Alejandro W. Rodriguez

“Taming Light via Inverse Design: Pushing the Limits of Optical Nonlinearities and Heat at the Nanoscale”

Presented by Professor Alejandro W. Rodriguez

Department of Electrical Engineering, Princeton University

Friday, March 1 2019

Barton 225, Homewood Campus 3 – 4 PM

Abstract: In this talk, I will describe recent developments and selected applications of large-scale optimization (also known as inverse design) in nanophotonics. Interest in this area is driven in part by a growing need to realize multi-frequency, wide-bandwidth, nonlinear, and densely integrated devices of increasing complexity and functionalities. I will survey two particular application domains, including the design of high-efficiency wavelength-scale, multi-resonant cavities for nonlinear frequency conversion, and metasurfaces for enhancing near-field radiative heat transfer. While these structures tend to be highly un-intuitive and aperiodic, they offer a route to explore and realize fundamental limits of optical control in situations where intuitive principles like index confinement and band-gap engineering are of limited use.

Biography: Alejandro Rodriguez is an Assistant Professor of Electrical Engineering at Princeton University.He received B.S. and PhD degrees in Physics from MIT in 2006 and 2010, and held joint post-doctoral positions at the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences at Harvard University and at the Department of Mathematics at MIT. His research interests lie in the general area of nanophotonics, with a focus on nonlinear optics and quantum/thermal fluctuation phenomena. Prof. Rodriguez was recently awarded the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers Young Investigator Award and the Princeton SEAS E. Lawrence Keys, Jr./Emerson Electric Co. Faculty Advancement Award. He was the recipient of an NSF Early CAREER Award and was named Department of Energy Fredrick Howes Fellow and National Academy of Sciences Kavli Fellow. He was born in Havana, Cuba—a byproduct of loud rumbas, a family of physics enthusiasts, and afro-cuban folklore—and emigrated to the US at the age of twelve. When not thinking about photons, he is in a superposition of dancing salsa, watching old films, playing piano, listening to Cuban music, and playing video games.

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