Invited Research Lecture: Designer Plasmonic Structures and Metamaterials for Sub-wavelength Photonics and Nonlinear Optics

Date: 13 Dec 2010 - 13 Dec 2010

Venue: SIMTech Training Room 2


Plasmonic structures and metamaterials have opened up new opportunities for manipulating light at subwavelength scales thus opening up new frontiers in optical materials design and photonics in such areas as imaging, sensing and new optical sources. In this talk, Prof Capasso will present recent research from our group in this area. Through innovative use of plasmonic structures to demonstrate how one can design the far field and near field of state of the art semiconductor lasers and optical fibers.

1Plasmonic laser antennas creating ultrahigh intense near field nanospots in the near infrared, mid-infrared semiconductor lasers with very low divergence and control of polarisation (linear/circular) as well as multibeam lasers. Metamaterials have created unique opportunities for nanophotonics. By patterning the facet of Terahertz quantum cascade lasers with subwavelength periodic structures one can dramatically modify the surface plasmon dispersion curve which leads to a highly collimated THz bean with divergence reduced from ~ 180 deg to 5 deg.

2 Prof Capasso will also discuss his recent work on a new clusters of colloidal core-shell metallic nanoparticles using self-assembly techniques.3 Magnetic activity in trimers at near infrared wavelengths and strikingly pronounced Fano-like resonances in heptamers are among the exciting new findings from light scattering experiments. Such building blocks are an important stepping stone towards novel designer metamaterials synthesized bottom up. Participants will gain a better understanding of the recent experiments with gold plasmonic nanocavity gratings, which are shown to dramatically enhance surface nonlinear optical processes.4 The four-wave mixing signal generated was enhanced by a factor up to ≈ 2000, two orders of magnitude higher than previously reported. 


  9.45am    Registration

10.00am    Prof Capasso's Lecture
12.00pm    End

About the Speaker
Professor Federico Capasso received the Doctor of Physics Degree, Summa cum Lude, from the University of Rome, Italy, in 1973 and after doing research in fiber optics at Fondazione Bordoni in Rome, joined Bell Labs in 1976. In 1984, he was made a Distinguished Member of Technical Staff and in 1997 a Bell Labs Fellow. In addition to his research activity Prof. Capasso has held several management positions at Bell Labs including Head of the Quantum Phenomena and Device Research Department and the Semiconductor Physics Research Department (1987-2000) and Vice President of Physical Research (2000-2002). He joined Harvard on January 1, 2003.  
He is internationally known for his pioneering research on bandstructure engineering of artificially structured semiconductors and devices, which has opened up new directions in materials research, mesoscopic physics, photonics, electronics, and nanotechnology. He and his collaborators invented and developed the quantum cascade laser, a fundamentally new light source, which is now commercial and has potentially wide ranging applications to trace gas analysis and chemical sensing (atmospheric chemistry, combustion diagnostics, pollution monitoring, industrial process control, medical diagnostics, homeland security) and telecommunications.  
His current research in quantum electronics deals with the design of new light sources based on giant optical nonlinearities in quantum wells such as Raman injection lasers, inversioless injection lasers and widely tunable sources of TeraHertz radiation based on difference frequency generation and Raman lasers. He has also carried out research on quantum chaos in deformed microlasers which led him and his collaborators to invent microlasers operating on bow-tie modes. More recently his research has expanded to high-precision measurements of Casmir forces using MEMS (MicroElectroMechanicalSystems) and other quantum electrodynamical effects such as the torque between birefringent materials due to vacuum fluctuations.  

His honors include membership in the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, The European Academy of Sciences and honorary membership in the Franklin Institute.  
In 2005 he received, jointly with Nobel Laureate Frank Wilczek (MIT) and Anton Zeilinger (University of Vienna), the prestigious King Faisal International Prize for Science for his research on quantum cascade lasers. The citation called him “one the most creative and influential physicists in the world”.  On behalf of the American Physical Society, he was awarded the 2004 Arthur L. Schawlow Prize in Laser Science, endowed by the NEC Corporation, for "seminal contributions to the invention and demonstration of the quantum cascade laser and the elucidation of its physics, which bridges quantum electronics, solid-state physics, and materials science." 
In addition, the IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers), the world's largest technical professional organisation, named Capasso the recipient of the 2004 IEEE Edison Medal with the following citation, "For a career of highly creative and influential contributions to heterostructure devices and materials." For the IEEE Spectrum’s 40th anniversary issue Capasso was interviewed along with 38 other leading thinkers from the science and engineering world and asked to gaze out over the technology landscape and describe what they see. 
He is a also recipient of the Wetherill Medal of the Franklin Institute, the R. W. Wood prize of the Optical Society of America, the IEEE Laser and Electro-Optics Society W. Streifer Award for Scientific Achievement, the Materials Research Society Medal, the Rank Prize in Optoelectronics (UK), the Duddell Medal and Prize of the Institute of Physics (UK), The Willis Lamb Medal for Laser Science and Quantum Optics, the Newcomb Cleveland Prize of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Moet Hennessy and Lois Vuitton "Leonardo da Vinci" Prize (France), the Welker Memorial Medal (Germany), the New York Academy of Sciences Award, the IEEE David Sarnoff Award in Electronics, and the Goff Smith prize of the University of Michigan. He received the Bell Labs Fellow and the Bell Labs Distinguished Member of Technical Staff Awards. 
He is a Fellow of the American Physical Society, the Institute of Physics (UK), the Optical Society of America, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, IEEE and SPIE. He holds an honorary doctorate in Electronic Engineering form the University of Bologna, Italy. 
Prof Capasso has co-authored over 300 papers, edited four volumes, and holds over 50 US patents.

Who Should Attend
Scientist, engineer, R&D manager, researchers, industry professionals, academic staff members and engineering students.

Registration for this lecture is free of charge. Seats are available on a first-come, first-served basis. To reserve a place, please register online.

Contact Us
For technical enquiries, please contact Dr Ng Boon Ping, Email:

For general enquiries, please contact Alice Koh, Email: