Program and Abstract Book is available here
|09:00-9:30||Glenn Boreman||Eric Mazur||Korneev||Iturbe|
|10:00-10:30||Joseph Haus||Giancarlo Righini||Efrain Solarte|
|11:00-11:20||Coffee Break||Coffee Break||Coffee Break|
|11:20-11:50||Cecilia Noguez||Luis Orozco||Bruce Tromberg|
|12:20-12:30||Coffee Break||Coffee Break||Coffee Break|
|12:30-13:00||de la Rosa||Meneses||Stepanov||Avendaño||Demetrios Christodulides|
|15:30-16:00||POSTER SESSION||POSTER SESSION||Angela Guzman|
|17:30-18:00||AMO General Meeting||Cultural Event|
click on the speakers name to read the abstract of their talks
Nanotechnology has enabled the development of nanostructured composite materials (metamaterials) with exotic optical properties not found in nature. In the most extreme case, we can create materials which support light waves that propagate with infinite phase velocity, corresponding to a refractive index of zero. This zero index can only be achieved by simultaneously controlling the electric and magnetic resonances of the nanostructure. We present an in-plane metamaterial design consisting of silicon pillar arrays, embedded within a polymer matrix and sandwiched between gold layers. Using an integrated nanoscale prism constructed of the proposed material, we demonstrate unambiguously a refractive index of zero in the optical regime. This design serves as a novel on-chip platform to explore the exotic physics of zero-index metamaterials, with applications to super-coupling, integrated quantum optics, and phase matching.
The development of optical nanofibers (ONF) and the study and control of their optical properties when coupling atoms to their electromagnetic modes has opened new possibilities for their use in quantum optics and quantum information science. These ONFs offer tight optical mode confinement (less than the wavelength of light) and diffraction-free propagation. The small cross section of the transverse field allows probing of linear and non-linear spectroscopic features of atoms with exquisitely low power .
The fabrication and characterization of ONFs is crucial for good quantum optics work. The studies include Rayleigh scattering imaging and evanescent coupling. The high gradients in the radial intensity naturally provide the potential for trapping atoms around the ONF, allowing the creation of one-dimensional arrays of atoms that can be probed with polarimetry showing the intrinsic dynamics of the trap.
Work supported by the National Science Foundation of the United States and done in collaboration with Pablo Solano, Jeffrey A. Grover, Jonathan E. Hoffman, Sylvain Ravets, Fredrik K. Fatemi, and Steven L. Rolston.References  Pablo Solano, Jeffrey A. Grover, Jonathan E. Hoffman, Sylvain Ravets, Fredrik K. Fatemi, Luis A. Orozco, and Steven L. Rolston. “Optical Nanofibers: A New Platform for Quantum Optics.” In Ennio Arimondo, Chun C. Lin, and Susanne F. Yelin, editors, Advances in Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Physics, volume 66, pages 439–505. Academic Press, Burlington 2017. (arXiv:1703.10533).
Chiral systems are optically active and exhibit electronic circular dichroism (CD) in the same electromagnetic window where they absorb light. CD spectroscopy is capable of measuring small differences in light extinction between right and left circularly polarized light, which makes CD a very sensitive tool to distinguish between left and right–handed enantiomers. Understanding how to control and increase the sensitivity limits of CD spectroscopies would have significant impact in pure and applied sciences; providing a powerful tool for exploring and controlling chirality‐dependent phenomena, including circular dichroism, templated enantioselective–growth in stereochemistry, electronic spin filters in spintronics, among other fields. In this talk, the mechanisms that originate and control optical activity in 2D nanoscale systems, such as twisted bilayer graphene (tBLG), are identified using a time-perturbed density functional theory. The experimental realization of thin films with full control of the structural handedness down to the atomic scale, which is possible by stacking two graphene layers whose chiral properties are designed by an interlayer rotation angle is investigated.  These results would be significant in the discussion of experimental CD spectra, which allow the development of new strategies to improve the sensitivity of chiroptical spectroscopies.References  Kim, C.-J.; Sanchez-Castillo, A.; Ziegler, Z.; Ogawa, Y.; Noguez, C.; Park, J. Nature Nanotechnology 11, 520–525 (2016)
Multifunctional glasses constitute one of the key materials in photonic areas as optical communications and energy. A great example is represented by rare-earth-doped glasses, which have largely contributed to the development of optical amplifiers, lasers, active optical waveguides, white-light-emitting devices, and frequency converters for solar cells.
