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 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 to develop on-chip optical devices that incorporate NLO optical small molecules. These hybrid systems provide access to optical behavior and performance not attainable with conventional material systems. In this seminar, I will discuss a couple examples of how NLO small molecules can enable lower threshold lasers and all optically-switchable devices.
Prof. Andrea Armani is currently the Vice Dean of New Initiatives in the Viterbi School of Engineering, the Ray Irani Professor of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science, and the Director of the John D. O’Brien Nanofabrication Laboratory. 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. Prof. Armani has received several awards for research and mentoring, including the ONR Young Investigator Award, NIH New Innovator Award, and the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers. She is a senior member of IEEE and AIChE, a Fellow of OSA and SPIE, and a full member of Sigma Xi. In addition, her dedication to mentoring the next generation of scientists and engineers has been recognized with the USC Mellon Mentoring award for Undergraduate Mentoring and the Hanna Reisler Award for Mentoring.
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