Big ideas in nanoscience

Optics is a rather mature, arguably even ancient, discipline. But exploration of light-based phenomena at the scale of just a few nanometers has only just begun. In fact, the world of the nanoscale is as foreign to light waves as the deep oceans are to you or I. That’s because scattering from objects smaller than the optical wavelength is governed by a completely different set of rules to those that apply for much larger objects. In the Lawrence lab, we engineer artificial nanostructures in the search of new rules and ultimately new technologies. For example, by enhancing nonlinear optical processes by thousands of times we are unlocking futuristic possibilities, such as lenses that can make decisions and holographic projectors for quantum light.