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Keynote Lectures

Glass-based Photonic Structures: Advances and Perspectives
Maurizio Ferrari, Istituto di Fotonica e Nanotecnologie (CNR-IFN), Italy

The Physics and Technology of Metadevices and Metasystems
Kevin MacDonald, Optoelectronics Research Centre, University of Southampton, United Kingdom

The Optical Characterisation of the Cold, Atmospheric Pressure Plasmas used for Medical Applications
Bill Graham, Queens University of Belfast, United Kingdom

Enhancing and Controlling Light with Plasmonic and Non-Plasmonic Nanoantennas: Potential Applications in Medicine, (Bio-) Sensing or Spectroscopy
Pablo Albella, Universidad de las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Spain

 

Glass-based Photonic Structures: Advances and Perspectives

Maurizio Ferrari
Istituto di Fotonica e Nanotecnologie (CNR-IFN)
Italy
 

Brief Bio
Maurizio Ferrari, physicist, is research director at the Institute of Photonics and Nanotechnologies (IFN) of the National Research Council (CNR) in Trento. He has been prime investigator or key researcher in many national and international projects. He has 256 scientific articles on international journals (ISI-JCR), 214 papers in proceedings of national and international conferences, 450 communication at national and international congress, and several other publications and book chapters (h-index: 34). His main areas of research include: glass photonics; glasses obtained by melting and by sol-gel route activated by rare-earth ions and chromophores; planar waveguides obtained by different techniques (dip-coating, spin-coating rf-sputtering, ionic-exchange), both passive and active; nanostructured, composite and nano phase materials; confined optical structures (photonic crystals, microcavities, and microresonators); applications to sensing and energy. He has been program chair or member of scientific and program committees of many national and international conferences. He was co-founder of the PRE Workshops series and will be co-chair of PRE'17 in Rome in November 2017.


Abstract
Glass photonics is pervasive in a huge number of human activities and drive the research in the field of enabling technologies. Glass materials and photonic structures are the cornerstones of scientific and technological building in integrated optics. Photonic glasses, optical glass waveguides, planar light integrated circuits, waveguide gratings and arrays, functionalized waveguides, photonic crystal heterostructures, and hybrid microresonators are some examples of glass-based integrated optical devices that play a significant role in optical communication, sensing, biophotonics, processing, and computing. We present some recent results obtained by our consortium in rare earth doped photonic glasses and confined structures, in order to give some highlights regarding the state of art in glass photonics. To evidence the unique properties of transparent glass ceramics we will compare spectroscopic and structural properties between the parent glass and the glass ceramics. Starting from planar waveguides we will move to spherical microresonators, a very interesting class of photonic confined structures. Then we will present 1D-potonic crystals and opals allowing management of optical and spectroscopic properties. We will conclude the short review with some remarks about the more significant applications such as laser action and structural sensing and the appealing perspective for glass-based photonic structures.



 

 

The Physics and Technology of Metadevices and Metasystems

Kevin MacDonald
Optoelectronics Research Centre, University of Southampton
United Kingdom
 

Brief Bio
Professor MacDonald is a member of the Optoelectronics Research Centre’s Nanophotonics & Metamaterials Group, and Manager of the University’s Centre for Photonic Metamaterials. He received MPhys and PhD degrees from the University of Southampton’s School of Physics and Astronomy before joining as a Research Fellow in 2001, subsequently moving to the ORC in 2006. His research interests include active/adaptive, all-dielectric and opto-mechanical metamaterials; as well as ultrafast, electron-beam-driven and phase-change nanophotonics. He has published more than 60 journal articles and presented almost 200 conference papers on these subjects including more than 60 keynote or invited talks. Prof. MacDonald sits on the steering committee of the Institute of Physics’ Quantum Electronics & Photonics Group, is a member of the Editorial Board for the Nature Publishing Group journal Scientific Reports, and is co-chair of the Metamaterials conference at SPIE Photonics Europe.


Abstract
Photonic metamaterials research has migrated in recent years from the study of almost exclusively plasmonic metal nanostructures to embrace a variety of advanced material platforms, including dielectrics, semiconductors, superconductors, phase-change media, and topological insulators. Optically- and electronically-actuated reconfigurable photonic metasurfaces based on such materials offer a range of low-loss, nonlinear, tuneable and switchable optical functionalities in ultra-compact form-factor – for example, engaging nano(opto)mechanical or phase-change response mechanisms to serve signal modulation, spectral/polarization selection or dispersion manipulation applications. In this talk I will review recent developments in the field, ranging from the demonstration of compositionally-tuneable plasmonic properties in chalcogenides to the integration of active all-dielectric and plasmonic metamaterials with optical fibre waveguides.



