Spinning light waves

In this artist’s rendering of Jacob’s research, a light beam shining on a glass prism generates evanescent waves and spin-momentum locking, suggesting potential practical applications in photonic communications and photonic circuits. The effect could be probed using nanoparticles.  (Purdue University image/Todd Van Mechelen, Zubin Jacob)

JAN.-FEB. 2017 |

Zubin Jacob, an assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering, has received a CAREER award from the National Science Foundation for his project, “Controlling Single Photon Interactions with K-Surface Engineered Nanomaterials.”

As Jacob notes in his proposal, “Very closely spaced atoms and molecules in our environment are constantly interacting, attracting and repelling each other. Such interactions ultimately enable a myriad of phenomena, suchZubin Jacob as the sticky pads on gecko feet, as well as photosynthesis.” Jacob will address this challenge to increase the range of such microscopic interactions to help impact future development of photonic devices for optical information processing. He also will develop a nanostructured material platform that molds the flow of light energy so that embedded atoms and molecules are able to strongly interact with each other over long distances.

The Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Program is a foundation-wide activity that supports junior faculty who exemplify the role of teacher-scholars through outstanding research, excellent education and the integration of education and research within the context of the mission of their organizations. Activities are expected to build a firm foundation for a lifetime of leadership in integrating education and research.