Princeton University

School of Engineering & Applied Science

Alejandro Rodriguez

Associate Professor of Electrical Engineering

Room: B318 Engineering Quadrangle
Phone: 609-258-8962
Webpage: Rodriguez Group: Nanophotonics Design and Computation


  • PhD, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 2010
  • B.S. Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 2006

Advances in nano-fabrication over the past few decades have enabled the study of material structures with features at the scale or smaller than the electromagnetic wavelength. These engineered materials (photonic crystals, plasmonic nanoresonators, and metamaterials) can lead to a wide range of unusual optical behaviors (photonic bandgaps, ballistic transport, ultra-slow propagation, and negative refraction) which allow unprecedented control and tunability over the properties of light. Our group's focus is on applying and developing theoretical and computational techniques to explore the ways in which complex nanostructures can lead to new optical phenomena and devices. Current and past research interests include:

  • Designable fluctuation phenomena, such as Casimir and van der Waals forces, and near-field radiative heat transport
  • Low-power nonlinear photonic devices
  • Large-scale photonic optimization
  • Exceptional points and nonlinear frequency conversion

Honors and Awards

  • Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers Young Investigator Award, 2016
  • Princeton SEAS E. Lawrence Keys, Jr./Emerson Electric Co. Faculty Award, 2016
  • National Science Foundation Early CAREER Award, 2015
  • National Academy of Sciences Kavli Fellow, 2014
  • MIT Infinite Kilometer Award, 2012
  • World Economic Forum (WEF) Global Shaper, 2011
  • Fredrick A. Howes Scholar in Computational Science, 2011

Selected Publications

  1. Prashanth Venkataram, Jan Hermann, Alexander Tkatchenko, and Alejandro W. Rodriguez. Unifying microscopic and continuum treatments of van der Waals and Casimir interactions. Physical Review Letters, 118:266802, 2017

  2. L. Tang, M. Wang, C. Y. Ng, M. Nikolic, C. T. Chan, A. W. Rodriguez, and H. B. Chan. Measurement of non-monotonic Casimir forces between silicon nanostructures. Nature Photonics (Advanced Online Publication), 11:97-101, 2017.

  3. Zin Lin, Marco Loncar, and Alejandro W. Rodriguez. Topology optimization of multitrack ring resonators and 2d microcavities for nonlinear frequency conversion. Optics Letters, 42(14):2818-2822, 2017.

  4. Chinmay Khandekar and Alejandro W. Rodriguez. Near-field thermal upconversion through a Kerr medium. Optics Express, 25(19):23164-23180, 2017.

  5. Konstantin Klopstech, Nils Konne, Svend-Age Biehs, Alejandro W. Rodriguez, Ludwig Worbes, David Hellmann, and Achim Kittel. Giant heat transfer in the crossover regime between conduction and radiation. Nature Communications, 8(14475), 2017.

  6. Weiliang Jin, Riccardo Messina, and Alejandro W. Rodriguez. General formulation of coupled radiative and conductive heat transfer between compact bodies. Physical Review B (Rapid Comm.), 95:161409, 2017.

  7. Weiliang Jin, Riccardo Messina, and Alejandro W. Rodriguez. Overcoming limits to near-field radiative heat transfer in uniform planar media through multilayer optimization. Optics Express, 25(13):293277, 2017.

  8. Zin Lin, Adi Pick, Marko Loncar, and Alejandro W. Rodriguez. Enhanced spontaneous emission at third-order Dirac exceptional points in inverse-designed photonic crystals. Physical Review Letters, 117:107402, 2016.

  9. Lilia Woods, D. A. R. Dalvit, A. Tkatchenko, Rodriguez-Lopez P., A. W. Rodriguez, and R. Podgornik. A Materials Perspective on Casimir and van der Waals Interactions. Reviews of Modern Physics, 88:045003, 2016. 

  10. Zin Lin, Xiangdong Liang, Marko Loncar, Steven G. Johnson, and Alejandro W. Rodriguez. Cavity-enhanced second harmonic generation via nonlinear-overlap optimization. Optica, 3(3):233-238, 2016.

  11. Athanasios G. Polimeridis, M. T. H. Reid, Weiliang Jin, Steven G. Johnson, Jacob K. White, and Alejandro W. Rodriguez. Fluctuating volume-current formulation of electromagnetic fluctuations in inhomogeneous media: incandescence and luminescence in arbitrary geometries. Physical Review B, 92:134202, 2015.

  12. Owen D. Miller, Steven G. Johnson, and Alejandro W. Rodriguez. Shape-independent limits to near-field radiative heat transfer. Physical Review Letters, 115:204302, 2015.

  13. Chinmay Khandekar, Zin Lin, and Alejandro W. Rodriguez. Thermal radiation from optically driven Kerr photonic cavities. Applied Physics Letters, 106:151109, 2015.