UCF and University of Texas researchers land $400,049 NSF grant to create photon funnels
Photon funnels use self-collimation to concentrate light with no need for tracking.
The National Science Foundation has awarded $400,049 to a research team led by the University of Central Florida (UCF; Orlando, FL) to develop new devices that concentrate and control light, called "photon funnels."
Although conventional lenses can collect and concentrate light on a specific spot, that spot moves as light rays strike from different angles or positions. In contrast, photon funnels are nanoscale 3D lattices that are designed to direct the flow of light within them by adjusting the orientation of a self-collimating lattice as a function of position. The lattices will be created using laser-based 3D multiphoton lithography.
"Photon funnels will be designed to leverage an optical phenomenon called 'self-collimation' to control how light propagates within an engineered lattice," says Stephen Kuebler, UCF associate professor of chemistry and optics, who leads the research project.
The interdisciplinary team assembled for the project includes experts in chemistry, optics, physics, material science, engineering, and design and simulation in Orlando and at the University of Texas at El Paso. The research will provide cutting-edge training in Orlando and El Paso for undergraduate and graduate students who work on the three-year project.
The work will be evenly split between the professors' laboratories in Orlando and El Paso.