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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’s activity is organized around 4 themes covering key domains in nano-optics:
› Tunable Photonic crystals in LiNbO3: the aim here is to miniaturize optical modulators without any loss of performance or modulation rate, and also to create micro-/nanosensors with very high ratios of surface/volume detection;
› Optical nanoantennas: whose goal is to generate new optical functions in the nanometric volumes at the ends of optical fibers, namely nanoscopy, trapping and manipulation, and local optical detection in surface vicinities;
› Metallic metamaterials with enhanced transmission: targeting the creation of ultracompact, ultrathin optical components by playing on the collective capacity of nanostructures to control the polarization and light phase (visible in the THz optics);
› Hybrid photonic/plasmonic nanostructures: based on the coupling of the dielectric and metallic devices previously mentioned in order to dramatically enhance light/matter interaction at the sub-wavelength scale. The aim here is the generation of ultrathin conversion blades at the wavelength conversion, as well as the achievement of highly localized laser emissions at the nanometer scale.
The team can design, fabricate and characterize its own nano-optic devices, for example:
› Tools for digital simulation used on more than 150 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.