Controlling the interaction of light with metallic nano-objects is the spearhead of modern nanophotonics. Thanks to the development of nanofabrication techniques, the last decade has witnessed a proliferation of optical nanoparticles of varying shape and composition, exhibiting new optical properties. For instance, one can create nanoparticles that strongly scatter light at wavelengths that are tunable on the entire visible range and with a controllable directivity. Furthermore, when these nanoparticles are self-assembled (randomly) in a thin-film stack, new optical phenomena can take place due to the interaction between the individual nanoparticle and the planar geometry, and between the nanoparticles themselves, such as a strong light confinement in very small volumes or a very efficient extraction of light confined in the stack towards free space. These complex systems have a very strong scientific and technological potential.
To date, however, the physical understanding of these nanostructures remains very limited. This is largely due to the difficulty to model such complex systems, that mix optimized nanoparticles and engineered disorder. Our research team has the ambition to develop the theoretical and numerical tools that will allow modeling and designing complex nanostructures possessing exotic optical properties, and to validate experimentally our most interesting findings.
The PhD thesis proposed here belongs to this dynamic. The PhD student will tackle advanced concepts in electromagnetic modeling and participate to the development of new numerical codes and of optical setups to optically characterize the nanostructures fabricated by our collaborators. This project is one of the key topics of the team for the coming years.
The PhD student should have a solid background in physics, especially in electromagnetism, and a pronounced interest for theory and numerical simulations. In return, he/she will receive a top-level expertise that is very interesting to many academic and industrial partners (our team has regular collaborations with Saint-Gobain Recherche and PSA Peugeot-Citroën) and that has essentially been developed on the experimental level so far, the theoretical and numerical efforts being rare.
Starting date: October 1st, 2017