March 4 2014 Tuesday 15:30
Ömer İlday, Bilkent University
Nonlinearity Engineering of Photonics Systems: Nonlinear Laser Lithography

Abstract: Nature never tells precisely where each particle should go; instead, structure and functionality effortlessly emerge from stochastic processes, often guided by nonlinear feedback mechanisms. While this is ubiquitous in nature, its intentional use in human technology remains rare. However, it is possible to exploit these principles to achieve superior technological functionalities, which may be difficult or even impossible to achieve with linear systems. Photonics is a particularly fertile platform to demonstrate this vision, which I refer to as “Nonlinearity Engineering”. Known (albeit simple) examples include mode-locking of lasers and a broad class of fractal optics, including self-similarity. I will describe our recent work (Oktem, et al., Nature Photon., 2013), where we demonstrated a method that exploits nonlocal and nonlinear interference of a laser beam with its scatterings from various material surfaces to fabricate self-organized metal/metal-oxide nanostructures with unprecedented uniformity, solving a problem that dates back to 1965. Recently, we were funded by a ERC Consolidator Grant to drive our initial results into uncharted territory. In the last part of the talk, I will briefly discuss some of the directions we would like to explore and some of the open questions we intend to confront over the next 5 years.