Title: Photonic integration of non-solid media: From slowing light to single molecule diagnostics
Abstract: Integrated photonic devices have traditionally been designed for data communications using exclusively solid-state materials. However, a vast area of potential applications, in particular in the life sciences, involve interactions of light with liquids and gases. Recently, a number of approaches have been considered that are aimed at integrating such non-solid media with chip-scale photonic structures. We have developed a versatile, planar photonic platform based on hollow-core optical waveguides (ARROWs). I will describe the physical foundations and optical characteristics of ARROWs and a broad range of devices and capabilities that are made possible by this approach. These include slowing and stopping light on an atom photonics chip, novel types of chip-scale particle manipulation and trapping, single molecule detection on a chip, and the integration of optical and electrical single particle detection. In particular, I will outline a path to a fluidically and optically integrated "optofluidic" platform that enables direct detection of single nucleic acids and proteins for a new generation of photonics-based molecular diagnostic instruments.
Holger Schmidt received his PhD degree in electrical and computer engineering from the University of California, Santa Barbara. After serving as a Postdoctoral Fellow at M.I.T., he joined the University of California, Santa Cruz in 2001 where he is professor of electrical engineering and Director of the W.M. Keck Center for Nanoscale Optofluidics. His research interests cover a broad range in photonics and integrated optics, including optofluidic devices, atom photonics, nano-magneto-optics, nonlinear optics, and ultrafast optics. He has over 200 publications and co-edited the CRC Handbook of Optofluidics. He is the recipient of an NSF Career Award and a Keck Futures Nanotechnology Award.