Experimental optics setup


Research scope of Meta-Active
Experimental optics setup
Image: Jan-Peter Kasper (University of Jena)

Research focus of Meta-Active

Metasurfaces composed of designed nanoscale, subwavelength optical elements ("meta-atoms") arranged in a plane have been established as a versatile and efficient platform for controlling the properties of light fields, including their wavefront, polarization, and spectral properties. However, most metasurfaces realized so far were passive and linear; their optical response was permanently encoded into the structure already during fabrication.

Schematic picture of optical metasurfaces with the functions of generating, programming and detecting light
Schematic picture of optical metasurfaces with the functions of generating, programming and detecting light
Image: Isabelle Staude

In the framework of the International Research Training Group (IRTG) 2675 "Meta-Active", we will create and investigate active metasurfaces, which emit, detect and dynamically manipulate light, making use of the capability of their resonant meta-atoms to enhance the interaction of light with nanoscale matter. By combining the nanoantenna effect of the individual meta-atoms with the additional degrees of freedom offered by the arrangement, metasurfaces provide opportunities for tailoring light-matter interactions far exceeding the respective capabilities of individual nanoantennas. This scientific vision will lay the foundations for new types of high-performance (quantum) light sources, programmable optical systems, and enhanced detectors based on the metasurface concept.

The research program is structured into three main pillars with several research projects in each one. Each project will be led by two project investigators (PIs) with complementary expertise, one from Friedrich Schiller University Jena (FSU) and one from Australian National University Canberra (ANU) to define new and innovative research approaches.

Artist’s impression of a light-emitting metasurface
Artist’s impression of a light-emitting metasurface
Image: Isabelle Staude

Pillar A: Light-emitting metasurfaces

Pillar A aims to investigate the enhancement and tailoring of light-emission processes of dedicated metasurface architectures and their far-field properties by incorporating emitters. We will concentrate on selected spontaneous emission and nonlinear frequency generation processes, for which the resonant metasurfaces enable otherwise inaccessible processes. Important examples constitute the efficient generation of unusual entangled photon states and coupling to "forbidden" electronic transitions and "dark" excitons. The individual projects will also consider stimulated light emission processes. By combining the near-field enhancement at the individual metasurface building blocks with the effect of multiple scattering in two-dimensional arrangements, metasurfaces provide a versatile platform for tailoring emission processes far beyond what is possible with individual nanoantennas.

  • Projects in Pillar A

    A1 – Driving semiconductor metasurfaces to lasing

    Involved PIs: Carsten Ronning (FSU), Hoe Tan (ANU), Isabelle Staude (FSU), Lan Fu (ANU), C. Jagadish (ANU)

    Doctoral students: Lukas Jäger, Ayesheh Bashiri

    A2 – Nonlinear metasurfaces for photon-pair generation

    Involved PIs: Isabelle Staude (FSU), Andrey Sukhorukov (ANU), Thomas Pertsch (FSU), Dragomir Neshev (ANU), Ping Koy Lam, Frank Setzpfandt (FSU)

    Doctoral students: Laura Valencia (ANU), Saniya Shinde

    A3 – Enhancing magnetic dipole transitions of lanthanides in metasurfaces

    Involved PIs: Carsten Ronning (FSU), Duk-Yong Choi (ANU), Isabelle Staude, Patrick Kluth (ANU), Christin David (FSU)

    Doctoral students: Marjin Rikers, Fengkai Wei

    A4 – Efficient light emission from out-of-plane excitons coupled to metasurfaces

    Involved PIs: Giancarlo Soavi (FSU), Dragomir Neshev (ANU), Isabelle Staude, Yuerui Lu (ANU), Zongyou Yin (ANU)

    Doctoral students: Sebastian Klimmer, Rahil Rezwan

    A5 – Hierarchical nonlinear metasurfaces based on engineered nanocomposites

    Involved PIs: Andreas Tünnermann (FSU), Lan Fu (ANU), Thomas Pertsch (FSU), Hoe Tan (ANU), Duk-Yong Choi (ANU

    Doctoral student: Martin Miculka

Pillar B: Programmable metasurfaces

Pillar B will explore various implementations of responsive metasurfaces, whose optical properties can be dynamically tuned by the application of an external stimulus. Spatially variant control of the stimulus will ultimately allow programming the metasurface functionality on demand. Exemplary science cases to be studied are metasurfaces hybridized with liquid crystals or two-dimensional semiconductors, as well as semiconductor metasurfaces for ultrafast all-optical control. 

  • Projects in Pillar B

    B1 – Programmable dielectric metasurfaces based on hybridization with liquid crystals

    Involved PIs: Isabelle Staude (FSU), Dragomir Neshev (ANU), Falk Eilenberger (FSU), Andreas Tünnermann (FSU/Fraunhofer IOF), Duk-Yong Choi (ANU), Ilya Shadrivov (ANU)

    Doctoral student: Max Beddoe

    B2 – Active 2D-materials and heterostructures for switchable resonant metasurfaces

    Involved PIs: Falk Eilenberger (FSU), Yuerui Lu (ANU), Ping Koy Lam, Andreas Tünnermann (FSU/Fraunhofer IOF), Isabelle Staude (FSU), Giancarlo Soavi (FSU)

    Doctoral student: Benjamin Laudert

    B3 – Spatio-temporal dynamics in nonlinear metasurfaces

    Involved PIs: Thomas Pertsch (FSU), C. Jagadish (ANU), Isabelle Staude (FSU), Ilya Shadrivov (ANU)

    Doctoral student: Anna Fitriana

    B4 – Exciton-polariton-dynamics on an active metasurface

    Involved PIs: Ulf Peschel (FSU), Elena Ostrovskaya (ANU), Isabelle Staude (FSU)

    Doctoral student: Carlo Panu

Pillar C: Metasurface-enhanced detection

Pillar C will tailor light absorption and scattering processes in metasurfaces in such a way that the detection of particular analytes or of properties of the light itself can be enhanced. We will also make use of tailored absorption in metasurfaces to increase the efficiency of light harvesting, in particular photocatalytic processes. The detection enhancement can be made selective for particular polarizations, wavelengths, incident directions, or the quantum state of the photons. We will specifically concentrate on superconducting single photon detectors, chiral biochemical sensing, and hot electron generation

  • Projects in Pillar C

    C1 – Chiroptical sensing with tunable and broadband chiral metasurfaces

    Involved PIs: Jer-Shing Huang (FSU), Ilya Shadrivov (ANU), Isabelle Staude (FSU), Ulf Peschel (FSU)

    Doctoral student: Min Jiang

    C2 – Metasurface enhanced single photon detection

    Involved PIs: Heidemarie Schmidt (FSU), Lan Fu (ANU),  Christin David (FSU), Ilya Shadrivov (ANU)

    Doctoral student: Sai Kanduri

    C3 – Metasurface-based quantum-state detection and discrimination

    Involved PIs: Thomas Pertsch (FSU), Andrey Sukhorukov (ANU), Isabelle Staude (FSU), Frank Setzpfandt (FSU)

    Doctoral student: N.N. 

    C4 – Semiconductor metasurfaces for energy applications: active tuning of photon absorption and hot electron detection

    Involved PIs: Christin David (FSU), Fiona Beck (ANU), Ulf Peschel (FSU), Kylie Catchpole (ANU)

    Doctoral student: Ning Lyu