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Abstract: Materials are often used to manipulate waves. Metamaterials have provided far-reaching possibilities in achieving “extremes” in such wave-matter interaction. Various exciting functionalities have been achieved in exploiting metamaterials and metasurfaces in nanophotonics and nano-optics. We have been exploring how extreme metamaterials can give us new platforms in metaphotonics for exploiting waves to do certain useful functions for us. Several research topics are being investigated in my group. In one of these programs, we have been developing metastructure platforms that can perform analog computation such as solving integral and differential equations and inverting matrices with waves as waves interact with them. Such “metamaterial machines” can function as wave-based, near-speed-of-light analog computing machines, suitable for micro- and nanoscale integration. Another research program is the near-zero-index (NZI) media in which the effective relative permittivity and/or relative permeability can attain near-zero values around the operating frequencies of interest. In such NZI structures, effective wavelength “stretches”, and consequently numerous unprecedented wave phenomena emerge. In this talk, I will present some of our ongoing work on extreme material platforms for metaphotonics, and will forecast possible future research directions in these paradigms.
Biography: Nader Engheta is the H. Nedwill Ramsey Professor at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, with affiliations in the Departments of Electrical and Systems Engineering, Physics and Astronomy, Bioengineering, and Materials Science and Engineering. He received his BS degree from the University of Tehran, and his MS and Ph.D. degrees from Caltech. His current research activities span a broad range of areas including photonics, metamaterials, electrodynamics, microwaves, nano-optics, graphene photonics, imaging and sensing inspired by eyes of animal species, microwave and optical antennas, and physics and engineering of fields and waves. He has received several awards for his research including the Isaac Newton Medal and Prize from the Institute of Physics (UK), Max Born Award from the Optical Society, Ellis Island Medal of Honor, the IEEE Pioneer Award in Nanotechnology, the Gold Medal from SPIE, the Balthasar van der Pol Gold Medal from the International Union of Radio Science (URSI), the William Streifer Scientific Achievement Award, induction to the Canadian Academy of Engineering as an International Fellow, the Fellow of US National Academy of Inventors (NAI), the IEEE Electromagnetics Award, the Vannevar Bush Faculty Fellowship Award from US Department of Defense, the Wheatstone Lecture in King’s College London, 2006 Scientific American Magazine 50 Leaders in Science and Technology, the Guggenheim Fellowship, and the IEEE Third Millennium Medal. He is a Fellow of seven international scientific and technical organizations, i.e., IEEE, Optical Society of America (OSA), American Physical Society (APS), Materials Research Society (MRS), International Society for Optics and Photonics (SPIE), International Union of Radio Science (URSI), and American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). He has received the honorary doctoral degrees from the Aalto University in Finland in 2016, the University of Stuttgart, Germany in 2016, and Ukraine’s National Technical University Kharkov Polytechnic Institute in 2017.