Following the same paradigm shift that integrated circuits has brought to microelectronics, photonic integration is starting to transform almost every aspects of optics by enabling chip-scale microphotonic systems with performances rivaling their conventional bulk counterparts. New materials, device architectures and system integration approaches combined are defining and expediting the upcoming microphotonic revolution.
Advances in materials science and engineering are key components of the innovation process. In this four-part series we highlight areas of materials research driving breakthroughs in technology.
Each 2-hour webinar will feature two faculty speakers who will provide complementary perspectives on technology challenges and opportunities and provide an overview of related research activities at MIT. Ten students will also give short presentations on their recent research results, followed by parallel break-out sessions for detailed discussions.
Jewan John Bae comes to MIT Corporate Relations with more than 20 years of experience in the specialty chemicals and construction industries. He facilitates fruitful relationships between MIT and the industry, engaging with executive level managers to understand their business challenges and match them with resources within the MIT innovation ecosystem to help meet their business objectives.
Bae’s areas of expertise include new product commercialization stage gate process, portfolio management & resource planning, and strategic planning. He has held various business leadership positions at W.R. Grace & Co., the manufacturer of high-performance specialty chemicals and materials, including Director of Strategic Planning & Process, Director of Sales in the Americas, and Global Strategic Marketing Director. Bae is a recipient of the US Army Commendation Medal in 1986.
Professor Thompson joined the MIT faculty in 1983. He is Director of MIT’s Materials Research Laboratory and co-Director of the Skoltech Center for Electrochemical Energy Storage. His research interests include processing of thin films and nanostructures for applications in microelectronic, microelectromechanical, and electrochemical systems. Current activities focus on development of thin film batteries for autonomous microsystems, IC interconnect and GaN-based device reliability, and morphological stability of thin films and nano-scale structures. Thompson holds an SB in materials science and engineering from MIT and a PhD in applied physics from Harvard University.
Juejun (JJ) Hu received the B.S. degree from Tsinghua University, China, in 2004, and the Ph.D. degree from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA, USA, in 2009, both in materials science and engineering. He is currently the Merton C. Flemings Career Development Associate Professor at MITs Department of Materials Science and Engineering. His primary research interest is enhanced photonmatter interactions in nanophotonic structures, with an emphasis on on-chip spectroscopy and chemical sensing applications using novel infrared glasses. Prior to joining MIT, he was an Assistant Professor at the University of Delaware from 2010 to 2014., Hu has authored and coauthored more than 60 refereed journal publications since 2006 and has been awarded six U.S. patents. He has been recognized with the National Science Foundation Faculty Early Career Development award, the Gerard J. Mangone Young Scholars Award, the University of Delaware College of Engineering Outstanding Junior Faculty Member, the University of Delaware Excellence in Teaching Award, among others.,Dr. Hu is currently the Deputy Editor of the OSA journal Optical Materials Express, and he is a Member on technical program committees for conferences including MRS, CLEO, OSA Congress, ACerS GOMD, ICG, and others. (Based on document published on 13 September 2016)
Microphotonics, which replaces traditional bulk optical systems with their miniaturized chip-scale counterparts, has enabled broad applications ranging from communications to sensing and imaging. New materials are playing a pivotal role in microphotonics both to enable new optical functionalities and to enhance device and system performances. This talk will provide an overview on photonic material innovations at MIT that empowers the microphotonic revolution on the horizon.
Rajeev J. Ram has worked in the areas of physical optics and electronics for much of his career. In the early 1990’s, he developed the III-V wafer bonding technology that led to record brightness light emitting devices at Hewlett-Packard Laboratory (Lumileds) in Palo Alto. While at HP Labs, he worked on the first commercial deployment of vertical cavity surface emitting lasers. He developed semiconductor lasers without population inversion, semiconductor lasers that employ condensation of massive particles (polariton lasers), and threshold-less lasers. Since 1997, Ram has been on the Electrical Engineering and Computer Science faculty at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and a member of the Research Laboratory of Electronics and the Microsystems Technology Laboratory. He has served on the Defense Sciences Research Council advising DARPA on new areas for investment and served as a Program Director at the newly founded Advanced Research Project Agency-Energy. His group at MIT has developed energy-efficient photonics for microprocessor systems, microfluidic systems for the control of cellular metabolism, and record-efficiency light sources. He co-founded AyarLabs which provides optical I/O for integrated electronics and erbi Biosystems which develops microbioreactors for automated cell culture. He is a MacVicar Faculty Fellow, a Bose Research Fellow at MIT, and a Fellow of the Optical Society of America and IEEE Fellow.
