Mar 7, 2023
Title: Organic small molecule integrated photonics
Speaker: Prof. Andrea Armani
Chemical Engineering and Materials Science at the University of Southern California, USA
The initial, landmark integrated photonic devices relied on silicon and III-V materials, and recent advances in material fabrication and deposition methods have enabled a plethora of new technologies based on materials with higher optical nonlinearities, including 2D materials and organic polymers. However, nonlinear optical (NLO) organic small molecules have not experienced similar growth due to a perceived environmental instability and to challenges related to intra and intermolecular interactions. Because NLO small molecules have NLO coefficients that are orders of magnitude larger than conventional optical materials, developing strategies to fabricate optical devices could enable significant performance improvements. In recent work, we combined conventional top-down fabrication methods with bottom-up techniques (surface chemistry and self-assembly methods) to develop on-chip optical devices that incorporate NLO optical small molecules as well as optically-triggerable molecules. These hybrid systems provide access to optical behavior and performance not attainable with conventional semiconductor material systems. In this seminar, I will discuss the self-assembly and surface chemistry approaches used to fabricate these devices as well as a couple examples of organic molecule-enhanced integrated photonic devices (lasers, optical switches).
Prof. Andrea Armani is currently the Ray Irani Professor of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science at the University of Southern California. She has previously held administrative positions in the Viterbi School of Engineering including being a Vice Dean of New Initiatives and the Director of the Nanofabrication facility. Her research focuses on the development of new optical materials for integrated photonics with applications in quantum communications and healthcare. She received her BA in physics from the University of Chicago and her PhD in applied physics with a minor in biology from the California Institute of Technology. She has received several awards, including the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers from President Obama, NIH New Innovator Award, and Optica Hopkins Leadership Award. She was named a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum and a Young Scientist by STS Forum. She is a Fellow of Optica, SPIE, AAAS, and NAI, the Feature Editor of Optics Letters, Associate Editor of ACS Photonics, and a Fellow of Optica, SPIE, AAAS, and NAI.