Princeton University

School of Engineering & Applied Science

Thin film interference in ultra-thin layers: color coatings, tunable absorbers, and anomalous thermal emitters

Mikhail Kats
E-Quad, B205
Thursday, March 13, 2014 - 4:30pm

Thin film interference is a ubiquitous and well-understood optical phenomenon responsible for the colorful, iridescent reflections from oil films on water, soap bubbles, and peacock feathers. In this seminar, I will present several thin film systems featuring highly-absorbing optical materials where strong interference effects are unexpectedly observed for films that are far thinner than the wavelength of light. These results open new directions for light harvesting and detection devices, optical modulators, thermal emitters, and even visual design [1-4].
[1] M. A. Kats et al, Nature Materials 12, 20 (2013)
[2] M. A. Kats et al, Applied Physics Letters 101, 221101 (2012)
[3] M. A. Kats et al, Physical Review X 3, 41004 (2013)
[4] M. A. Kats et al, Optics and Photonics News, Jan. issue (2014)
Mikhail Kats received his BS in Engineering Physics from Cornell University in 2008 and PhD in Applied Physics from Harvard University in 2013. At Harvard he worked in the laboratory of Federico Capasso, where he is now a postdoctoral scholar. Mikhail's research interests include the fields of photonics, plasmonics, nanoscience, and device physics.