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Our group is focused on fundamental technological developments in nonlinear photonics enabling innovative, practical, and scalable solutions for our modern life challenges. In our research, we use state-of-the-art laser systems, micro and nano fabrication tools and techniques, unconventional materials, and numerical and theoretical techniques. While our main goal is experimental realization of novel nonlinear photonic systems, techniques, and technologies, we also work on advancing the theoretical understanding of these systems as well as applying our solutions to real-life problems.

Our group’s research on Nonlinear Photonics is within and across these research themes:

Optical Frequency Combs and Ultrafast Photonics

An optical frequency comb is a coherent radiation comprising equidistant sharp spectral peaks. Since their inception, optical frequency combs have revolutionized metrology and spectroscopy, and they are still finding new applications in different disciplines from laser ranging for autonomous systems to coherent spectroscopic tools for healthcare. While frequency combs offer clear performance benefits for many of these applications, they are still not available for day-to-day use mostly due to their bulky footprint, limited reliability, and prohibitive cost. Several research groups and companies are attacking these challenges from different perspectives, and our group explores novel nonlinear photonic techniques that can enable generation and utilization of frequency combs in a cost-effective and scalable way for a wide range of applications.

Related Research Stories: Mid-IR Frequency Combs, Simultons in Nonlinear Resonators

Optical Information Processing and Computing

Standard digital computers have revolutionized our world owing to their universal computational architecture, and the tremendous progress in CMOS technologies over the past decades. Despite the continuous progress of digital computers, a wide range of computational problems are still extremely challenging for them. These problems are ubiquitous in our modern life and exist in a variety of disciplines ranging from drug discovery, DNA sequencing, social networks, to combinatorial optimization.

Unconventional special-purpose computers are expected to offer paths for accelerating the solution of some of these problems, and optical systems are among the promising platforms for realization of such computers. While linear optical systems have been extensively explored for different ways of analog computing and optical information processing, nonlinear optical processes can enable unique opportunities for realization of special-purpose computers that may outperform standard digital computers for their designated tasks.

Related Research Stories: Optical Ising Machines


Quantum Optics

Generation and manipulation of quantum states of light promise unprecedented opportunities for computation, sensing, and communication. While an all-optical quantum system can offer several benefits over non-optical systems, implementation of such a system in a practical way is still elusive. To achieve such a goal several photonic-based routes are still open for exploration, for most of which development of appropriate nonlinear photonic platforms is key. Our group explores development of such nonlinear platforms that can enable utilization of non-classicality of light for sensing and computing applications. These efforts range from generation of pairs of photons to realization of squeezed and entangled states of light and quantum frequency conversion.

Related Research Stories: Optical Ising Machines

Mid-Infrared Photonics

The mid-infrared portion of the optical spectrum, i.e. the wavelength range between 2 and 20 microns, is known as the molecular fingerprint spectral region and is of immense interest for molecular sensing applications. Development of scalable mid-IR photonic systems for instance for imaging or spectroscopy can benefit numerous applications ranging from medical diagnostics to environmental sensing and security. Achieving these goals largely depends on nonlinear optical processes because the wavelength range of interest is usually outside the comfort zones of laser sources, detectors, and/or photonic structures. Our group explores development of nonlinear photonic systems in the mid-IR that can enable solutions for molecular sensing.

Related Research Stories: Mid-IR Frequency Combs, Integrated Nonlinear Photonics