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Fall 2019

Fall 2019: PHYC 581 Nanophotonics
Time: Wednesdays 2:45 - 5:15 pm.
Location: CHTM room 103 (1313 Goddard st SE). 
Instructor: Victor Acosta.
Office Hours: Wed 1-3p, CHTM 115A
Recommended background: E&M at the level of ECE 360/PHYC 405 or optics at the PHYC 302 level. 
Relevant, but purely optional, text: Principles of Nano-Optics by Novotny and Hecht. I have a copy you may borrow.
Syllabus: This webpage is the course syllabus.
Class schedule: Class Schedule sheet. This is being frequently updated, all dates are tentative as of now.
Lumerical licenses: FREE from Aug 15-Dec 13 for all students registered in the class. Installation info here

 Metasurfaces Plasmonics Photonic crystals

In this course we will learn how to tailor light-matter interactions by confining light and emitters to nanometer length scales. Through lectures, review articles, and hands-on use of Lumerical (industry standard nanophotonics simulation tool provided for free during the semester), we will learn how to design and simulate structures exhibiting, for example: 
  • Fluorescence enhancement of an emitter embedded in a photonic crystal cavity
  • Plasmonic resonances in metallic nanostructures.
  • Phase/polarization control of light using dielectric nanopillars
Along the way we will learn about applications of these and other phenomena that are being pursued by nanophotonics researchers in academia and industry with a special emphasis on applications in biomedical imaging and sensing. 

The course is structured as follows:
  1. Review of E&M theory: Maxwell’s equations, wave equations, modes, intro to plasmonics, and fundamentals of computational techniques. 
  2. Lumerical tutorial, commercial electromagnetics simulation tool
  3. Case studies (3 total). We will study in depth three topics in nanophotonics: photonic crystals, dielectric metasurfaces, and plasmonics. For each topic, we will have a guest lecture from an active researcher in the field: UNM Prof. Stavroula Foteinopoulou (Photonic Crystals), Sandia scientist Dr. Adam Backer (Metasurfaces), and UNM Prof. Alejandro Manjavacas (plasmonics). Next, we’ll have a literature review, where students will present and discuss a related review article. Finally, we will have a computer lab, where we will collaboratively design and simulate (with Lumerical) nanophotonic structures related to the topic. 
  4. Student presentations. In place of a final exam, students will perform a case study on a nanophotonics topic of their choice. They will use Lumerical and/or other forms of analysis to investigate the topic, and they will present results in an oral presentation to the class.
Assignments and grading policy:
The purpose of this class is to learn about nanophotonics and have some fun along the way, not to stress about grades. The primary purpose of grading assignments is to give students feedback on their work. The final course grades are scored on a curve, and students usually get an A or A- if they complete all assignments. 

Assignment 1: Photonic Crystals: design a cavity. (20% of total grade)
Assignment 2: Plasmonics: design a nanoparticle. (20%)
Assignment 3: Dielectric metasurfaces: design a half waveplate.  (20%)
Assignment 4: Final Exam presentations, Wed, Dec 11, 4 - 6:30 pm, Regener 118. (20%)
Participation: includes attendance, lit review, final project synopsis. (20%)

Assignments 1-3 are completed by pairs of students. Students submit one assignment per pair, and one grade is given to the pair. Students are encouraged to switch partners for each assignment. If a student prefers to work alone on the final project, they may do so. Else they can work in pairs, and one grade will be given to the pair.

Late policy on Assignments 1-3: Completed assignments are due 
via email ( at the beginning of class on the designated date listed in the class schedule. Assignment scores will be reduced by 5 points (out of a total of 100) for each week late. For example, completed assignments submitted between 1 hour to 7 days late lose 5 pts, 8-15 days late lose 10 pts, etc.  The final project is an in-class oral presentation--if you foresee a scheduling conflict please contact the instructor ASAP.

Literature Reviews:
Pairs of students will deliver a literature review on a paper of their choice. Everybody will have a chance to present once. The paper will be selected 1 week prior to class and the entire class is required to read the paper and come with at least one question to ask. Grades will be credit/no credit.

Examples of lit. review from Fall 2017:
Lit Review 1: Photonic crystal cavities for Purcell enhancementFaraon 2012.
Lit Review 2a: Biosensing with plasmonic nanosensors, Anker 2008.
Lit Review 2b: Graphene plasmonics, Grigorenko 2012 
Lit Review 3a: Flat opticsYu 2014 
Lit Review 3b: Spectrum slitting compound metasurfaces, Yao 2014