Joint Colloquium Distinguished Lecture Series

The Optical Antenna: A Versatile Tool for Nanophotonics

photo of Ken Crozier Wednesday, September 26, 2007
306 Soda Hall (HP Auditorium)
4:00 - 5:00 pm

Ken Crozier
Assistant Professor of Electrical Engineering at Harvard University


Progress in nanotechnology is fundamentally dependent on tools for observation, measurement and manipulation. Optical techniques are well established at the macro-scale, but difficult to apply on the nano-scale. This is due to the mismatch between the wavelength of light, and the dimensions of nanostructures. Optical antennas present an opportunity to bridge these length scales. These new photonic devices enable electromagnetic energy to be concentrated into deep sub-wavelength regions. In this presentation, I will discuss several aspects of optical antennas. I will discuss recent work on optical antennas fabricated on the facets of laser diodes (APL 89, 093120 (2006)). It was shown experimentally that the antenna concentrated light into a ~40*100 nm spot, an area ~50 times smaller than the diffraction limit. Coupling between plasmon resonances plays an important role in optical antennas, as well as in other structures such as metal nanoparticle chain waveguides. I will discuss experimental measurements of the dispersion relations of metal nanoparticle chains. Lastly, I will discuss potential applications of optical antennas as nanoscale optical tweezers.


Ken Crozier is an Assistant Professor of Electrical Engineering at Harvard University. His work has been featured in MIT Technology Review, Newsweek and Laser Focus World. MIT Technology review highlighted optical antennas as being one of the Top 10 Emerging Technologies for 2007. He received his undergraduate degrees in Electrical Engineering and Physics at the University of Melbourne, Australia. On graduating from the University of Melbourne, he was awarded the L.R. East Medal (university medal in engineering). He received his PhD in Electrical Engineering from Stanford University under Professors Calvin Quate and Gordon Kino.

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