Electromagnetic Fields and Photonics Group

We develop theory and numerical models to understand how photons interact with nanoparticles in the linear and nonlinear regimes. 
Our efforts are devoted to conceive new devices able to foster light-matter interactions at the nanoscale to facilitate the generation, propagation, manipulation, and detection of light from the infrared to the ultraviolet. 
Envisaged applications and goals range from small scale photon sources and on-chip light modulators to solar cells and spectroscopy.
Main research topics:
- Photonics in two-dimensional materials; 
- Plasmonics;
- Dielectric optical antennas;
- Photonic crystal and microstructure fibers; 
- Nonlinear optics at the nanoscale.

Nonlinear Optics:
The group aims at exploiting the interaction of light with matter to elucidate new strategies for the manipulation, control, shaping, and processing of light beams and signals. 
Our current main activities are focused in nonlinear optical processes, where “light acts on itself” inside suitable materials. 
This includes applications to all-optical photonic devices, imaging, and quantum optics.
Main research topics:
- Supercontinuum generation.
- Nonlinear optics at the nanoscale.

Antennas and Microwaves:
We design, fabricate and test planar antennas for a wide set of communication systems (WLAN, UWB and RFID). 
Our attention has been focused on increasing the directivity of compact antennas printed on low-cost substrates. State of the art solutions based on electromagnetic bandgap metamaterials and unconventional plastic substrates are also investigated.
Main research topics:
- Printed antennas for WLAN and UWB;
- Antennas for RFID;
- Feeding networks for printed antennas;
- Electromagnetic bandgap devices.

Optical Communications:
Optical fibers provide the backbone of the world’s interconnected web of data, voice, and streaming communications which is the basis of the information society. Optical networks range from transoceanic cables to datacenter interconnects and fiber-to-the-home service delivery. 
In order to avoid a capacity crunch at all levels of the optical network, a constant effort in research and innovation is necessary. 
We are tackling such effort in various directions as outlined below.
Main research topics:
- Optical frequency combs;
- Spatio-temporal nonlinear effects in multimode fibers;
- Ultrashort pulse generation and fiber laser dynamics;
- Nonlinearity compensation in optical communication systems.
All the simulations are performed by using the VPI Photonics software in the framework of the VPI University Partner Program.