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Topological soft materials for all-optic low energy photonics

Event Details

Event Dates: 

Friday, February 8, 2013 - 6:30am

Speaker Name(s): 

Igor Musevic

Speaker Affiliation(s): 

University of Ljubljana, Slovenia
Seminar Type/Subject

Event Details & Abstract: 

The existing infrastructure for managing the flow of information along the photonic pathways and in our computers is in most segments based on electrically encoded information and the transport of electric charges using the electric force. This process is limiting the speed of signal propagation and is costly in terms of energy dissipation. The predicted worldwide energy consumption of data centers for 2050 is approaching the electric energy generated in the European Union in 2010! It is anticipated that our 21st century civilization should turn to photonics and photonics signaling that will not only exploit the energy of our Sun, but will also use all-photonic processing of information in computers and communications. In this lecture we shall discuss a new class of photonic materials that is based on dispersions of colloidal particles in liquid crystals. Unlike ordinary water based colloids, nematic colloids are showing several novel classes of colloidal forces, which do not exist in isotropic solvents. They are also a new class of topological materials, where the colloidal interactions are dictated by the topology of the liquid crystal, resulting in the formation of knotted and linked colloidal soft matter. We will give an overview of this exciting and rapidly developing field, merging material science, topology and photonics, together with some spectacular examples of self-assembly and applications to soft matter photonics.