ECE SEMINAR: Nano-Scale Photonics with Micron-Scale Photons

Apr 8

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Friday, April 8, 2022 – 10:00AM to 11:00AM


Dan Wasserman, Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Texas Austin


The mid-infrared (mid-IR) spectral range (loosely defined as the wavelengths between 3-30µm) has become a burgeoning and dynamic field of research for a variety of technologically vital applications. Nonetheless, the development of the mid-IR optical infrastructure still trails behind that of the shorter, more mature, telecom and visible wavelength ranges. This can be viewed as a challenge of mid-IR optoelectronics research (more expensive, limited efficiency components and materials), or alternatively, as an opportunity. In particular, the mid-IR provides a design space where a wide range of engineered and intrinsic light matter interactions can be harnessed to develop a new generation of optical materials and devices. In this talk, I will discuss recent work developing novel optoelectronic, all-dielectric, plasmonic and phononic materials, devices, and structures for mid-IR wavelength applications. In particular, I will discuss the range of phenomena which can be leveraged to demonstrate unique designer materials, mid-IR devices, and novel characterization techniques. I will focus on recent results demonstrating that all-epitaxial plasmonic materials can be integrated monolithically with quantum engineered optoelectronic materials for enhanced performance mid-IR detectors and emitters. Specifically, by bringing micron-scale photons to nano-scale dimensions, we are able to realize mid-IR optoelectronic devices which outperform the current state-of-the-art. Ultimately, I will make an effort to demonstrate that the mid-IR provides a unique materials playground for the exploration, and implementation, of a range of light-matter interactions.


Dan Wasserman is a Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Texas Austin, where he is affiliated with the Microelectronics Research Center.  Prof. Wasserman earned his Sc.B. degree in Engineering/Physics and History from Brown University in 1998, graduating Summa Cum Laude, Phi Beta Kappa, and with Honors. He received his Master’s and Doctorate in Electrical Engineering from Princeton University in 2000 and 2004, respectively.  Following his PhD, Dr. Wasserman was awarded a Princeton University Council on Science and Technology Post-Doctoral Fellowship. In 2007, Dr. Wasserman joined the University of Massachusetts Lowell faculty as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Physics and Applied Physics.  In 2007, Prof. Wasserman joined the faculty of the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department at the University of Illinois Urbana Champaign, in the Micro and Nanotechnology Lab, becoming an Associate Professor in 2015. In 2016, Professor Wasserman joined the University of Texas at Austin.  Prof. Wasserman is the recipient of the NSF CAREER award and the AFOSR Young Investigator Award, as well as the UIUC Distinguished Promotion Award, and Teaching and Advising awards and commendations at UMass and Illinois.  Prof. Wasserman was elected a Fellow of Optica (formerly the Optical Society of America) in 2018.

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