New Frontiers In Nonlinear Optics: Harnessing Photon-Phonon Interactions In Nanoscale Integrated Circuits

Speaker: Prof. Benjamin Eggleton, ARC Laureate Fellow, School of Physics, University of Sydney / Centre for Ultrahigh bandwidth Devices for Optical Systems (CUDOS)

Date: Thursday April 20, 2017 @ 2:00 pm

Location: Brimacombe, AMPEL Room 311


One of the surprises of nonlinear optics – the field of optics with high intensity lasers – is that light may interact strongly with sound, the most mundane of mechanical vibrations. Intense laser light literally “shakes” the glass in optical fibres, exciting acoustic waves (sound) in the fibre. Under the right conditions, it leads to a positive feedback loop between light and sound termed “Stimulated Brillouin Scattering,” or simply SBS. This nonlinear interaction can amplify or filter light waves with extreme precision in frequency (colour) which makes it uniquely suited to solve key problems in the fields of defence, biomedicine and wireless communications amongst others. We recently achieved the first demonstration of SBS in compact chip-scale structures, carefully designed so that the optical fields and the acoustic fields are simultaneously confined and guided. This new platform has opened a range of new chip-based functionalities that are being applied in communications and defence with record performance and compactness. This new optical-phononic chip reveals new regimes of light sound interactions at the nanoscale, which has required new theoretical developments. My talk will introduce this new field, review our progress and achievements and recent highlights that point towards a new class of silicon based optical phononic processor that can be manufactured in semiconductor CMOS foundries.


Professor Benjamin Eggleton is an ARC Laureate Fellow and Professor of Physics at the University of Sydney and Director of the ARC Centre for Ultrahigh bandwidth Devices for Optical Systems (CUDOS). He obtained his PhD degree in Physics from the University of Sydney, in 1996 and then joined Bell Laboratories, Lucent Technologies as a Postdoctoral Member of Staff.

In 2000, he was promoted to Director within the Specialty Photonics Division of Bell Laboratories, where he was engaged in forward-looking research supporting Lucent Technologies business in optical fiber devices. He returned to the University of Sydney in 2003 as the founding Director of CUDOS and Professor in the School of Physics. Professor Eggleton is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science, the Optical Society of America, IEEE Photonics and the Australian Technology, Science and Engineering Academy (ATSE).

He was the recipient of the 2011 Eureka Prize for Leadership in Science, the Walter Boas Medal of the Australian Institute of Physics and the OSA’s Adolph Lomb Medal. Professor Eggleton has published about 440 journal papers which have been cited >16,000 times with an h-number of > 62 (webofscience). He was President of the Australian Optical Society, is currently Editor-in-Chief for APL Photonics and serves on the Board of Governors for IEEE Photonics.

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