Journal of the European Optical  Society: Rapid Publications (JEOS-RP). She is also a Chair of the annual  SPIE conference Active Photonic Platforms. In 2016 she was recognized  by the American Physical Society (APS) as an outstanding referee.