ORC Seminar Series

“Control over light at the nanoscale: from nanoantennas to random lasers”

Speaker: Dr Otto L. Muskens, School of Physics & Astronomy, University of Southampton

Date: 4 March

Time: 2pm

Venue: Building 53 Seminar Room


Development of new building blocks and nanomaterials for controlling the transport and emission of light on the nanoscale is of extreme importance for many technological applications. I will present here our results of light transport in few-particle and many-particle systems, respectively using plasmonic nanoantennas and random lasers.

Plasmonic nanoantennas, consisting of two adjacent metal nanorods, have taken hold as an exciting new paradigm in plasmonics and near-field optics only very recently. In analogy with their radiowave counterparts, nanoantennas turn out to be an ideal instrument for improving the coupling between far-field light and nanoscale light sources. We have fabricated single antennas and have demonstrated strong enhancement of the radiative efficiency of dye molecules by coupling to the antenna resonances. The enhancement was shown to depend both on the spectral mode structure and on the size of the nanoscale antenna gap.

Next to these relatively simple nanosystems, the complex multiple scattering of light in nanomaterials provides with a rich variety of fundamental phenomena with potential applications ranging from random lasers to solar cells. We have designed new types of random materials using electrochemical etching of pores in a crystal, or bottom-up growth of nanowires made from the very high-index semiconductor GaP. By infiltrating these materials with laser dye, we have demonstrated new types of random lasers. I will present results on recent investigations of the spatial and spectral mode structure of these random lasers.


Otto Muskens has started in January 2009 as a Lecturer in the School of Physics at the University of Southampton. He obtained his PhD degree (cum laude) in 2004 at the University of Utrecht in the Netherlands on the topic of ultrafast strain solitons in solids. From 2004-2005 he worked as a postdoctoral scientist with prof. Fabrice Vallée at the CNRS and Université Bordeaux, France, where he developed the ultrafast spectroscopy of single metal nanoparticles. As a postdoctoral scientist in an Industrial Partnership between FOM and Philips Research (2005-2006), in Eindhoven, the Netherlands, he set up experiments on light enhancement by nanoantennas. His research continued at the Center for Nanophotonics at the FOM-Institute AMOLF, Amsterdam (2007-2008), where he worked with prof. Ad Lagendijk on multiple scattering of light and random lasers.


Copyright University of Southampton 2006