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Physics
2020 Project Proposal

Study of light-matter interactions by non-conventional microscopy

Juan M. Merlo-Ramirez (Physics and Astronomy)                

The quest for faster and more efficient materials has pushed the limits of modern technology. In this sense, quasi-particles called surface plasmon polaritons (SPPs) —cumulative oscillations of the electron cloud in a conductor— have the advantage to have the same properties as electromagnetic waves and also have the quantum signature of electrons and photons. These properties allow us to use SPPs to build devices that eventually could substitute our current electronic technology and generate materials that do not exist in nature, i.e. metamaterials. In this project, we will explore the interactions between SPPs with specially designed surfaces, as well as 2D materials. The observation of such interactions will be performed by using near-field and leakage radiation microscopy, both non-conventional microscopy techniques. We will explore the existence of strong coupling between SPPs and properties of the 2D materials, and also will try to find a technological application of our results.

Prerequisites:
These are some of the characteristics a person should have for this project (any Vassar student can fulfill these requirements):
- Proactive
- Independent
- Curious
- Disciplined
Knowledge of electromagnetic and quantum theory is a plus but not a requirement.

How should students express interest in this project?
Please contact me by email. I will answer to the candidates I am interested on to arrange an interview.

This is a 10 week project running from May 27-July 31