Colloquia & Guest Speakers

Control of Light-Matter Interaction at the Nanoscale

Vinod M. Menon, Department of Physics, The City College of New York, NY

Monday, April 6, 2015
3 p.m.–4 p.m.

Goergen 101, Sloan Auditorium


The interaction of light with matter can be manipulated by controlling the photonic density of states (PDOS). In this talk I will present some of our recent results on photonic structures that enhance PDOS and its implications for enhancement of spontaneous emission rate, and control of the strength of interaction between light and excitons. I will begin with a discussion of metamaterials where the topology of the iso-frequency surface is engineered to control PDOS and realize broadband enhancement in spontaneous emission [1, 2]. Following this, I will discuss microcavity systems embedded with two-dimensional atomically thin semiconductors that show the formation of half-light half-matter quasiparticles called microcavity polaritons under the strong coupling regime [3]. The possibility to exploit the unique properties of two-dimensional semiconductors such as valley polarization will be briefly addressed

[1]        “Topological transitions in metamaterials,” H. Krishnmoorthy, Z, Jacob, I. Kretzschmar, E. Narimanov, and V. M. Menon, Science336, 205 (2012).

[2]        “Active hyperbolic metamaterials: enhanced spontaneous emission and light extraction,” T. Galfsky, H. Krishnamoorthy, W. Newman, Z. Jacob, E. Narimanov, and V. M. Menon, Optica 2, 62 (2015).

[3]        “Strong light-matter coupling in two-dimensional atomic crystals,” X. Liu, T. Galfsky, Z. Sun, F. Xia, E-C. Lin, Y-H Lee, S. Kena-Cohen, and V. M. Menon, Nature Photonics9, 30 (2015)


Vinod Menon is a Professor of Physics and Director of the Center for Advanced Technology in Photonics at the City College of the City University of New York (CUNY). He joined CUNY in fall 2004 as part of the initiative in photonics. Prior to joining CUNY he was at Princeton University (2001-2004) where he was the Lucent Bell Labs Post-Doctoral Fellow in Photonics. He received his MSc in Physics from the University of Hyderabad, India in 1995 and his Ph.D. in Physics from the University of Massachusetts in 2001. His current research interests include quantum photonics, metamaterials based cavity QED, two-dimensional semiconductors, organic photonic materials, and engineered nonlinear optical materials. More details about his group can be found at