Nano-optics is the science of dealing with optical light phenomena on the nanometer scale — one billionth of a meter. The Center for Nano-Optics is advancing the university’s strengths in nanoplasmonics, the optics of small metallic particles, and ultrafast nano-optics.
Mark I. Stockman, professor of physics, is the founding director of the Center for Nano-Optics. His primary goals are to further develop the science of nano-optics and to increase awareness and funding for the field. In 2003, he won international attention for creating a nanoparticle called a spaser, an infinitesimal sphere the size of just a few atoms that can absorb and generate its own light.
The Center for Nano-Optics is concentrated on theoretical and experimental investigations in nanoplasmonics. Faculty are working to develop nanoplasmonic systems for biomedical diagnostics and treatment. One of the promising directions of this research is devoted to using active nanoplasmonic systems for diagnostics and laser therapy of cancers. Another is devoted to nanoplasmonic approaches to visualization in neurological and brain sciences.
Its scientists are also focused on nanoplasmonically enhanced photovoltaics and production of solar fuels, the application of spasers as highly-efficient near-field sources for on-chip interconnects, the use of nanoplasmonic system as active elements (“optical transistors”) for ultrafast information processing and the development of nanoplasmonic based sensors for detection of various chemical and biological agents in the interest of health sciences, defense and homeland security.