At the core of several technologies that we enjoy in our everyday lives is the understanding and controlling of light-matter interactions in an effective way. Whether to use the small camera on the cellphone to take a picture, a photovoltaic cell on the roof-top to generate electricity, or an imaging device in the physician’s office, we rely on the technological advances made available through understanding and utilizing light-matter interactions. My research involves designing novel structures with “enhanced” and “function-based” light-matter interaction phenomena to directly benefit optical systems in terms of size, speed, sensitivity, and power consumption. In this talk, I will first discuss some of the fundamental bounds that I have demonstrated on the attainable extent of wave manipulation with meta-surfaces. My work helps answering questions such as “Is it physically possible to create a single-layer, high NA lens?” or “Are active elements essential for the next generation of meta-surfaces?” I will then discuss techniques to surpass such limitations and present several light-weight, ultrathin optical devices based on meta-surfaces that I have designed over the past few years. This includes invisibility blankets, back- (retro-) reflectors, photodetectors, and wave funnels. Next, I will discuss our recent efforts on exploiting the computational capabilities of light in the structured matter. The speed and the parallel processing nature of light makes it a very suitable candidate for fast and low-energy computation. I will present our results on solving integral equations in a fully integrable meta-structure optical platform. Finally, I will share some of our exciting findings on controlling the levels of scattering and absorption in nanostructures, and their applications in wireless communication.
Looking into the long-term future, I am interested in exploring novel capabilities of photonics and nano-optics that have solid applications in communications, medicine, computing, and energy harvesting. I am interested in tackling fundamental problems in electromagnetics and photonics and to discover and investigate new ideas and concepts in the broad scope of light-matter interactions at the subwavelength scale. In my talk, I will share some of the exciting research directions and sample projects that I will pursue following this general scheme.