 

 

The Optical Characterisation of the Cold, Atmospheric Pressure Plasmas used for Medical Applications

Bill Graham
Queens University of Belfast
United Kingdom
 

Brief Bio

From an early background in the study of atomic and molecular physics including high energy ion-atom collisions, I became interested in the characterisation and physics and chemistry of plasmas starting with negative ion sources and their application in magnetic fusion, then RF driven plasma processing devices and my current research is focused on the fundamental physics and chemistry of atmospheric pressure low temperature (around room temperature) plasmas and plasmas created in liquids. This involves the use and development of a wide range of diagnostic and computer simulation and modelling techniques and of diverse plasma sources. I have an increasing commitment to the application of these plasma sources in medicine, catalysis and surface modification.


Abstract
In the last decade plasma devices capable of producing cold gas (~ 60 0C), reactive, plasmas at atmospheric pressure have been developed. This has been followed by the rapid growth of interest in the applications of such plasmas in areas such as medicine, food and agriculture where they have demonstrated, for example, antimicrobial capabilities. This has placed a urgent requirement on understanding the physics and chemistry of these plasmas.   Following an introduction to the plasmas and their applications, the diagnostics of these systems using fast imaging, spectroscopy and laser-based techniques e.g. induced fluorescence and Thomson scattering will be discussed.



 

 

Enhancing and Controlling Light with Plasmonic and Non-Plasmonic Nanoantennas: Potential Applications in Medicine, (Bio-) Sensing or Spectroscopy

Pablo Albella
Universidad de las Palmas de Gran Canaria
Spain
 

Brief Bio
Pablo Albella is a researcher in the University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria where he leads the nanophotonics and material science research line at the University Institute for Intelligent Systems and Numerical Applications in Engineering (SIANI). He received his PhD from the University of Cantabria. Later he moved to the Material Physics Centre of San Sebastian as postdoctoral fellow. Before his actual position, he spent few years as senior research associate at Imperial College London, where he is still guest researcher. His research interests and activities, include not only the electromagnetic understanding and modelling of the response of plasmonic systems, but also exploring new fascinating possibilities in the field of nanophotonics, such as finding new materials and designs of nanostructures able to enhance the performance of the actual plasmonic devices in applications such as sensing or spectroscopy. Dr. Albella also pays special attention to dielectric nanoantennas as a new effort to find a novel and complementary alternative to plasmonics, pursuing not only the enhancement of the EM responses (linear and non-linear), but also to guide and/or direct light efficiently and with minimal losses; always aiming at finding its direct application in (bio-)sensing, medicine, optical nanocircuits or nanocomputers, as well as customized metamaterials or energy storage (such as solar cells). Pablo Albella is coauthor of more than 50 peer-reviewed publications, most of them in high impact journals. He is member of the Editorial Board for the Nature Publishing Group journal Scientific Reports, active referee of more than 20 JCR scientific journals and has received several prizes and awards.


Abstract
Optical antennas transform light from freely propagating waves into highly localized excitations that interact strongly with matter. In particular, plasmonic nanostructures acting as nanonantennas have been employed to obtain strong light-matter interactions at deep subwavelength size scales. However, its ohmic losses lead to temperature increase in the nanoantenna and its surroundings. This effect is well known and some applications take advantage of it, such as photothermal imaging, some biosensing techniques or cancer therapy. In the case of other applications, it is detrimental as it strongly limits the power that can be delivered to a hot spot before the particle reshapes or melts, affecting its nanoscale lighting or the emission properties of targets near the nanoantennas. Another limitation of metals is the difficulty to generate optical magnetic response. Recently, the use of low-loss resonators made of high-permittivity dielectric materials (non-plasmonic), has shown to be efficient in enhancing the interaction of light with matter. In this talk we will first review and highlight the properties and strengths of plasmonic nanoantennas. Later we will discuss its weaknesses, and pay special attention to non-plasmonic nanoantennas, as a novel way to compensate for those weaknesses. These novel nanoantennas, apart from producing both, large near field enhancement and good scattering efficiencies, offer interesting optical properties, like the possibility of exciting nanoscale displacement currents that can lead to magnetic response, allowing the tuning of the amplitude and phase difference of electric and magnetic resonances independently. This opens a new path to guide light by just conveniently designing the shape and size of the nanostructures, so that they can arbitrarily interfere to direct light towards a desired direction. We will conclude showing how non-plasmonic nanoantennas and its combination with plasmonic ones (hybrid antennas) can act as basic units for the development of more efficient light emitting devices aimed at integrated photonics, (bio)-sensing, spectroscopic techniques (SERS or SEF) or optical nanocircuits, where tuning the light propagation direction would be beneficial to improve its performance.



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