Faculty Candidate Seminar
Optical Forces and Slow Light in Nanophotonics
Advances in nanofabrication techniques now allow us to pattern materials on a scale smaller than the wavelength of light. I will show how computational simulations can be used to explore novel optical phenomena in nanofabricated devices such as photonic crystals and guide device design. First, I explore the use of optical (or radiation-pressure) forces for reconfiguration and positioning of integrated optical devices. Calculations on waveguide, microsphere, and photonic-crystal systems show that light forces should lead to significant displacements, opening a new route for all-optical control. Second, I describe how dynamically-tuned photonic crystals can be used to slow down the speed of light on-chip, mimicking atomic systems. Thirdly, I describe mechanisms for reducing the propagation losses due to disorder and light leakage in miniaturized nanophotonic waveguides.
Dr. Michelle L. Povinelli is a postdoctoral researcher at Stanford University in the Ginzton Laboratory and the Department of Electrical Engineering. She received a PhD in Physics from MIT in 2004, an M. Phil. in Physics from the University of Cambridge in 1998, and a BA with Honors in Physics from the University of Chicago in 1997. She was awarded several graduate fellowships for her doctoral work, including the Lucent Technologies GRPW Fellowship, the NSF Graduate Fellowship, the MIT Karl Taylor Compton Fellowship, and the Churchill Fellowship. In 2006, she was selected as one of five national recipients of a $20,000 L'or éal For Women in Science Postdoctoral Fellowship grant. She has co-authored twenty refereed journal articles and holds two US Patents.