We seek to understand 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. Advances in nanofabrication and material synthesis—including single and few-atomic-layer materials—have given us 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 design space of structural and material parameters. Our work sits at the intersection of these advances, aimed at exploring and harnessing light-matter interactions for applications in energy, sensing, and robotics.

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 and heat transfer in nano-structures, quantum and 2D materials, as well as heterostructures for radiative thermal management, waste-heat harvesting, and solid-state heat-to-electricity conversion. Likewise, we have explored novel approaches to optical manipulation of nano-structured materials, and the emerging applications of photonics in space.

Our work is roughly split between theoretical and experimental studies. We are located on the beautiful University of Minnesota campus, 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