Skip To Content

Subwavelength Photonics Incubator Begins

Hugh Podmore, York University, Canada

The OSA Subwavelength Photonics Incubator, hosted by Pavel Cheben, National Research Council of Canada; Inigo Molina Fernandez, University of Malaga, Spain; David Smith, Duke University, United States and Weidong Zhou, University of Texas at Arlington, United States commenced today in Washington, DC. The Incubator features a meeting of leading minds across the fields of subwavelength photonics, photonic crystals, and metamaterials. Though closely related, these fields are often treated as separate disciplines; this Incubator seeks to create a collaborative environment wherein recent advances in each discipline can be integrated to produce new directions and new frontiers in subwavelength optics and photonics.
"Subwavelength photonics" refers to optical structures that seek to control the flow of light at a particular wavelength by designing features on a scale smaller than the wavelength of interest. The freedom to design at this scale allows optical designers to control light in an unprecedented fashion, creating new materials and new degrees of freedom for photonic integrated circuits, photovoltaics, fiber optics and more. In the first day of the Incubator, participants discussed the use of subwavelength engineered devices to address some of the major challenges involved in designing photonic integrated circuits. Particular attention was paid to the use of subwavelength engineering on silicon on insulator (SOI) platforms, which are widely available but difficult to integrate with other devices; the Incubator provided an in depth discussion of the ways in which subwavelength engineering can expand the utility of standard SOI platforms, particularly by enabling improved input-output coupling, large optical-bandwidth devices, and extended operation in the mid-infrared.
Throughout the day the participants in the Incubator received a comprehensive review of the current state-of-the-art in subwavelength photonics, metamaterials and photonic crystals. Participants also discussed the economic factors of the wider photonics and micro-electronics industry that are enabling ever greater fabrication capabilities in the subwavelength regime.  

Stay tuned for more tomorrow. In the second day of sessions the group will seek to identify pathways and solutions to overcome the present challenges in terms of simulation, fabrication and testing of subwavelength photonic devices, as well as a roadmap for the future of the discipline.

MacArthur Fellow and OSA Board Member Michal Lipson, Columbia University discusses Ultra High Confinement in Silicon Photonics.


Pierre Berini played double duty as both a discussion leader and presenter on Surface Plasmon Enhanced Optoelectronics: Application to Contactless SI Wafer Probing. 

Image for keeping the session alive