University of North Carolina - Charlotte Charlotte United States
This project was devoted to microspherical photonics, a special area at the intersection of optics, photonics and material science, where the optical properties of structures and devices formed by dielectric microsphere are determined by their whispering gallery modes WGMs as well by the topological and configuration effects in photonic molecules, microsphere-chain waveguides, and coupled-cavity arrays. The first stage of the project was devoted to understating the basics of the WGM coupling effects in simplest structures such as dielectric bi-spheres.In parallel, we developed understanding of the microsphere-chain waveguides based on periodically focusing modes. The second stage of this project was devoted to study of the optical propulsion effects for dielectric microspheres interacting with evanescent electromagnetic fields in liquid suspensions. Here, we observed a giant enhancement of optical forces under resonance with WGMs that opened totally novel way of sorting dielectric microspheres based on their resonant properties. Finally, we assembled resonant coupled-cavity structures and observed spectral manifestations of their coupling and optical transport properties. There were several other directions of research also dealing with the optical properties of dielectric microspheres. These include developing ultra-precise optical scalpels, developing super resolution imaging applications and enhancing performance of mid-wave infrared photodetectors. The project resulted in multiple patents and device proposals.