In the Integrated Quantum Optoelectronics Lab, we are building ultra low-power nanoscale optoelectronic
devices by engineering the interaction between light and matter. A fundamental tradeoff in integrated photonics
exists between the extent at which one can engineer the amplitude, phase and frequency of light and the energy,
speed, active area, and cost needed to do so. In our research, we want to address this tradeoff by exploring new
materials (with strong electro-optic and nonlinear optical properties), new photonic devices (nanoscale high
quality resonators) and new system architectures (different types of coupled resonator architectures coupled via
optoelectronic feedback circuits) to sculpt and tune the properties of light at few photon levels. If you are interested,
you can see here
the recent talk given by Arka in UW-EEresearch colloquium.
Some of the ongoing research projects are:
Hybrid silicon photonics for optical communication and computing
To improve the transceivers in current silicon photonics (SiP), we are looking into new materials, cavities and new modulation techniques.
The current SiP devices are limited either by the large size of the devices, and hence large power and low speed (in MZI); or by high Q-resonators
(thermal stabilization necessitates large power consumption; and photon lifetime reduces speed). We are exploring nanophotonic innovation
to solve this three dimensional optimization problem (speed, power and size). Our approach is to explore a hybrid silicon photonic platform,
where the underlying photonic devices are made of silicon, on top of which we will integrate new materials (like electro-optic oxides,
polymers etc.). We, however, want to go beyond signal communication, and want to explore the avenues of optical computing. For that we are actively
working on new nonlinear optical materials. We want to push the energy of these devices to few photon levels, where we can also study quantum optical
effects. These devices can be thought of as precursors to future quantum information processing devices.
We are actively collaborating with leading researchers in the 2D material community to build photonic devices using 2D materials. 2D materials
are a newly discovered materials, which are monolayer and single-atom thick. Due to such low volume, the energy required to change this material
can be very low. Moreover, these materials can be easily transferred to other materials. In our reseach, we are looking into building new light
source, electro-optic modulator as well as strongly nonlinear optical devices using the 2D materials.
Tunable dielectric metasurface
Metasurfaces are two-dimensional quasi-periodic array of subwavelength features. Dielectric metasurfaces allow wavefront shaping of the
incident light. However, the true potential of such metasurface can be realized, if one can tune them. We are looking into new materials with
tunable refractive index to achieve this goal.