Antennas are all around in our modern wireless society: they are the front-ends in satellites, cell-phones, laptops, that establish the communication by sending and receiving signals, typically MHz-GHz. But, according to Maxwell’s equations the same principles of directing and receiving an excitation should be working at various scales. Thus, one may ask “Can a TV-antenna send a beam of light?” And the answer is “Yes, optical nanoantennas can!”
Optical nanoantennas are one of the most promising areas of activity of the current research in nanophotonics due to their ability to bridge the size and impedance mismatch between subwavelength emitters and free space radiation. They are of tremendous use for the development of novel optical sensors, solar cells, quantum communication systems, and for the emission enhancement and directionality control over a broad wavelength range.
The starting point for design of an optical nanoantenna begins from scaling down their radio-frequency counterparts. One of the most versatile of antenna designs are arrayed antenna systems. In most cases, the elements of an array are identical, but this is not necessary, which provides with wide opportunities for control of radiation pattern.
This project is focused on developing novel designs of optical antennas for molecular sensing, optical information transfer, and electromagnetic field localization beyond the diffraction limit. Optical antennas should not be made necesseraly from metal, which opens new opportunities for other materials, like dielectric materials allow to effectively manipulate magnetic component of the light.
A background in electromagnetic wave propagation will be required to understand basic principle of how nanoantennas operate. The ability to process data using computer packages such as Matlab and/or Mathematica is also desireable.