Our research focuses on understanding the fundamental physics that governs the way light interacts with matter at the nano scale. At such small scales, structures and materials can exhibit complex optical and mechanical responses and recent developments have enabled us to control this complexity. For one, the advances in nanofabrication and material synthesis—including single and few-atomic-layer materials—have allowed unprecedented access to the geometrical degrees of freedom down to the nanometer level. Similarly, the rapid increase in computational capabilities is enabling efficient exploration of the vast parameter space of structural and material form-factors. Our work sits at the intersection of these advances, aimed at exploring and harnessing light-matter interactions for useful applications in energy, sensing, and manipulation.

Broadly speaking, our interests span the multidisciplinary areas of nanophotonics, optomechanics, and novel metamaterials and metasurfaces. For example, we have been interested in the control of radiative energy flows for energy conversion and transfer in nano-structures, quantum and 2D materials, and ultralight heterostructures for radiative thermal management. Likewise, we have explored novel approaches to optical manipulation, from guiding of complex nanoparticles, to optical levitation, and even light-driven propulsion.

Our work is roughly split between theoretical and experimental studies. We are located on the beautiful University of Minnesota campus, right next to the Minnesota Nano Center, a state-of-the-art nanofabrication and characterization facility. We invite you to take a look at our published works. If you have any questions, please feel free to get in touch.  

 

  Ilic Lab