Giving to CREOL CREOL, The College of Optics & Photonics

Optical Imaging and Sensing Faculty Candidate Seminar: "New Frontiers of Electromagnetic Phenomena at the Nanoscale" by Chia-Wei Hsu

Friday, February 2, 2018 11:00 AM to 12:00 PM
CREOL Room 103

Chia-Wei ‘Wade’ Hsu
Post-Doctoral Research Associate
Yale University


Optics and photonics today enjoy unprecedented freedom. The ability to synthesize arbitrary light fields (through wavefront shaping) and the ability to design material structures at the subwavelength scale (through nanofabrication) enable us to realize optical phenomena that could only be imagined in the past. In this talk, I will present several experiments and related theory that demonstrate exciting new phenomena which were previously inaccessible.

Conventional textbook wisdom is that waves cannot be perfectly confined within the continuum spectrum of an open structure. In 1929, von Neumann and Wigner proposed an intriguing exception that is now called a “bound state in the continuum” [1], but their proposal could not be realized at that time. I will describe the first demonstration of nontrivial bound states in the continuum, realized in photonic crystal slabs [2]. This new way to confine light is enabling novel light sources, filters, and sensors.

Photonic crystals are an ideal platform for probing another unique phenomenon: non-Hermitian “exceptional points,” where two eigenstates of a system coalesce into one [3,4]. The exceptional points generate distinct topologies in the band structures, and the coalescence of states leads to unique light–matter interactions.

While nanophotonic design is powerful, we must also work with optical structures in nature, which are typically unknown and disordered. With wavefront shaping, we can control the propagation of light even in unknown structures. I will show that long-range correlations between the multiply scattered waves facilitate the control of photon transport at a global scale [5,6]. Such correlations have strong implications for optical imaging deep into biological tissue and for optical communications.


Wade is a postdoc at Yale applied physics. He received his PhD in physics from Harvard in 2015 and BS in physics with high honors from Wesleyan in 2010. His research centers around controlling light in nanoscale structures and complex systems, through a combination of experiment and theory. He is the co-author of 32 peer-reviewed journal articles and the co-inventor of 3 patents, and has delivered a dozen invited talks internationally. He won the LeRoy Apker Award given by the American Physical Society and was a finalist for the Blavatnik Regional Award for Young Scientists.

For additional information:

Shin-Tson Wu

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