MSE Seminar - Dr. Nicholas Fang - MIT
Sculpting Light and Acoustic Fields with Metamaterials
Abstract: Metamaterials are made of precisely fabricated constituents that are analogous to ‘atoms’ and ‘molecules’ in natural materials. To the waves interacting with these materials, because the dimensions of the building blocks are so small compared with the wavelength, they can be viewed as continuum, possessing some effective constitutive parameters. Recently, exciting new physics of metamaterials has inspired a series of key explorations to manipulate, store and control the flow of information and energy at unprecedented dimensions. These materials promise to fill the white space of material selection, giving enormous choice of material parameters for different applications. In this talk, I will present our recent study of new class of functional metamaterials, such as compact optical metamaterials for broadband light trapping, mixing and extraction, and acoustic metamaterials for bending and trapping sound and elastic waves in engineered spaces. I will also discuss our effort on develop scalable micro/nanofabrication processes (such as digital optofluidic techniques) for these novel heterogeneous metamaterials. These tools may enable a range of important applications, such as thin film optical metamaterials for enhanced light and thermal harvesting efficiency in energy conversion, as well as acoustic metamaterials for on-chip oscillators.
Professor Nicholas X. Fang received his BS and MS in physics from Nanjing University, and his PhD in mechanical engineering from University of California Los Angeles. He arrived at MIT in Jan 2011 as an associate professor of Mechanical Engineering. Prior to MIT, he worked as an assistant professor at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. Professor Fang’s areas of research look at nanophotonics and nanofabrication. His recognitions include the ASME Chao and Trigger Young Manufacturing Engineer Award (2013); the ICO prize from the International Commission of Optics (2011); an invited participant of the Frontiers of Engineering Conference by National Academies in 2010; the NSF CAREER Award (2009) and MIT Technology Review Magazine’s 35 Young Innovators Award (2008).