30 January 2013
David García awarded 3.5 million kr. for research in photonics
David García-Fernandez is postdoc in the Quantum Photonics group at the Niels Bohr Institute and he has just received 3.5 million kroner from the Villum Foundation Young Investigator Programme for the research project, ‘Controlling the conductor-insulator phase transition for light’.
David García is working in the field of photonics, which exploits the spread of photons (light particles) in nanophotonic materials. Light is always in motion and to control it, researchers usually ‘capture’ the photons in a forest of mirrors. They send a beam of photons towards a mirror and on to another mirror and on to the next and so on. In this way, they can control the direction and strength of the light exactly as they want to.
“I will try to control the light by ‘capturing’ it in a material. Photons have wave properties and spread in a material. In the research project, I will explore the possibility of catching the light via the special phenomenon called ‘Anderson localization’, which occurs as a result of a phase transition,” explains David García.
He explains that Anderson-localized waves cannot propagate in the material and are trapped in a very small volume. The project will explore the possibility of capturing the light to enhance the interaction between light and matter in the Anderson-localized state. This has potential applications for quantum information technology, solar cells and lasers on a nanoscale.
David García received his PhD from Universidad Autonoma in Madrid and he has also been at LENS in Florence, Italy. He came to the Niels Bohr Institute a year ago. The grant from the Villum Foundation is for 3 years and he now has to build the equipment to carry out the experiments.