Integrated photonics encompasses all forms of microscopic optical elements which are fabricated on a single chip and connected by waveguides. After decades of development, integrated photonics is transforming many aspects of our lives - from the internet, AI and computing, to self-driving cars and augmented reality, to medical diagnostics and sensing. Today, MIT photonic innovations power dozens of companies and products - but the Age of Integrated Photonics is just beginning.
As part of the program for this webinar, we are offering breakout discussions with our presenting graduate students and postdocs. In order to participate in these breakout rooms, you will need the latest version of Zoom (version 5.3.2). (If you need help determining your version of Zoom, please follow the instructions here.)
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Breakout Room #
Title and Abstract
Prof. Rafael Jaramillo
Layered and 2D Materials for Integrated Photonics
Layered materials are exciting for manipulating light in the confined geometry of photonic integrated (PIC) circuits, where key material properties include strong and controllable light-matter interaction, and limited optical loss. Layered materials feature tunable optical properties, phases that are promising for electro-optics, and a panoply of polymorphs that suggest a rich design space for highly-nonperturbative PIC devices based on martensitic transformations: phase changes and ferroelastic domain switching. These features are manifest in materials with band gap above the photonics-relevant near-infrared (NIR) spectral band (~ 0.5 – 1 eV), meaning that they can be harnessed in refractive (i.e. low-loss) applications.
Prof. Juejun Hu
Phase-change materials: the promise of zero-power reconfigurable microphotonics
The integration of Phase-Change Materials (PCMs) to photonic devices such as integrated circuits, metasurfaces, plasmonic structures, etc. has enabled the additional functionality of nonvolatile reconfiguration. This functionality allows photonic systems to be active, i.e. to have multiple optical responses, using low power to switch between configurations (PCM states) but zero power to retain any. This exceptional combination of properties is possible because PCMs (chalcogenides exemplified by Ge-Sb-Se-Te alloys) exhibit large and stable optical properties modulation upon a fast and controlled solid-state phase transition. This presentation will provide the fundamentals of this novel, fast-growing field together with its challenges and potentials. Furthermore, we will discuss the research conducted at MIT on PCMs for low-energy phase and amplitude modulators, reconfigurable metalenses, and optical data storage and computing.
Marc de Cea
Prof. Rajeev Ram
Realizing beyond-CMOS systems in commercial CMOS processes
Computing systems with reduced power and increased speed are required for the ubiquitous data era - from artificial intelligence to sensing to high performance computing. While such advancements are increasingly hard to achieve with conventional CMOS logic, CMOS fabrication processes (which produce billions of systems per year at low cost and complexity rivaling the human genome) allow for a host of devices beyond electronics – including nanoscale photonics - that could tackle the aforementioned challenges. Here, we will discuss a variety of functionalities enabled by these native photonic components in CMOS: high bandwidth and low power optical I/O, cryogenic optical interconnections and space-based communications.
Prof. Steven Johnson
Probing the limits of wave-matter interactions
We use general analytical and numerical tools to probe the limits of wave-matter interactions in various optical systems. We find fundamental upper bounds for surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) and show that typical scatterers fall short of the bounds. Using topology optimization based inverse design, we obtain surprising structures with a much larger enhancement compared to simple geometries. We also find an approximate wide-bandwidth upper bound for absorption enhancement in metaparticle arrays and apply it to ocean-buoy energy extraction. Finally, we obtain stability conditions for periodic lasers and examine examples of band-edge and bound-in-continuum (BiC) lasing modes.
Jamison Michael Sloan
Prof. Marin Soljacic
Dispersion in Photonic Time Crystals
Interest has recently grown in using electromagnetic materials whose refractive index is modulated in time, often termed “photonic time crystals,” as a platform for studying time-dependent physics. Such systems are desired for applications to enhancement of nonlinearity for intensity-controlled refraction, frequency mixing, and topological photonics. However, little attention has been given to understanding the interplay between material dispersion and time-dependence. Here, we propose a fundamental model for materials which are simultaneously dispersive and time-dependent in nature, and show that these two effects may behave cooperatively through parametric resonance to enhance nonlinear interactions.
