Interaction of photons with metallic structures through the creation of surface plasmons (electron oscillations resulting from photonic excitations) is of critical importance for enhanced transmission of light through periodic arrays of subwavelength holes. The development of nanoscale metallic optical antennas is also being explored.
The Quantum Cascade Laser, invented by Professor Federico Capasso and collaborators, is a fundamentally new light source whose emission wavelength can be designed to cover the entire spectrum from mid to far infrared by tailoring the active region layer thickness. The group has expanded QCL research to new coherent light sources utilizing intracavity nonlinear optical effects.
Near- and far-field light-matter interactions enable optical trapping, sensing, and microscopy with exceptional precision. Advances in this field allow us to make ultra-sensitive contact-free measurements of surface fields and interactions, including the QED Casimir force, attractive and repulsive surface plasmon forces, etc.