Fang wins NSF CAREER award

1/24/2020 Joseph Park, Illinois ECE

Illinois ECE Assistant Professor Kejie Fang won an NSF CAREER award for his work with optomechanics.

Written by Joseph Park, Illinois ECE

Kejie Fang
Kejie Fang
Illinois ECE Assistant Professor Kejie Fang recently won an NSF CAREER award for his proposal on cavity-less optomechanics with macroscopic resonances. This prestigious award is given in support of early-career faculty who have the potential to serve as academic role models in research and education and to lead advances in the mission of their department or organization. 

The goal of his program is to demonstrate a new on-chip optomechanical architecture for macroscopic quantum optomechanics and Floquet light guiding by taking advantage of mechanical bound states in the continuum (BICs).

“Interrogating mechanical oscillators using light brings new quantum technology,” Fang said, “however, conventional quantum mechanical oscillators based on suspended structures suffer from insufficient thermalization and excess noise when they are probed by light at low temperature, representing a severe roadblock.”

His proposed architecture of mechanical BICs in two-dimensional slab-on-substrate optomechanical crystals uniquely solves these challenges. Thanks to the prohibited radiation of these mechanical BICs while being in contact with the substrate, unparalleled parametric optomechanical coupling could be achieved without introducing excess noises, for implementing enhanced quantum optomechanical protocols. The macroscopic size of the mechanical BICs might also enable exploring quantum mechanics in unprecedented parameter space, pushing the boundary between quantum and classical.

The large-scale resonance effect will also enhance traveling-wave acousto-optic modulations for a new paradigm of effective gauge field for photons in the continuum without using discrete resonators, leading to reconfigurable light guiding on chips and topological photonic states.

Fang expects the outcome of this program could have a tremendous impact in photonic and quantum technology that fundamentally influence the society, including programmable optical computing, ultra-precise quantum sensors, and enhanced quantum protocols for larger quantum networks.
Check out Fang's NSF Award Abstract for more information.


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This story was published January 24, 2020.