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Flat Metasurface Optics: Watson Lecture Preview

Andrei Faraon will discuss how nanotechnology enables new ways to make optical components

For hundreds of years, most optical elements like lenses and polarizers have been fabricated using carefully polished pieces of glass or crystals and assembled in optical systems such as cameras and microscopes.

Delivering the Earnest C. Watson Lecture on January 17, Andrei Faraon (BS '04) will discuss how nanotechnology enables new ways to make optical components using fabrication processes already developed in the semiconductor industry. These nanopatterned structures, named optical metasurfaces, allow for extreme miniaturization of optical systems with applications in consumer electronics and medical devices.

Faraon is an assistant professor of applied physics, and his laboratory specializes in developing nanophotonic technologies for devices that operate close to the fundamental limit of light-matter interaction, with applications in imaging, sensing, and quantum information processing. In 2016, Faraon was named the inaugural KNI-Wheatley Scholar in Nanoscience, established by Chuck and Judith Wheatley and the Kavli Nanoscience Institute. He was also the recipient of the 2015 National Science Foundation CAREER award, the 2015 Air Force Office of Scientific Research Young Investigator Award, and the 2016 Office of Naval Research Young Investigator Award.

The lecture, held at 8 p.m. on Wednesday, January 17, in Beckman Auditorium, is a free event; no tickets or reservations are required.

Named for the late Caltech professor Earnest C. Watson, who founded the series in 1922, the Watson Lectures present Caltech and JPL researchers describing their work to the public. Many past Watson Lectures are available online at Caltech's YouTube site.