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Control of the Structure of Light at the Nanoscale

Objective

In the last decade, the fields of nanoplasmonics and photonic crystals have opened up the nanoscale for optical control. Both the flow and emission of light can be controlled at these small length scales, giving rise to new science and applications. Interestingly, freely propagating light beams can already contain nanoscale features, i.e. optical singularities. Little is known about this nanoscale structure of light.
I propose to (1) reveal the structure of light at the nanoscale and its interaction with geometrical structures or other light structures; and (2) achieve full spatio-temporal control of the nanoscale structure of light. Crucial to achieving these goals are technological innovations, which will be crosscutting objectives. These include the first nonlinear vectorial scanning near-field microscope and novel near-field probes allowing access to new combinations of vector fields.
This next step in the field of nano-optics is possible due to recent breakthroughs in the control and visualization of light at the nanoscale obtained in my group. I will combine newly acquired access to the vectorial nature of light with its active control to investigate how (deep-) subwavelength structures of light of different frequencies affect each other when coupled through a nonlinear interaction in a nanostructured material. In parallel I will focus on optical singularities. Because of their extreme size, small changes in their position will lead to huge effects in the local light fields, opening up potential for all-optical and therefore ultrafast control.
The research will lead to innovations in the visualization and control of light at the nanoscale, access to the magnetic component of light, nanoscale nonlinear optics and coherent control of light fields. The knowledge gain will be crucial for applications like ultrasensitive biosensors based on superchiral light, ultrafast magneto-optics and nanoscale quantum optics.

Field of science

  • /natural sciences/physical sciences/optics
  • /engineering and technology/materials engineering/crystals
  • /natural sciences/physical sciences/quantum physics/quantum optics
  • /engineering and technology/environmental biotechnology/biosensing

Call for proposal

ERC-2013-ADG
See other projects for this call

Funding Scheme

ERC-AG - ERC Advanced Grant

Host institution

TECHNISCHE UNIVERSITEIT DELFT
Address
Stevinweg 1
2628 CN Delft
Netherlands
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
EU contribution
€ 1 695 469,24
Principal investigator
Laurens Kuipers (Prof.)
Administrative Contact
Jose Van Vugt (Ms.)

Beneficiaries (2)

TECHNISCHE UNIVERSITEIT DELFT
Netherlands
EU contribution
€ 1 695 469,24
Address
Stevinweg 1
2628 CN Delft
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Principal investigator
Laurens Kuipers (Prof.)
Administrative Contact
Jose Van Vugt (Ms.)
STICHTING NEDERLANDSE WETENSCHAPPELIJK ONDERZOEK INSTITUTEN

Participation ended

Netherlands
EU contribution
€ 798 130,76
Address
Winthontlaan 2
3526 KV Utrecht
Activity type
Research Organisations
Administrative Contact
Bart Van Leijen (Mr.)