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ECE Colloquium Series – Prof. Ognjen Ilic

September 12 @ 3:30 pm - 5:00 pm

As part of the *Eleanore Hale Wilson Lecture Series, ECE is proud to present:

Prof. Ognjen Ilic

University of Minnesota

Host: Prof. Jim Leger


Nanoscale photonic structures such as metamaterials and metasurfaces are enabling manipulation of light and heat in unprecedented ways. In this talk, I will discuss how subwavelength optical structures can shape and control electromagnetic fields associated with thermal radiation. I will present the work on tailoring high-temperature thermal emission by photonic elements that enable light recycling, applicable for high efficiency heat-to-electricity energy harvesting. I will also show how nano-structured two-dimensional materials can challenge conventional thermal radiation, from radiative energy exchange that overcomes the Planck’s blackbody limit, to nanoscale thermal switches and modulators. In the second part of my talk, I will discuss how optical manipulation of objects with engineered nanostructure can open up frontiers in opto-mechanics, leading to new levitation and propulsion paradigms. I will show how macroscopic—mm, cm, or even larger—objects could be manipulated at arbitrary distances by embedding nanoscale elements that control the anisotropy of light scattering along the object surface. Combining such concepts of nanophotonic engineering, I will conclude with an outlook for developing new applications in space: from propulsion enabled by nanostructured materials, to ultralight metamaterials for effective management of the thermal electromagnetic spectrum.


Ognjen Ilic is a Benjamin Mayhugh Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities. He completed his Ph.D. in physics at MIT, his A.B. in physics and mathematics at Harvard University, and was a postdoctoral scholar in applied physics and materials science at Caltech. His research themes encompass light-matter interactions in nanoscale structures and low-dimensional materials. He is particularly interested in nanophotonics, renewable energy and efficient energy harvesting, opto-mechanics, and the design and optimization of nano-structured metamaterials. More details can be found at http://www.me.umn.edu/people/ilic.shtml.

*Established in 2009, the Eleanore Hale Wilson Fund supports engineering field leaders for travel to Minnesota to share their expertise and discoveries with University of Minnesota graduate students, faculty, and alumni. The fund also supports the receptions held in honor of each speaker.


September 12
3:30 pm - 5:00 pm


Keller Hall 3-210
200 Union St SE
Minneapolis, MN 55455 United States
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