Colloquium: Xiankai Sun

    Thursday, March 6, 2014 - 3:30pm - 5:00pm
    Meinel 307

    "Nano-Optomechanics in the High-Frequency Regime: Exploration at the Boundary Between Photonics, Mechanics and Microwaves"


    The mechanical effect of light was discovered a long time ago and has been utilized to cool and trap atoms. Recently, such optomechanical effects are also realized in systems where the mechanical element is a macroscopic object. These optomechanical systems have great potential for fundamental scientific research as well as rich practical applications, from homeland security and environment monitoring to computation and communication. High-frequency optomechanical systems that operate in the microwave frequency regime were long sought-after, because of their easy access to the quantum regime and their advantages in developing ultrahigh-speed sensors and signal processors. Due to technical limitations, previous optomechanical systems work mostly at low frequencies in the kilohertz to megahertz ranges. Here I will talk about our experimental realization of a variety of integrated nanoscale optomechanical and optoelectromechanical devices that operate beyond one gigahertz. They demonstrate world-record figures of merit, such as mass, vibrational frequency, and optical and mechanical quality factors. With the mechanical mediation, these devices hold the promise of revolutionizing the field of nano-optoelectronics, microwave photonics, biophotonics and integrated quantum photonics.

    Speaker Bio(s): 

    Xiankai Sun is an associate research scientist in the nanodevices laboratory of the electrical engineering department at Yale University. He received his Ph.D. degree in applied physics from the California Institute of Technology in 2010, where his doctoral thesis deals with both theories and experiments in nanophotonics, semiconductor lasers, and hybrid electronics-photonics integration of silicon and III-V materials. At Yale, he has been exploring the interaction of photonics, electronics and mechanics in an on-chip platform that leads to new physical phenomena and applications. He has been an author or co-author of over 50 peer-reviewed journal or conference papers and three invited book chapters. His graduate work was recognized by numerous professional societies, including the IEEE Photonics Society, the Photonics Society of Chinese-Americans and SPIE. His postdoctoral work has recently been recognized by the New York Academy of Sciences, where he has been selected as a finalist of the Blavatnik Awards for Young Scientists.