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Switching Light with Light

In the nano-optics laboratory at Vanderbilt, Professor Richard Haglund is developing new materials and device structures in which light pulses can be used to control and direct the flow of optical information, while simultaneously yielding information about electron and atomic dynamics in the materials. The team fabricates metal and metal-oxide nano- and microstructures in which to study optical switching, exciton-plasmon coupling and extraordinary light transmission through arrays of sub-wavelength holes.  In collaborations with Professors Jason Valentine and Sharon Weiss in the School of Engineering, the Haglund group is developing ways to use phase transitions in metal oxides for cloaking and silicon photonics.  “One of our major objectives is to control light on nanometer length scales and femtosecond time scales, addressing challenging questions in optical science and optical technologies,” Haglund says.

Vanderbilt University