Prof. Nicholas Fang
Printing Optical Materials: with “Printing Photonic Materials
The push to miniaturize and functionalize optical elements has driven the development of interfacial optical engineering. Challenges remain in the patterning of materials with desired structural forms and optical properties to fulfill a wide variety of functions for thin optical devices. In Nanophotonics and 3D Nanomanufacturing Lab, we have been focusing on the development of advanced manufacturing technologies to print active photonic materials at interfaces for applications in optical modulation, sensing and display. In this talk, we will present our recent works on thermochromic hydrogel, optical nano-kirigami, multispectral filter array and active color converters produced by scalable micro/nano manufacturing methods.
Prof. Mathias Kolle
Order and disorder in bio-inspired structural colors obtained from micro-buckling: a computational study
The key features of Morpho butterfly coloration are i) the hierarchical structure with multilayer effect and ii) the irregularities in the periodic arrangement. Reproducing both features simultaneously is challenging. We suggest and investigate micro-buckled structures obtained from deformation of two-dimensional sheet. The self-assembly of such architectures could facilitate introduction of irregularity and enable efficient manufacturing of wide-angle structural color. We show that micro-buckled structures can achieve vivid and tunable color. Numerical simulations are used to quantify the effect of horizontal and vertical disorder on the angular distribution of the color.
Elaine D. McVay
Prof. Thomas Palacios
Novel Thermal Detectors for Mid-Infrared Hyperspectral Imaging
Fast, high detectivity, and room-temperature-operable infrared detectors are needed to enable next generation of hyperspectral imagers. Our lab has been developing two types of novel room-temperature-operable thermal detector devices with large thermal coefficient of resistance (TCR>0.1 K-1): (1) a low power nanogap-based thermomechanical (thm) bolometer and (2) a pyroelectric-gated field effect transistor (FET) with a MoS2 or Tellurene channel biased in the subthreshold regime. Fabricated proof-of-concept thm bolometers yield TCRs between .01 K-1 and 0.1 K-1. In addition, we are exploring the application of compressive sensing techniques to enable tunable hyperspectral imaging using small arrays of bilayer graphene devices.
Prof. Karl Berggren
Waveguide-integrated superconducting nanowire single-photon detectors on thin-film lithium niobate waveguides
Recently, the commercial availability of thin-film lithium niobate (LN) on insulator has accelerated the development of integrated on-chip optical circuits on this material platform. The strong nonlinearities and tight confinement of optical modes in LN make it a strong candidate for the ultimate photonic integrated circuit platform for quantum applications. We discuss and demonstrate the integration of superconducting nanowire single-photon detectors (SNSPDs) on LN photonic waveguides. Further development of this technology may push towards more complex circuits and functionalities on this already promising material platform.
Prof. Jelena Notaros
Silicon Photonics for Augmented Reality and Beyond
By enabling optical microsystems with new functionalities, improved system performance, and reduced size, weight, and power, silicon photonics is positioned to enable optical technologies that facilitate revolutionary advances for numerous fields spanning science and engineering, including computing, sensing, communications, displays, quantum, and biology. In this talk, recent advances in silicon-photonics-based platforms, devices, and systems developed by our group will be reviewed, with a focus on a novel highly-discreet and fully-holographic integrated-photonics-based solution for the next-generation of augmented-reality displays.
Prof. Caroline Ross
Bismuth Iron Garnet Films for Nonreciprocal Photonics and Spintronics
Thin film iron garnets like bismuth-substituted yttrium iron garnet (BiYIG) can be enablers for integrated non-reciprocal photonic devices such as isolators. Polycrystalline BiYIG films were grown on silicon substrates and waveguide devices in which a YIG seedlayer is placed either above or below BiYIG to promote crystallization. The films exhibit the highest reported magneto-optical figure of merit of up to 769 ˚dB-1 at 1550 nm wavelength. Apart from photonics, single crystal BiYIG films are also interesting for next generation spintronic memory. A record current driven domain wall velocity in perpendicularly magnetized BiYIG films exceeding 4300 m/s has been demonstrated in this work.