Workshop: Nanophotonics 2018 – The Next Frontier

On 6&7 March, 2018, the ANU OSA-SPIE student chapter co-organized a scientific workshop entitled “Nanophotonics 2018 – The next Frontier” at ANU. The workshop featured over 30 international and domestic invited speakers who are experts in the field of nanophotonics.  Speakers included Prof. Nader Engheta from University of Pennsylvania, USA, Prof. Harald Giessen from Stuttgart University, Germany, and Prof. Shuang Zhang from University of Birmingham, UK. 



Prof. Christodoulides and A/Prof. Khajavikhan: SPIE 2017 visiting lectures

On Dec. 14  Prof. Christodoulides and A/Prof. Khajavikhan from CREOL, University of Central Florida, were kind enough to give the SPIE visiting lectures for 2017.  This event was organised by the ANU SPIE student chapter.

Prof. Christodoulides gave a highly exciting lecture on two topics: Parity-Time Symmetry in Optics and Photonics and Airy beams.


Prof. Christodoulides giving the first lecture


After a short afternoon tea, A/Prof.  Khajavikhan then gave a fascinating lecture on Coherence and Collective Properties of Metallic Nanolasers.

A/Prof. Khajavikhan giving the second lecure


After the lectures we also organized a special social event for the students visiting lecturers.


The SPIE visiting lecturer program is one of the  primary benefits of Membership in SPIE, which offers the opportunity to interact with world-class scientists and engineers at the leading edge of technological advances in optics and photonics.

More information about SPIE visiting lecturer program see the SPIE page on visiting lecturers.

SPIE 2017 Visiting Lectures


Parity-Time Symmetry in Optics and Photonics

Professor Demetrios Christodoulides
CREOL, University of Central Florida, USA

The prospect of judiciously utilizing both optical gain and loss has been recently suggested as a means to control the flow of light. This proposition makes use of some newly developed concepts based on non-Hermiticity and parity-time (PT) symmetry-ideas first conceived within quantum field theories. By harnessing such notions, recent works indicate that novel synthetic structures and devices with counter-intuitive properties can be realized – potentially enabling new possibilities in the field of optics and integrated photonics. Non-Hermitian degeneracies, also known as exceptional points (EPs), have also emerged as a new paradigm for engineering the response of optical systems. In this talk, we provide an overview of recent developments in this newly emerging field. The use of other type symmetries in photonics will be also discussed.

Demetri Christodoulides is a Pegasus and Cobb Family Endowed Chair Professor at CREOL-the College of Optics and Photonics of the University of Central Florida. He received his Ph.D. degree from Johns Hopkins University in 1986 and he subsequently joined Bellcore as a post-doctoral fellow at Murray Hill. Between 1988 and 2002 he was with the faculty of the Department of Electrical Engineering at Lehigh University. His research interests include linear and nonlinear optical beam interactions, synthetic optical materials, optical solitons, and quantum electronics. He has authored and co-authored more than 325 papers. He is a Fellow of the Optical Society of America and the American Physical Society. In 2011 he received the R.W. Wood Prize of OSA.


Coherence and Collective Properties of Metallic Nanolasers

Assistant Professor Mercedeh Khajavikhan
CREOL, University of Central Florida, USA

Nanolasers, a family of light sources with dimensions smaller than the wavelength of light are one of the latest additions to the laser family. The application of such sources ranges from on-chip optical communication to high-resolution and high-throughput imaging, sensing and spectroscopy. This has fueled interest in developing the ‘ultimate’ nanolaser: a scalable, low-threshold source of radiation that operates at room temperature and occupies a small volume on a chip. However, progress towards realizing this ultimate nano-laser has been hindered by the lack of a systematic approach to scaling down the size of the laser cavity without significantly increasing the threshold power required for lasing. In other words, the miniaturization of laser resonators using dielectric or metallic structures, across all previously proposed solutions, faces two challenges; First, the (eigen) mode scalability, implying the existence of a self-sustained electromagnetic field regardless of the cavity size. Second, the disproportionate reduction of optical gain and cavity losses, which results in a large and/or unattainable lasing threshold as the volume of the resonator is reduced. In this talk, I present our results about lasing in the newly introduced nanoscale, sub-wavelength in all three dimensions, coaxial cavities that potentially solve the resonator scalability challenge by the choice of geometry and metal composition. In particular, I present the design, fabrication, characterization, and analysis that resulted in the smallest, room-temperature, continuous wave, telecommunication wavelength laser to date. Furthermore, by utilizing the unique properties of the coaxial cavities, which may have a single non-degenerate mode, I discuss the possibility of thresholdless lasing that provides a scalable solution to overcome the metal losses. I will then explain how to measure the second order coherence function for such light sources in order to verify if they are indeed capable of generating coherent radiation. At the end, I will discuss the possibility of collective behaviors in arrays of nanoscale lasers.


Student talk competition 2017

The student talk competition was held among Master and undergraduate students in the optical physics course for the development of skills in giving research talks. This year the two sessions of competition were on 23 and 25 of May, 2017. There were in total 11 groups of student talks, covering various topics from nanophotonics to quantum optics.

Five referees from the student chapters marked the student talks and the best talk prize goes to Dan Gould and Yun Chen for their impressive talk on nonlinear optics for quantum communications. The awarding for the winners of the competition was held on 31 May in the NLPC tea room.

Session 1 on 23 May






Session 2, 25 May





Awarding on 31 May

Winners: Dan and Yun