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Light-Matter Interaction in Smart Optical Materials


It is well accepted that the future progress in many areas such as optical telecommunications, nonlinear optics, optical imaging, and light emission devices will sensitively rely on the availability of novel and/or strongly improved optical materials.
Metamaterials have recently opened an exciting gateway to reach unprecedented physical properties and functionality unattainable from naturally existing materials. The artificial “atoms” and “molecules” in metamaterials can be tailored in shape and size, the lattice constant and inter-atomic interaction can be precisely tuned, and “defects” can be designed and placed at desired locations. The recent demonstration of negative refraction in bulk optical left-handed metamaterials is only one excellent example of new exciting physics arising from these materials. Yet such demonstrations are only the tips of the iceberg of what might possible with artificially engineered optical materials.
This project sets to explore the revolutionary physics of optical metamaterials, covering nonlinear optical phenomena and wave dispersion engineering, adaptive polarization control of waves using chiral metamaterials with real time reconfigurations, optical loss compensation, and modification of light emission. The unique properties of metamaterials arising from their specific configurations opening up exciting new venues for device development in the fields of all-optical data processing, optical meta-nanocircuits, light collection for solar energy harvesting, superlenses for perfect imaging, perfect mirrors, and electromagnetic cloaks.
The project will investigate the possibilities of enhanced light-matter interaction and novel nonlinear optical processes in metamaterials. It will cover fundamental investigations of the origin and the design of effective nonlinearities, as well as their potential for optical devices. The findings will be combined with new design methodologies such as Transformation Optics and Hybrid Optical approaches.

Call for proposal

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Warburger Strasse 100
33098 Paderborn
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
EU contribution
€ 100 000
Administrative Contact
Daniela Gerdes (Ms.)