Taming light by strong interactions in optical waveguides and plasmonic nano-resonators
Recent years have seen enormous advancements in the precise fabrication capabilities of micro- and nano-sturctures which led to the emergence of the exciting field of nanophotonics. This is due to the fact that the optical properties of nanostructured materials can be engineered and the interaction between light and matter is strongly affected by encapsulating photons in such structures and materials.
In my talk I will present some examples of light manipulation by exploiting strong interactions in micro- and nano-structures. I will show how a leaky planar optical waveguide doped with excitonic gain material acts as an optical antenna which radiates quasi-coherent cylindrical vector beams. I will then show that by increasing the oscillator strength of the excitonic material strong coupling between waveguide photons and excitons can be observed. This changes the dynamics of the coupled system and splits its eigenmodes into mixed photon-exciton modes which share properties of light and matter. Finally I will present the development of tunable plasmonic color filters based on the excitation of localized surface plasmons in unique optical nano-antennas and show some of their applications.