Optical Interaction Science Division


This division encompasses the study of the basic sciences of the interaction of light with matter as well as those source/detection technologies specifically designed to study these interactions. Emphasis is on the acquisition of basic knowledge and includes fundamental studies of materials and new phenomena involving the interactions between light and matter. The work of this Division represents the forefront of scientific optical research. Illustrative examples may involve ultrafast phenomena in materials, the physics of high field matter interactions, attosecond science photonic crystal and quantum effects, fundamental new areas such as quantum computing and encryption, the development and creation of novel materials systems (e.g. meta-materials ) and the demonstration and explanation of these new properties and optical manipulation research technologies (e.g. optical cooling and trapping).

Jens Biegert, ICFO -The Institute of Photonic Sciences, Spain, Chair

Technical Groups

Fundamental Laser Sciences (OF)

This group covers the study of material systems and the basic physics involved in demonstrating new lasing systems or discovering new lasing phenomena. Potential new laser systems might be discovered in gases, crystals, amorphous and ceramic materials, semiconductors and liquids. This includes fundamentally new laser approaches that introduce new wavelengths, increase power and efficiency, circumvent thermal issues, and improve beam quality.  It also covers new operating regimes that for instance generate ultra-short pulses, or extend the range of laser wavelengths. Studies of new quantum and waveguide effects, including quantum dot and photonic band gap structures designed to lower thresholds, generate new or controlled frequencies, and/or permit lasing in previous regimes are within the purview of this group.

Candace Cobb, U.S. Department of the Navy, United States, Chair

Nanophotonics (ON)

This group focuses on the study and design of optics and optical devices that interact with light on the nanometer scale. This new field is enabled by newly developed capabilities to fabricate optical components and devices on a nano-scale.  Lithographic, interferometric and laser based methods of nanoscale structuring are opening the way towards 2-D and 3-D nano-structured optical components that manipulate the phase, amplitude and other parameters of optical signal beams.  These nano-structured components will revolutionize many photonic technologies, including for example, composite diffraction elements integrated with semiconductor and fiber sources and multi-functional integrated photonic elements on a single chip.  The application of these nanophotonic technologies will permeate through many new photon-based areas of industry and scientific research.

Peter B. Catrysse, Stanford University, United States, Co-Chair
Jincy Jose, United States, Co-Chair

Nonlinear Optics (OL)

This group is concerned with the physics on nonlinear optical materials, new materials, nonlinear processes, and devices using nonlinear optics. Nonlinear optics is involved with the interaction of high intensity light with matter.  Members study nonlinear materials, phenomena, devices and applications.

David Borlaug, University of California, Los Angeles, United States, Chair

Optical Cooling and Trapping (OT)

This group is concerned with the physics of laser cooling, electromagnetic trapping and other radiative manipulation of neutral atoms and dielectric particles. These fundamental studies are used to develop applications to new kinds of physics measurements and processes such as high resolution spectroscopy, atomic clocks, atomic collisions, atom optics, bio-molecular interactions, and atomic-scale and nano-scale fabrication. Basic studies involve Bose-Einstein condensates, cold collisions, and optical lattices.

John Lowell, Boeing, United States, Chair

Optical Material Studies (OM)

This group is involved with the development and characterization of new and improved optical materials. Materials include those with superior transmission in the UV, visible near and mid-infrared portions of the spectrum for use in passive and active optical elements and devices as well as those having unusual nonlinear optical properties for use in switches and limiters. Examples of novel materials include quantum engineered multiple quantum wells for lasing, photonic structures with unusual properties (negative index, left-handed, highly nonlinear, etc.) and sintered ceramic materials displaying superior hardness, strength and transmission in the infrared.

Garo Khanarian, BASF, United States, Chair

Photonic Metamaterials (OP)

This group provides a forum for those working on problems related to fundamental and applied aspects of waves in random and periodically nanostructured materials as well as plasmonics. Random media encompasses transmission through, scattering from, and imaging in turbulent and static disordered media as well as the statistical nature of wave propagation and its connection to photon diffusion and localization. Partial coherence, coherent backscattering, temporal, spectral and spatial correlation within the speckle pattern, and random lasing are important topics in this area. The focus on periodic media is exciting because such nano-fabricated structures enable photonic engineering of metamaterials with novel properties. Examples include left-handed materials, negative index materials and photonic and plasmonic bandgap materials. These structured materials allow the control of spontaneous emission and lasing. Other areas of interest include plasmonic nanomaterials, transmission through voids in metallic surfaces, and scattering from metal dielectric surfaces. Optical enhancements in metallic and dielectric systems and their applications to photon guiding and sensing are also important.

Jacob Khurgin, Johns Hopkins University, United States, Chair

Optical Metrology (OR)

The activities of the group are related, but are not limited to, the science and technologies for precision measurements of time, frequency, distance, and material properties. In particular, these technologies include optical frequency standards, broadband lasers, supercontinua and frequency-comb generation, control, as well as conversion between optical and microwave frequencies, pulse shaping and arbitrary waveform generation. Considerable attention is also paid to precision interferometry and other novel measurement methods, including correlation, modulation, imaging microscopy, and nano-probing. Note: the Optical Fabrication and Testing technical group of the Fabrication, Design, and Instrumentation division is dedicated to the design, development, and use of metrology systems for the characterization of optics.

Rosa Santagata, CNRS Division Technique INSU/SDU, Italy, Chair

Quantum Computing and Communication (OC)

This group deals with the basic aspects of quantum information theory, theoretical and experimental aspects of quantum computing, quantum communication systems, cryptography, new quantum effects and their experimental realizations, generation, detection and applications of nonclassical light, quantum noise, stochastic processes and filtering, quantum measurement theory, and quantum control.

Chaoyang Lu, University of Science and Technology of China, China, Chair

Quantum Optical Science and Technology (OQ)

This group promotes the acquisition of knowledge about the quantum properties of the electromagnetic field and atom-photon interactions. Experiment, theory and technology relevant for atom trapping, Bose condensation, quantum measurements and quantum information are within the purview of quantum optical science.

Lee C. Bassett, University of Pennsylvania, United States, Chair

Short Wavelength Sources and Attosecond/High Field Physics (OH)

This group provides a focus for activities related to the development and application of high intensity lasers as well as novel XUV and x-ray sources. Specific interests include the technology of high intensity, ultrafast lasers, the physics of high intensity light interactions with matter, and the generation of high brightness short wavelength radiation with ultrafast lasers. Part of the group is also interested in advances in traditional short wavelength sources including insertion devices for storage rings (undulators and wigglers), plasma X-ray lasers, electron beam based sources and X-ray free electron lasers. At the leading front of the attosecond science the group will also embrace attosecond pulse generation and its surface- and volume-interaction with solid state, liquid and gaseous materials, including biological and organic materials and nanomaterial structures. The group intends to serve fundamental researchers as well as the technological and industrial community.

Caterina Vozzi, Istituto di Fotonica e Nanotecnologie (CNR-IFN), Italy, Chair

Ultrafast Optical Phenomena (OU)

This group is interested in the rapidly expanding field of ultrashort pulse lasers and other broadband coherent sources and their application to problems in science and technology. Current themes involve methods for using short pulses for studying the dynamics and structural changes of systems on very short timescales, including novel methods for probing physical and chemical processes with extreme temporal resolution, and applications of ultrashort pulses in photonics, communications, microscopy, biomedicine and other emerging areas.

Mark Siemens, University of Denver, United States, Chair