Talks & Lectures
20 Apr 2018
BC 104

Quantum Inspired Photonics

CEMS Seminar Series: Liang Feng, University of Pennsylvania

Liang Feng

Quantum mechanics, dealing with atoms and electrons on a single-particle level, is the basis of modern technologies in computing and communication. While photonics is considered a completely different research subject, its intrinsic capability of creating non-Hermitian Hamiltonians by optical gain and loss makes it an ideal platform to explore various quantum symmetry paradigms that were deemed impossible in the past.

In this seminar, I will present my team's recent efforts on quantum inspired photonics where quantum symmetries (such as parity-time symmetry) guide the design of nanophotonics for unprecedented optical properties.

Although it was widely believed that optical loss was detrimental in photonic applications, I will start from an opposite viewpoint and develop a new paradigm of positively manipulating optical losses, demonstrating unidirectional light-matter interaction tailored at a "quantum" exceptional point in the complex dielectric permittivity domain.

Moreover, I will discuss harnessing optical losses for unique microlaser functionality. In particular, I will focus on an orbital angular momentum (OAM) microlaser that structures and twists the lasing radiation at the microscale, which is expected to address the growing demand for information capacity.

These quantum explorations not only provide positive impacts on fundamental quantum physics, but also facilitate technological breakthroughs in photonic materials. Hence, research in quantum inspired photonics of such two-fold benefits are advancing both fields simultaneously.


Liang Feng is currently an assistant professor of materials science and engineering at the University of Pennsylvania. He received his Ph.D. in electrical engineering from UCSD in 2010, and was subsequently a postdoctoral researcher at California Institute of Technology and the NSF Nanoscale Science and Technology Center at UC Berkeley.

Prior to joining University of Pennsylvania, Feng held an assistant professor position at SUNY Buffalo from 2014 to 2017. He has authored and coauthored over 50 papers in a variety of journals including Science, Nature Materials, Nature Photonics and PRL. He also received a U.S. Army Research Office Young Investigator Program (YIP) Award in 2016.

For more information, please contact Nancy Webb at [email protected]

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