Work by an internationally acclaimed Rochester professor may offer an alternative to the way in which researchers have approached some photonics applications.
Photonics applications rely greatly on what physicists call nonlinear optics – the different way in which materials behave depending on the intensity of light that passes through them. The greater the nonlinearity, the more promising the material for real-life applications. Now a team led by Robert W. Boyd, professor of optics and physics at the University of Rochester and the Canada Excellence Research Chair in Quantum Nonlinear Optics at the University of Ottawa, has demonstrated that the transparent, electrical conductor indium tin oxide can result in up to 100 times greater nonlinearity than other known materials.
“This result is a game-changer for photonics applications,” said Boyd. “It rests on the core of what I’ve worked on for over 30 years at Rochester. I find it very rewarding that even after all this time there are still fundamental questions to be answered in the field of nonlinear optics.”