Physics, materials, devices, and systems are investigated using light and electromagnetism generally, for applications including sensing, imaging, communications, computing, energy, biology, medicine, security, and information processing. Scientific work ranges from basic quantum mechanical processes in nanostructures to planetary science, incorporating technologies from nano- and micro-scale fabrication through radio and optical fiber communications to environmental probes. Examples include:
- Photonics: Devices, systems and applications involving electromagnetic waves, in particular light. Applications include communicating information, where photonics plays a crucial role, medical instrumentation, imaging, sensing, and (photovoltaic) solar power generation;
- Nanoscience & Engineering: Physics of nano-photonic structures (where the minimal feature sizes are at the single wavelength or even deep subwavelength scales); controllable fabrication of nanophotonic materials and structures; and the applications of such structures in low-energy information processing and communications, high-efficiency energy conversion, sensing, and medicine;
- Quantum Technologies: Study and employment of quantum mechanical properties of light and matter for applications including secure communications, quantum and classical computing, and sensing. Nanophotonics and nanoscience play crucial roles in building a platform for quantum technologies.