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Professor Mittleman Visits IOP-OSA Chapter

Author: Leilei Zhu

The Institute of Physics-Optical Society of America (IOP-OSA) Student Chapter hosted Professor Daniel M. Mittleman from Rice University as an invited lecturer through the OSA Travelling Lecturer Program.

The session began with the president of IOP-OSA chapter highlighting our activities and showing many photos of Chapter events. Then, Prof. Mittleman presented his wonderful lecture titled "Terahertz waveguides and plasmonic effects for subwavelength field confinement." It was very well received and attracted more than 60 audiences including some students from other universities. The room was packed, and some students even had to stand in the back.

Prof. Mittleman in the lecture
Group photo with Prof. Mittleman

Academic Exchange

After the lunch, we held a seminar with Prof. Mittleman and chapter members, including our advisor Prof. Ling-An Wu, Prof. Li Wang and 20 students from IOP, Capital Normal University and Beijing University of Technology. Four students from IOP-OSA introduced their work on stage, others at the table proposed useful ideas and suggestion. In this exchange activity, we harvested not only happiness, but also valuable experience.

After the seminar, Prof. Mittleman was accompanied to visit labs in our institute and made academic exchanges. We first visited group seven and group four in Key Laboratory of Optical Physics, and two student members explained the experiment systems and introduced their main works to Prof. Mittleman. Then we called on the group five in State Key Laboratory for Surface Physics, Prof. Jimin Zhao introduced their work in detail and communicated in depth with Prof. Mittleman. At last, Prof. Mittleman held an in-depth discussion with Prof. Li Wang and Prof. Ling-An Wu about the terahertz work, and he was interested in the ghost imaging in terahertz radiation. Finally Prof. Mittleman and Prof. Li Wang cooperated in this work and one member in IOP-OSA got the valuable opportunity to make a short-term exchange to Rice University this fall.

Visiting the group four in Key Laboratory of Optical Physics
Visiting the group five in State Key Laboratory of Surface Physics


Prof. Mittleman was also invited to Minzu University of China for academic exchange. He gave a talk about Plasmonic Terahertz Waveguides to 30 people from Minzu University of China and visited the terahertz labs there. This academic exchange ensured the future cooperation of the two sections.

Tour around Beijing City

After a two-day academic exchange, we accompanied Prof. Mittleman on visits to some scenic spots including a Chinese Ethnic Culture Park, the Summer Palace and Xiushui Street.

Visiting Chinese Ethnic Culture Park
Visiting Summer Palace

Conclusion

We enjoyed this Travelling Lecturer Program very much, and our student chapter has benefited a lot from that. Besides promoting the academic exchange, we also earned a learning process. We are looking forward to the next activity and hope more and more students will join and benefit from our program.

We would like to thank OSA for the sponsorship, and IOP and Minzu University of China for the support.

Biography of Daniel M. Mittleman

Dr. Mittleman received his B.S. in physics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1988, and his M.S. in 1990 and Ph.D. in 1994, both in physics from the University of California, Berkeley, under the direction of Dr. Charles Shank. His thesis work involved the spectroscopy of semiconductor nanocrystals using laser pulses with durations of less than 20 femtoseconds, at wavelengths from 480 nm to 670 nm. He then joined AT&T Bell Laboratories as a post-doctoral member of the technical staff, working first for Dr. Richard Freeman on a terawatt laser system, and then for Dr. Martin Nuss on terahertz spectroscopy and imaging. Dr. Mittleman joined the ECE Department at Rice University in September 1996, where he is a Professor. At Rice, his research interests involve various aspects of spectroscopy, sensing, and imaging using terahertz radiation. Dr. Mittleman is a Fellow of the Optical Society of America and of the IEEE.

Lecture Abstract

Concentrating optical energy into an ultra-small spot beyond the diffraction limit has long been an interesting topic in photonics. For terahertz radiation, this challenge is of particular importance, to meet the growing interest in imaging and spectroscopy of materials with a size below the sub-millimeter scale of the free-space wavelength. One of the most exciting new approaches is to use subwavelength-sized plasmonic waveguides, based on the excitation of localized surface plasmon polaritons (SPPs) on metallic surfaces. While most of the studies on plasmonic waveguides have been focused in the optical regime, subwavelength plasmonic waveguides in the THz spectral regime have also recently attracted a great deal of attention. Here, we discuss several terahertz waveguide structures in the context of plasmonic waveguiding, and show how this understanding can enable deep subwavelength confinement of broadband terahertz signals.

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