Speaker: Joel Siegel, Physics PhD Graduate Student
Abstract: "The optical properties of a material can be altered by structuring the material with features on the order of the wavelength of interest. This patterning allows for materials to be designed with a targeted optical property, which can be used for any number of potential applications. The focus of this dissertation is a discussion on how the same fundamental principles of light manipulation can be applied to multiple distinct objectives, ranging from interstellar to the nanoscale. In the first section of the dissertation, there will be a discussion on how the microscopic optical forces exerted on a metasurface lightsail propelled by a high-power laser can be engineered via its optical properties to achieve passive self-stabilization, such that the sail is trapped inside the drive beam. In the second section of this dissertation, there will be a discussion on development of a large-scale nanofabrication technique of narrow (< 15 nm) graphene resonators based on block copolymer lithography and how the characteristic scaling laws of resonant graphene plasmons change for these narrow resonators. Additionally, there is a discussion on some potential avenues towards incorporating these into more complex optical designs. In the final section of the dissertation, a method to electronically change the angle of thermal emission from a device based on graphene is discussed."