With the growth of the materials investigation at nanoscale level, it has been rather obvious to look at glasses from a new point of view; thus, the phenomenon of partial crystallization of glass, which can occur during its cooling phase after melting or during a subsequent annealing and that produces micro- and/or nano-crystals inside the otherwise amorphous matrix, has also begun being studied with great attention. Glass-ceramics, in fact, are often produced in this way, by accurately controlling the nucleation and growth of a crystalline phase inside the glass .
More generally, glass-ceramics (GCs) may be defined as glasses containing nanometer to micron sized crystals embedded in a glass matrix; they can therefore be considered as a class of nanostructured materials. As the name clearly says, GCs must be considered an intermediate material between inorganic glasses and ceramics; GC materials may be highly crystalline or have a substantial amorphous glass matrix.
Transparent glass-ceramics, in particular, possess specific characteristics of capital importance in photonics. The composition and volume fraction of the crystalline and the amorphous phase determine the properties of a given glass-ceramic. As an example, when rare earths are present in the GC, the crystalline environment around the rare-earth ions allows high absorption and emission cross sections, reduction of the non-radiative relaxation thanks to the lower phonon cut-off energy, and tailoring of the ion-ion interaction by the control of the rare-earth ion partition.
Here an overview of this class of materials is presented, with focus on the transparent GCs, that are showing greater and greater importance in several photonic application areas, including light sources, light amplifiers, optical fibres, but also energy harvesting and biomedicine. Rare-earth-activated GCs and GC waveguides will be the subject of particular consideration.References  A. de Pablos-Martin, M. Ferrari, M. J. Pascual, G. C. Righini, Glass-ceramics: A class of nanostructured materials for photonics, Rivista del Nuovo Cimento, 38, 311–369 (2015).
The use of high power laser radiation, in various fields of medicine and in particular in surgery, is a technological reality that ranges from its application as scalpel and cautery, to complex photochemical applications. The advent of new lasers, the high energy density available and the use of fiber optics for transport and application of laser radiation, has opened a field of research with notable developments in several medical fields, where this energy and the ability of cells to absorb it, is exploited to remove tumors, malformations or stones, and ultimately to "weld" biological tissues or wounds and possibly repair tendons and nerves. More recently, new applications have been developed which are related to light activated or facilitated therapy. Besides, Low Intensity Laser Irradiation on cells has been studied and exploited in two different ways, on one side; there are applications of laser, which are mainly related to physical therapy. This field encloses wide possibilities: from internal injuries of muscles and tendons, to external injuries, whether surgical or not, including pain relief, wound healing and cell reproduction. This use of lasers opens a new therapeutic field known as Low Level Laser Therapy. Due the effect on some photon’s energy on adipose cells, the use of laser in pain relief applications leaded to applications in plastic and reconstructive surgery. On the other side, the laser applications for wound healing and cell reproduction lead to applications in cell biology and cell and tissue replacement therapy. In this lecture the background of laser action in human biological tissues and cells will be briefly presented, and the fundamentals of light-tissue, light cell interaction will briefly discussed. The findings of laser effects on adipose tissues and cells will be presented to understand the fundamentals of low level laser assisted liposuction. The importance of fluorescence spectroscopy in cancer diagnostics and malignant cells studies, and finally the use of laser and low coherence light sources for enhancement of cell proliferation and cell differentiation in cell cultures will be given and discussed. Some examples and most of the results presented have been taken from the research at our laboratories
We will begin with some information about SPIE, with an emphasis on student chapter activities  in Mexico. We then continue with a brief overview of our PhD program in optical science and engineering at UNC Charlotte  – admission requirements, application procedures, required and elective coursework, and thesis research areas. A summary of faculty research interests is presented. Finally, we consider our recent activities in the fabrication and metrology of freeform optics . These are optical elements without any axis of rotational symmetry. These surfaces are enabled by advances in precision machining technologies and allow introduction of significant new degrees of freedom in the optical design. Freeform designs facilitate correction of aberrations with fewer surfaces; integrated kinematic alignment features; better performance in smaller packages. Overall results are improved image quality, wider fields of view, higher throughput, and reduced system size and weight.References
Our understanding of the nonlinear optical properties of metal and insulator systems has been guided by development of advanced, comprehensive classical models. The models quantitatively describe the nonlinear phenomena that we observe. Models for free electrons in metals include hydrodynamic plasmonic effects in the extended Drude model, surface and bulk nonlinear contributions, quadrupole effects and third-order nonlinearities in the Lorentz model for bound electrons [1,2].
