Fascinating Applications of Metamaterials and Plasmonics: Cloaking, Sensing, Energy Harvesting and Wireless Communication

Lecture / Panel
For NYU Community

Speaker: Pai-Yen Chen

Host Faculty: Professor Nirod Das


Metamaterials are artificial composite materials engineered to have novel electromagnetic properties, unavailable in nature and radically different from their constituent components. Plasmonics has further enriched and enhanced the field of metamaterials, opening new possibilities to manipulate and confine light at nanoscale dimensions, unthinkable only a few years ago. In my talk, I will describe my recent research efforts on plasmonic materials and metamaterials and their practical uses in energy harvesting, sensing, communication and wireless health systems based on novel electromagnetic phenomena and electronic physics in the spectral range from radio frequencies (RF) and microwaves, terahertz (THz) to visible light. I will discuss theory and practice of how the plasmonic materials and metamaterials can ultimately manipulate the relevant electromagnetic constitutive parameters, including permittivity, permeability, nonlinear susceptibility and conductivity, to offer new promises in nanoscale nonlinear optics and information processing, highly-efficient solar and thermal energy harvesting and conversion systems, and metamaterial-based/-inspired cloaks and electrically-small antennas used for enhancing the sensitivity and signal-to-noise ratio in future RF wireless communication and sensor networks. As an extreme case of signal manipulation at the “atomic” scale, I will discuss how the gate-tunable surface plasmon polaritons in graphene nanodevices may enable the THz frequency-configurable antennas and beam-steerable phased arrays. I will conclude my talk discussing the integration of graphene-based THz frequency synthesizers, antennas and circuit components to realize “all-graphene” THz transceivers and sensors of great interest in data transformation, sensing, actuation and communications of nanosystem.

About the Speaker

Pai-Yen Chen is currently a PhD Candidate under the supervision of Prof. Andrea Alù in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at The University of Texas at Austin. His scientific research is in multidisciplinary areas of physical and wave electronics in the spectral range from microwaves, terahertz (THz) to visible light. His doctoral work mainly focuses on metamaterials, nanomaterials and plasmonics, as well as their applications in wireless communications, radar and sensors, electronic warfare, thermal and solar energy harvesting and conversion, biological and medicine detection. Prior to joining UT Austin (2006-2009), he studied extensively vacuum nanoelectronics and semiconductor device modeling, parameter extraction, characterization and fabrication techniques at National Nano Device Laboratories (NDL), Taiwan. Mr. Chen has published approximately 35 papers in peer-reviewed journals (3 journal coverages), 28 conference proceedings, and 2 book chapters. He is a reviewer of over 10 scientific journals.

Pai-Yen Chen received his M.S. and B.S. degrees in Electro-optical Engineering and Mechanical Engineering from National Chiao Tung University, Taiwan, in 2000 and 2004, respectively. His honors and awards include the 2005 United Microelectronics Corp. (UMC) Scholarship, Chinese Phi Tau Phi Honorable Member (officially nominated in 2006), 2009 Taiwanese Ministry of Education Study Abroad Award, 3rd prize Student Contest Award in Metamaterials'2011, 3rd prize Student Contest Award in 2012 USNC-URSI National Radio Science Meeting, Finalist and Honorable Mention Student Contest Award in 2010 and 2011 IEEE Antennas and Propagation Symposium. In 2012, he received the Donald D. Harrington Dissertation Fellowship, which is the most prestigious fellowship to graduate students bestowed by the Harrington Society at University of Texas at Austin.