Optical-Field-Driven Quantum Electronics
Phillip (Donnie) KeathleyResearch Scientist & Group Leader at Research Laboratory of Electronics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Faculty Host:Luca Dal Negro
Refreshments at 9:45am
Abstract: In this talk, I will discuss our recent work using optical-field-driven electron dynamics for both the study of light-matter interactions at nanometer length scales and attosecond time scales, and the development of a new class of ultrafast nano-optoelectronic devices for petahertz-level processing of optical fields. For over a century, both physicists and engineers have studied how electrons and photons interact. While early attempts at explaining the photoelectric effect posited that the electric field of optical radiation might physically pull electrons from a metal, this was quickly shown to be incorrect and a quantum picture of electron emission via photon absorption was favored. However, in recent decades, with the advent of high-field ultrafast lasers and nanostructured materials, researchers have shown that such optical-field-driven electron emission is not only possible, but can be used to create coherent attosecond photon and electron wavepackets, ultrafast scanning tunneling microscopes, and petahertz-level optoelectronic devices. I will outline how we have used optical-field-driven electron dynamics to develop methods for retrieving both the amplitude and phase of attosecond photon and electron wavepackets, probe the fundamental properties of light-matter interactions, create on-chip nano-scale emitters for ultrafast, high-brightness sources of structured electron beams, and develop petahertz-level nano-optoelectronic devices capable of directly measuring the absolute (or carrier-envelope) phase of few-cycle optical pulses. Beyond discussing our recent work, I will provide outlook onto how optical-field-driven electron and photon wavepackets might find interesting applications in areas such as molecular spectroscopy, coherent control, attosecond science, optical metrology, plasmonics, and quantum information science.
Bio: Phillip ("Donnie") Keathley earned his PhD from MIT in the department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science in the fall of 2015. He is currently a research scientist and group leader in the Research Laboratory of Electronics at MIT.