Quantum and Thermal Polaritonics

November 24, 2014
703 NWC
Speaker: Zubin Jacob, Associate Professor, University of Alberta


Polaritons, collective excitations of light and matter are uniquely poised to usher a generation of applications beyond the reach of conventional electronics or photonics. In this talk, I will focus on my group's contributions in the quantum and thermal applications of polaritons.

In the first part, we will argue that engineered polaritonic media (metamaterials) can be used to enhance vacuum fluctuations in a broad bandwidth not possible by conventional resonator or photonic crystal approaches. We will also describe our discovery of giant vacuum friction between moving media arising from polaritons.

In the second part, we will describe unique high temperatures properties of a polaritonic gas that can enable applications in thermophotovoltaics and near-field radiative heat transfer. Our experimental results at 1000 C show for the first time that high temperature far-field thermal emission properties can be spectrally tailored using metamaterials. We are currently also probing the broadband near-field super-Planckian thermal emission properties of phonon-polaritons (collective excitations of phonons and light) in media such as hexagonal Boron Nitride.

Speaker Bio

Prof.Jacob is currently an Associate Professor of ECE at the University of Alberta, Canada. Prior to joining the University of Alberta, he completed his Ph.D from Purdue University (2010) where he received multiple awards including the best dissertation prize awarded by the Dmitri N. Chorafas foundation. He completed his M.A.E.E (2006) and M.S.E.E (2007) from Princeton University and B.Tech in Electrical Engineering (2004) from the Indian Institute of Technology - Bombay. He acts as a reviewer for Nature Materials, Nature Photonics, Nature Communications, Physical Review Letters, Nano Letters, ACS Nano, OSA Optica among many others. He also serves on the Editorial Board of Scientific Reports (a journal by the Nature Publishing Group) and Journal of Optics (UK Institute of Physics). He has served on the technical organization committee of multiple conferences: Photonics North 2012, PIERS 2014, CLEO 2015, SPP7 and is a core organizing member of Meta 2015. Zubin was invited to present his group's recent achievements at over 20 leading nanophotonics conferences worldwide (2013 and 2014).

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