To understand metal-insulator-metal (MIM) structures with nanometer size gaps separating the metals a quantum tunneling model is invoked. The quantum model has nonlinear quantum contributions, which appear in the models as conductance coefficients [3,4,5]. The quantum tunneling theory builds on earlier work on electron tunneling in metal/insulator and superconductor/insulator devices. The quantum conductivity theory (QCT)  quantitatively describes electron tunneling via the conductivity terms at the MIM junction. Symmetric MIM junctions has no quantum-based second harmonic (SH) power generated. However, the third-harmonic (TH) quantum tunneling conductivity term is nonzero in symmetric MIMs. With decreasing insulator thickness, the third order conductivity increases up to a peak value and then decreases (a phenomenon termed ‘quantum quenching’).
In our experiments the SH signal from both MI and MIM samples are nearly identical; i.e. no quantum contribution from MIM junction. The insulator film is Al2O3 deposited by Atomic Layer Deposition (ALD)  and our MIM junctions are formed by gold nanoparticles (AuNPs) on the MI surface. However, we observed the expected increase of TH signal  as the insulator film becomes thinner and peaks at 32 ALD cycles. For fewer ALD cycles the TH signal drops suggesting ‘quantum quenching’. The appearance of peak for TH signal at higher ALD cycles are attributed to the non-uniform surface coverage at fewer ALD cycles.References
The prospect of judiciously utilizing both optical gain and loss has been recently suggested as a means to control the flow of light. This proposition makes use of some newly developed concepts based on non-Hermiticity and parity-time (PT) symmetry-ideas first conceived within quantum field theories. By harnessing such notions, recent works indicate that novel synthetic structures and devices with counter-intuitive properties can be realized – potentially enabling new possibilities in the field of optics and integrated photonics. These include for example unidirectional invisibility effects, loss-induced transparency, band merging, and new classes of single-mode micro-lasers with improved lasing characteristics. Non-Hermitian degeneracies, also known as exceptional points (EPs), have also emerged as a new paradigm for engineering the response of optical systems. Among many different non-conservative photonic configurations, parity-time (PT) symmetric arrangements are of particular interest since they provide an excellent platform to explore the physics of EPs for enhanced sensing applications. In this talk, we provide an overview of recent developments in this newly emerging field. The use of other type symmetries in photonics will be also discussed.
Evanescent waves have been a key component of atom optics and the key for strong confinement of the electromagnetic field at scales far below that of conventional optics in plasmonics. At the nanoscale, the quantum nature of light might come into play, but the customary quantization of the free electromagnetic field (which typically takes the form of an expansion in homogenous plane waves) does not admit evanescent waves and is not valid in the presence of dielectric/dielectric or dielectric/metal interfaces. Since evanescent waves at those interfaces originate in microscopic matter-light interactions, it might seem at first that to quantize them, a quantum mechanical description of the material and its interaction with the electromagnetic field is required, where a multiplicity of quanta or quasi particles play a key role. In this presentation, we make use of an alternative quantization procedure introduced by Carniglia and Mandel , where the electromagnetic field, including the evanescent wave, is treated effectively as a free field by solving the macroscopic Maxwell equations for continuous media with appropriate boundary conditions. In previous work we have discussed the atom-surface interaction in the presence of a classical evanescent wave [2-3]. Here we discuss consequences of the quantization of evanescent waves for optical potentials and atom-wall interaction.
At a dielectric/metal surface, electromagnetic waves can also excite surface plasmon waves, which involve a surface electron density wave and accompanying evanescent inhomogeneous waves in the dielectric and the metal. The emerging area of quantum plasmonics  involves the study of the quantum interaction of light with dielectric/metal nanostructures. We recall the quantization of non-radiative surface plasmon polaritons introduced by Y. O. Nakamura  relating to the recent imaging of quantized plasmonic fields .References
Biophotonics technologies can be designed to provide quantitative, dynamic information about tissue structure and biochemical composition. Their impact spans from medical diagnostic and therapeutic devices to consumer-based wearable sensors. With advances in device miniaturization and high performance photonics components, the line between conventional medical instruments and consumer devices is becoming increasingly blurred. Health care economic pressures are further accelerating this ambiguity by shifting clinical attention from expensive disease treatments to strategies for cost-effective disease management and prevention. This talk introduces emerging Biophotonics technologies that are capable of characterizing tissue structure and biochemical composition spanning from micro- to macroscopic regimes. We will illustrate the power of both wearable and non-contact optical devices for assessing tissue functional parameters including: tissue blood, water and lipid content; tissue oxygenation and oxygen consumption, heart and respiration rate, and tissue blood flow. Finally, we will consider projected trends in development that are expected to impact how we generate, access, and manage this complex information and improve outcomes for individual patients.