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Recent Developments and Applications of Inverse Design in Nanophotonics

Alejandro Rodriguez, Princeton University
Monday, July 16, 2018 - 12:30pm to 1:30pm
PAT C-421

​Large-scale optimization (or inverse design) in photonics has begun to
shape the landscape of on-going experiments and research problems in
areas ranging from light harvesting to optical communication. In this
talk, I will survey recent developments and applications of inverse
design techniques in nanophotonics, including computer-aided discovery
of photonic structures designed to greatly enhance nonlinear optical
processes such as frequency generation, or that exhibit high-order
exceptional points. Exceptional points, which are complicated spectral
degeneracies in non-Hermitian systems, can lead to modifications in the
local density of states or spontaneous emission rate of emitters
embedded in optical resonators (a generalization of the familiar Purcell
enhancement figure of merit) and can also lower the power requirements
of certain nonlinear processes. Time permitting, I will also show that
inverse design techniques can be exploited to enhance heat transfer
between nanostructured surfaces separated by sub-micron vacuum gaps,
which depends strongly on the shapes and materials of the bodies.