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RAP opportunity at Naval Research Laboratory     NRL

Micro-/Nano-Optomechanical Systems and Optical MEMS: Mode Perturbation, Optical Forces, and Light Matter Interactions


Naval Research Laboratory, DC, Optical Sciences

opportunity location
64.15.67.B8092 Washington, DC 203755321


name email phone
Marcel W Pruessner 202.404.3007


We are investigating the interaction between light and optical and mechanical structures. In particular, we are examining how weakly-confined waveguide modes can be perturbed by the presence of mechanical structures or active thin film materials that are brought into the mode’s evanescent field. We have previously shown that the resulting evanescent field interaction can lead to large-scale tuning of the propagating mode’s effective index. In addition to exploring symmetric perturbation, we are also interested in symmetry-breaking interactions that may enable the coupling of orthogonal modes. These symmetry-breaking structures potentially enable efficient conversion between fundamental and higher-order propagating modes or polarization states. 

Our work focuses on novel approaches and techniques for studying and taking advantage of optical interactions at the micro and nanoscale. Some research thrusts incude: 

(1) mode perturbation using optomechanics and optical MEMS; 

(2) coupling or conversion between orthogonal modes and polarization states; 

(3) optical forces and feedback interactions using novel optomechanical cavities; 

(4) enhancement of optical forces using new waveguide designs and approaches; 

(5) applications of optomechanical structures and devices for novel sensors, oscillators, and modulators;  

(6) new microfabrication and micromachining techniques for realizing photonic devices and micro-/nano-electromechanical systems (MEMS/NEMS) with applications relevant to the Navy and DOD; and

(7) Design, simulation, layout, and testing of optical foundry processed photonic integrated circuits (PICs).

(8) Active linear and nonlinear optical interactions in PICs.


Google Scholar:              

Selected References

Pruessner MW, Park D, Roxworthy BJ, Kozak DA, Stievater TH, Tyndall NF, Rabinovich WS, Deenadayalan V, Fanto ML, Preble SF, and Stievater TH, “Foundry-Processed Optomechanical Photonic Integrated Circuits,” OSA Continuum 4 (4) 1215-1222, 2021 (DOI: 10.1364/OSAC.419410)

Pruessner MW, Park D, Roxworthy BJ, Kozak DA, Stievater TH, Tyndall NF, Rabinovich WS: Optics Letters 44 (13) 3346-3349, 2019 (DOI: 10.1364/OL.44.003346)  

Pruessner MW, Park D, Stievater TH, Kozak DA, Rabinovich WS: ACS Photonics 5 (8) 3214-3221, 2018 (DOI: 10.1021/acsphotonics.8b00452)  

key words
Integrated Optics; Nanophotonics; Micro-electro-mechanical Systems (MEMS); Optical Forces; Optomechanics; Integrated Optical Cavities; Silicon/silicon nitride/silicon oxide; III-V Semiconductors; Plasmonics;


Citizenship:  Open to U.S. citizens and permanent residents
Level:  Open to Postdoctoral applicants


Base Stipend Travel Allotment Supplementation
$94,199.00 $3,000.00
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