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Incubator on On-Chip High-Field Nanophotonics

06 - 08 July 2022
Optica Global Headquarters, Washington, DC, USA


  • Giulio Vampa, National Research Council of Canada, Canada
  • Gennady Shvets, Cornell University, United States
  • John Petersen, Imec, Belgium
  • Esben Witting Larsen, Imec, Belgium

View the agenda for this Incubator here.

Program Overview:

The On-Chip High-Field Nanophotonics Incubator will explore scientific and technological opportunities at the confluence of nanophotonics and high-field femtosecond to attosecond physics. It will address how nanostructured solids can be utilized to explore the rich physical landscape of high-field nonlinearities, characterized by the emission of high harmonics and controlled generation of free carriers and petahertz currents.

Through invited talks, panels, moderated discussion periods and informal networking this incubator seeks to:

  1. Propose a roadmap to demonstrate what is the best nanostructured solid to enhance the outcome of high-field nonlinearities. For example, should we rely on plasmonic or dielectric metasurfaces, epsilon-near-zero materials or waveguides?

  2. Foster a new community among those who share an interest in topics at the intersection of nanophotonics, metasurfaces, and high-field physics;

  3. Plant the seed for a coordinated and focused effort to develop the scientific and technological opportunities that lie at the intersection of these subject areas;

  4. Raise awareness of the relevance of strong-field nanophotonics with industry partners and funding agencies.

Scope and Topics:

High-field nonlinearities, resulting in the emission of coherent short-wavelength radiation – the high harmonics – and of attosecond-fast electrical currents, have traditionally been the realm of gas-phase laser science. Ten years ago, however, high harmonics were generated from a solid, and the first attosecond currents in dielectrics were recorded a few years after. These demonstrations opened the floodgate of solid-state-based high-field science. Because solids can be structured at the nanoscale, they add a dimension to the (already) multiparametric space of high-field nonlinearities. A dimension that is yet to be fully understood.

Preliminary work employed a variety of different approaches to boost the high-field response of nanostructured solids, with no clear winner. So far, the lack of a cohesive approach has left open the question on what the best approach to get into the high-field regime in solids is. This incubator will try to lay out a research roadmap to prove how best to use nanostructuring to control high-field nonlinearities. 

By surveying and debating recent demonstrations of high-field control with nanostructured solids, attendees will identify the best approaches to reach for the highest nonlinear conversion efficiency and field strengths, the smallest sizes and fastest speeds, and determine what next-generation theoretical modeling is required to bridge the microscopic physics characterizing the high-field process with the nanoscale structuring of the material. 

The incubator also looks to establish academic-industry partnerships in areas of mutual interest. For this purpose, attendees will debate various potential technological applications, for example to fill the vacuum-ultraviolet gap (100 - 200 nm wavelengths) with integrated nanoscale high-harmonic sources with sub-femtosecond pulse durations, and bridging this sensitive spectral region to the visible and infrared. Such sources are ideal tools for spectroscopic investigations of living matter, energy storage solutions and of quantum materials. Another potential application is the generation of photon energies up to 92 eV with solid-state high harmonics, which are relevant for metrology of semiconductor devices.

This Incubator is supported in part by:

Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation
Few Cycle Teledyne Princeton Instruments


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