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McKelvey School of Engineering

Brown School

ESE Defense: Wenbo Mao

Thursday, April 4 | 3:00 PM - 5:00 PM

Stephen F. & Camilla T. Brauer Hall, 3015
6548 Forest Park Pkwy, St. Louis, MO 63112, USA

Light-Matter Interactions in Integrated Photonic Systems: Fundamentals and Applications

Abstract: Light-matter interactions underpin the fundamental principle of optical and photonic devices, facilitating breakthroughs in both fundamental physics and technological development for numerous applications, such as light manipulation, material characterization, and biomedical imaging. Recent progress in integrated photonics built on photonic integrated circuits (PICs) has enabled multiple advanced functionalities on a single photonic chip. Moreover, integrated optical systems combining components of diverse forms and materials of different compositions have been engineered and achieved through hybrid and heterogenous integration. Such integrated systems have catalyzed various applications, including but not limited to, optical communication, sensing, spectroscopy, quantum information, topological photonics, and non-Hermitian physics. These developments promise enhanced performance, reliability, and scalability, essential for the next generation of optical technologies.

This dissertation presents the study of light-matter interactions based on integrated photonic platforms. The fabrication processes for various high-quality photonic devices are developed. First, an on-chip silicon multimode microsensor with a cross-correlation algorithm is designed and demonstrated, which showcases the ability to detect nanoparticles in fluctuating environmental temperatures. Then, a whispering-gallery microprobe configuration, leveraging nanoscale confinement and temporal accumulation of light by optoplasmonics hybrid resonances, is implemented to enhance Raman spectroscopy, which can acquire the “fingerprint” and 2D distribution of target molecules. Furthermore, exception points (EPs), as the unique spectral singularities in non-Hermitian systems, are utilized to improve the detection capabilities for weak signals. This EP enhancement can be endowed to a plug-in universal optical sensor via a separate control unit, which broadens the applicability and flexibility of EP-enhanced sensing techniques. Moreover, Floquet parity-time-symmetric photonic waveguides are demonstrated with reconfigurable asymmetric transmission, showcasing on-chip light manipulation using non-Hermitian physics. Lastly, this dissertation introduces the concept of photonic van der Waals (vdW) integration, which can enable passive photonic platforms with diverse functionalities, such as electro-optic modulation and photodetection. The potential of integrated photonic platforms is discussed for chip-scale sensing, spectroscopy, and the discovery of novel photonic phenomena.

Event Type



McKelvey School of Engineering


Science & Technology

Electrical & Systems Engineering

#Defense, WashUESE

Event Contact

Aaron Beagle | abeagle@wustl.edu

Speaker Information

Wenbo Mao

P.I. Prof. Lan Yang
Micro/Nano Photonics Lab

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