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Dipartimento di Fisica - Politecnico di Milano

Classical and non-classical light in complex photonic structures and quantum-optical analogies

Photonics is the science and technology of generating, controlling, and detecting photons with ubiquitous applications ranging from  many areas from everyday life to the most advanced science, e.g. light detection and sensing, telecommunications, and information processing both at classical and quantum level. The possibility to maniplate classical and quantum light at the single photon level in enginnered photonic structures down to the nanometer scale, as well as the investigation of novel complex and meta-materials and protocols for molding the flow of light, is a challenging task for the near future research in the field.



This activity is focused to the theoretical investigation of a wide range of  linear, nonlinear and quantum otpics phenomena in complex dielectric- and plasmonic-based photonic structures.

Main research activities:

1. Photonic structures for classical simulation of quantum phenomena in the matter
This research is focused to the investigation of fundamental analogies between classical light propagation in engineered waveguide structures and quantum phenomena in the matter, including:
(i) optical analogies of single-particle non-reativistic dynamics of strongly-driven electrons in atoms, molecules and solids (STIRAP and quantum-control methods, Bloch oscillations and dynamic localization, etc.);
(ii) optical analogies of relativistic quantum-mechanical phenomena (Klein tunneling, Zitterbewegung, non-linear QED);
(iii) optical analogies of and the physics of correlated particles (Hubbard and Bose-Hubbard models).

2. Transport of classical and quantum light in waveguide lattices
This research is focused to the theoretical investigation of transport and localization phenomena of classical and non-classical light in engineered waveguide lattices, including:
(i) classical and quantum interference effects in evanescently-coupled optical waveguides and quantum signatures of classical transport;
(ii) invisibility in photonic structures with localized defects;
(iii) generation of non-classical states of light in engineered coupled-waveguide structures.

3. Light propagation and localization in nanostructured media and complex PT metamaterials
This research is devoted to the theoretical study of innovative optical materials and devices for the control of light, including:
(i) PT-symmetric photonic structures and complex crystals with application to the design of non-reciprocal optical devices;
(ii) sub-wavelength localization of light in metal-dielectric (plasmonic) waveguides and resonators with applications to optical nanosensing;
(iii) theoretical modelling and numerical symulations of the non-linear optical response in metallic systems and plasmonic nanostructures.


Financial support: financial support to this research activity is acknowledged to the Italian Government (Grant No. PRIN-2008-YCAAK, “Analogie ottico-quantistiche in strutture fotoniche a guida d’onda”) and Cariplo Foundation (Project "New Frontiers in Plasmonic Nanosensig", Rif. 2011-0338).