401-4785-00L  Mathematical and Computational Methods in Photonics

Semester Autumn Semester 2016
Lecturers H. Ammari
Periodicity yearly course
Language of instruction English


Abstract The aim of this course is to review new and fundamental mathematical tools, computational approaches, and inversion and optimal design methods used to address challenging problems in nanophotonics. The emphasis will be on analyzing plasmon resonant nanoparticles, super-focusing & super-resolution of electromagnetic waves, photonic crystals, electromagnetic cloaking, metamaterials, and metasurfaces
Objective The field of photonics encompasses the fundamental science of light propagation and interactions in complex structures, and its technological applications.

The recent advances in nanoscience present great challenges for the applied and computational mathematics community. In nanophotonics, the aim is to control, manipulate, reshape, guide, and focus electromagnetic waves at nanometer length scales, beyond the resolution limit. In particular, one wants to break the resolution limit by reducing the focal spot and confine light to length scales that are significantly smaller than half the wavelength.

Interactions between the field of photonics and mathematics has led to the emergence of a multitude of new and unique solutions in which today's conventional technologies are approaching their limits in terms of speed, capacity and accuracy. Light can be used for detection and measurement in a fast, sensitive and accurate manner, and thus photonics possesses a unique potential to revolutionize healthcare. Light-based technologies can be used effectively for the very early detection of diseases, with non-invasive imaging techniques or point-of-care applications. They are also instrumental in the analysis of processes at the molecular level, giving a greater understanding of the origin of diseases, and hence allowing prevention along with new treatments. Photonic technologies also play a major role in addressing the needs of our ageing society: from pace-makers to synthetic bones, and from endoscopes to the micro-cameras used in in-vivo processes. Furthermore, photonics are also used in advanced lighting technology, and in improving energy efficiency and quality. By using photonic media to control waves across a wide band of wavelengths, we have an unprecedented ability to fabricate new materials with specific microstructures.

The main objective in this course is to report on the use of sophisticated mathematics in diffractive optics, plasmonics, super-resolution, photonic crystals, and metamaterials for electromagnetic invisibility and cloaking. The course merges highly nontrivial multi-mathematics in order to make a breakthrough in the field of mathematical modelling, imaging, and optimal design of optical nanodevices and nanostructures capable of light enhancement, and of the focusing and guiding of light at a subwavelength scale. We demonstrate the power of layer potential techniques in solving challenging problems in photonics, when they are combined with asymptotic analysis and the elegant theory of Gohberg and Sigal on meromorphic operator-valued functions.

In this course we shall consider both analytical and computational matters in photonics. The issues we consider lead to the investigation of fundamental problems in various branches of mathematics. These include asymptotic analysis, spectral analysis, mathematical imaging, optimal design, stochastic modelling, and analysis of wave propagation phenomena. On the other hand, deriving mathematical foundations, and new and efficient computational frameworks and tools in photonics, requires a deep understanding of the different scales in the wave propagation problem, an accurate mathematical modelling of the nanodevices, and fine analysis of complex wave propagation phenomena. An emphasis is put on mathematically analyzing plasmon resonant nanoparticles, diffractive optics, photonic crystals, super-resolution, and metamaterials.