In our lab, we use quasiparticles called polaritons to trap infrared light in cavities (size 0.01-1μm) with a size far below the free space wavelength (typically 1-100μm). We couple these polaritons to optical transitions in dimensionally confined quantum mechanical systems, such as quantum wells, wires, and defects. The goal in doing so is to assess whether we can overcome the length scale mismatch between the light and the quantum system, enabling new types of optical components and phenomena.
In addition to a fundamental understanding of the optical properties of materials and light, we apply these concepts in the development of new optical technology. Examples include thermal cameras, infrared light sources and infrared gas and liquid sensor systems. These can be used for applications such as measuring heat generation in domestic or commercial spaces, measurement of trace environmental pollutants, and even potentially optical computation.
Work in my group is based around a range of materials, including 2D materials (such as graphene), semiconducting materials (such as gallium arsenide) as well as vibrationally active molecules (including liquids and thin films). The experiments that we use include optical and magnetic measurements, computational techniques, and device fabrication (using cleanroom facilities). I am also committed to building a diverse and inclusive lab, where everyone is welcome and supported by both myself and each other.
The Folland lab is currently recruiting graduate students for projects. Please contact Prof. Folland if you are interested in getting involved with our work.
This past wednesday both Tristan and Sid presented at the University of Iowa Spring Undergraduate Research Festival, on their work which is being performed as part of their shared ICRU fellowship. Congratulations on a great presentation!
Shear phenomena in the infrared dielectric response of a monoclinic crystal are shown to unveil a new polariton class termed hyperbolic shear polariton that can emerge in any low-symmetry monoclinic or triclinic system
In recent work published in Advanced Materials, us and collaborators at Vanderbilt show that both near infrared and mid-infrared light can be guided on a silicon chip by combining two different materials