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The activity of our "Nano-optics" team falls within the general framework of the study and control of interaction between light and matter at scales smaller than the wavelength. This approach is not limited to the miniaturization of optical components; its aim is to update and exploit new optical phenomena specific to the “sub-wavelength" scale in order to implement new features and highly innovative optical "meta materials" that have unprecedented optical properties and/or greatly augmented performances.
Goals and Research Areas
The team activities are structured around 6 main topics covering key areas of nano-optics:
- Design and fabrication of individual 2D and 3D dielectric and plasmonic nano-antennas (bowties, diabolos, helices, coaxial etc.) and metallic, dielectric or hybrid metamaterials, mainly active photonic crystals on lithium niobate, study of their nano-optical properties and development of original nanophotonic components (anisotropic plates, polarizers, lenses...).
- Turn-key nanometric optical probes by grafting plasmonic and/or enhanced transmission nano-antennas at the end of fibered tips. Nano-imaging of PbS quantum dots with photonic emission at lambda=1.5 microns, fibered single photon sources "on demand".
- Optical tweezers for trapping and spin-orbit coupling in nanophotonic and plasmonic structures, control and exploitation of spin and orbital angular momentum of light at subwavelength scale and study of their mechanical transfer to metallic or dielectric nanoparticles. Reverse Faraday effect in plasmonic nano-antennas: opto-magnets, ultrafast opto-induced magnetism. Nanometric plasmonic functions tunable by the helicity of light.
- Ultra-sensitive electric and magnetic field nanosensors. High quality factor resonances (Fano, SPM: symmetry protected modes, BIC: Bound states in the continuum). Electro and acousto-optic modulators based on enhanced transmission metamaterials
- Miniature fibered sensors by grafting nano-optical antennas at the end of the fiber: ultra-compact fibered sensors for in vivo dosimetry of medical X-rays used in radiotherapy and brachytherapy.
- Bloch surface waves (BSW) on planar substrates and on optical fibers: BSW-plasmon coupling and multimodal optical functions integrated at the fiber end.
The team can design, fabricate and characterize its own nano-optic devices, for example:
- Tools for digital simulation used on more than 250 processors shared by the team’s several supercomputers. Its digital simulation facilities include the university’s computing center (MESOCENTRE de Calcul).
- Micro-nanotechnologies that the team contributes for the development of the MIMENTO platform. The team is one of the main contributors to the platform’s technological development.
- An important optical characterization pool for the measurement and imaging of nanocomponents on different types of support (planar substrates, ridge waveguides with very high aspect ratios and nanotips at the ends of optical fibers). It is to be noted that these experimental means have evolved significantly over time with the introduction of new near-field microscopy benches and high-resolution optical spectroscopy.