OSC Colloquium: Professor Volker Sorger

    Thursday, October 10, 2019 - 3:30pm - 5:00pm
    Meinel 307

    1630 E. University Blvd.

    3rd Floor Lobby area


    Open to campus and public.


    Speaker: Professor Volker Sorger

    Topic: Heterogeneous Photonics for Next-generation Optoelectronics and Analog Processors

    Host: Eric Clark

    Visit our website for future lecture dates and speaker information: http://www.optics.arizona.edu/news-events/events/colloquium For a list of our archived lectures: http://www.optics.arizona.edu/news-events/events/colloquium/archive

    Photonic technologies are at the forefront of the ongoing 4th industrial revolution of digitalization
    supporting applications such as virtual reality, autonomous vehicles, and electronic warfare. The
    development of integrated photonics in recent years enabled functional devices and circuits through
    miniaturization. However, fundamental challenges such as the weak light-matter integration have limited
    silicon and III-V-based devices to millimeter-scale footprints demanding about a million photons-per-bit.
    Overcoming these challenges, in the first part of this talk I will show how nanoscale photonics together
    with heterogeneous integration of emerging materials into foundry-based photonic chips enables strong
    nonlinearity, which we use to demonstrate attojoule and compact optoelectronics. Here I will discuss our
    recent devices demonstrating ITO-based MZI modulators, 2D-material excitonic photodetectors, and
    exotic epsilon-near-zero modes empowering record-efficient phase shifters for applications in data-comm,
    LiDAR, and photonic neural networks (NN). Further, I will show that the usually parasitic Kramers-Kronig
    relations of altering the optical index can be synergistically exploited delivering new modulator operations.
    With Moore’s law and Dennard scaling now being limited by fundamental physics, the trend in
    processor heterogeneity suggests the possibility for special-purpose photonic processors such as NNs or
    RF-signal & image filtering. Here unique opportunities exist, for example, given by algorithmic parallelism
    of analog computing enabling non-iterative O(1) processors, thus opening prospects for distributed nonvan
    Neumann architectures. In the second part of this talk, I will share our latest work on analog photonic
    processors to include a) a feed-forward fully-connected NN, b) mirror symmetry perception via
    coincidence detection of spiking NNs, c) a Fourier-optics based convolutional processor with 1 PMAC/s
    throughputs at nanosecond-short delays for real-time processing, d) a photonic residue arithmetic adder,
    and e) mesh-based reconfigurable photonic & metatronic PDE solvers. In summary, heterogeneous
    photonics connects the worlds of electronics and optics, thus enabling new classes of efficient
    optoelectronics and analog processors by employing the distinctive properties of light.
    Speaker Bio(s): 
    Volker J. Sorger is an Associate Professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering,
    and the leader of the Integrated Nanophotonics lab at the George Washington University. He received his
    PhD from the University of California Berkeley and MS from UT Austin. His research focuses on
    integrated photonics and plasmonics, and analog information processing such as programmable photonic
    circuits and neuromorphic computing. His work was recognized by Presidential Early Career Award for
    Scientists and Engineers (PECASE), the Emil Wolf prize from the Optical Society of America, the AFOSR
    Young Investigator (YIP) award, the Hegarty Innovation prize, the National Academy of Sciences paperof-
    the-year award, and both the Early Career and Outstanding Research awards at GWU. He is the
    editor-in-chief of the Nanophotonics and the OSA division chair for Optoelectronics-and-Photonics. He
    serves at the boards of OSA and SPIE, and is a senior member of IEEE, OSA & SPIE. Further details at

    Refreshments 3:30pm

    Lecture @ 3:45pm - 5pm