Plenary speakers

Professor Sir John B Pendry


Plenary talk: Transformation optics at optical frequencies

Professor Sir John B Pendry FRS, Chair in Theoretical Solid State Physics, Department of Physics, Imperial College London, UK. John Pendry has worked at the Blackett Laboratory, Imperial College London, since 1981. He began his career in the Cavendish Laboratory, Cambridge, followed by six years at the Daresbury Laboratory where he headed the theory group. He has worked extensively on electronic and structural properties of surfaces, developing the theory of low energy diffraction and of electronic surface states.  

In 1992 he turned his attention to photonic materials and developed some of the first computer codes capable of handling these novel materials. This interest led to his present research concerning the remarkable electromagnetic properties of materials where the normal response to electromagnetic fields is reversed, leading to negative values for the refractive index. In collaboration with the Marconi Company he designed a series of ‘metamaterials’ whose properties owed more to their micro-structure than to the constituent materials. These made accessible completely novel materials with properties not found in nature. Successively metamaterials with negative electrical permittivity, then with negative magnetic permeability were designed and constructed. These designs were subsequently the basis for the first material with a negative refractive index. John Pendry went on to explore the surface excitations of the new negative materials and showed that these were part of the surface plasmon excitations familiar in metals. This project culminated in the proposal for a ‘perfect lens’ whose resolution is unlimited by wavelength. These concepts have stimulated further theoretical investigations and many experiments which have confirmed the predicted properties. The simplicity of the new concepts together with their radical consequences have caught the imagination of the world’s media generating much positive publicity for science in general.

Professor Harald Giessen
  Plenary talk: Stereometamaterials - from simple to complex

Prof. Harald Giessen is the director of the 4th physics institute at the University of Stuttgart in Germany. His research focus is on ultrafast
nano-optics, with emphasis on metamaterials and plasmonics as well as on white-light lasers.
He graduated from University of Kaiserslautern in 1992 with a diploma in Phyiscs, and got his M.S. and Ph.D. as J.W. Fulbright scholar in Optical Sciences from the Optical Sciences Center at the University of Arizona in 1994 and 1995, respectively, studying femtosecond carrier dynamics in strongly confined semiconductor quantum dots. He was a post-doc at the Max-Planck-Institute for solid state research in 1996, investigating self-induced transparency in excitonic systems. From 1997-2000, he was assistant professor at the Physics Department at the University of Marburg, researching spatiotemporal carrier dynamics in nanoscopic systems. From 2001-2004, he was Associate Professor at the University of Bonn, where he focused on femtosecond white light lasers and metallic photonic crystals. Since 2005, he has been Full Professor at the University of Stuttgart. He was elected fellow of the Optical Society of America in 2008.

Xiang Zhang

  Plenary talk: Optical metamaterials and nano-plasmonics

Professor Xiang Zhang is Chancellor’s Professor at UC Berkeley and the Director of NSF Nano-scale Science and Engineering Center (NSEC) which includes Berkeley-Stanford-UCLA-UNCC-HP Labs.  He also serves as Director of Department of Defense MURI Center on Metamaterials and Devices that includes Berkeley-MIT-UCLA-UCSD-Duke-Imperial College (UK) and as a faculty scientist in the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

Professor Zhang’s current research focused on nano-scale science and technology, meta-materials, nano-photonics and bio-technologies.  He has published more than 80 technical papers including publications in Science and Nature Materials.  He has given over 80 invited or keynote talks at international conferences and institutions.  Professor Zhang is on editorial boards of three journals.  He is a co-chair of NSF Nanoscale Science and Engineering Annual Grantee Conference in 2004-2005, Chair of Technical Program of IEEE 2nd International Conference on Micro and Nano Engineered and Molecular Systems in 2007.   

mg_david_smith_2005.jpgProfessor David Smith  
Plenary talk: Gradient index and transformation optical metamaterials  

Since 2004, Dr. David R. Smith has held the position of Associate Professor and Augustine Scholar in the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department at Duke University. Dr. Smith is also an Adjunct Associate Professor in the Physics Department at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD), and is a Visiting Professor in the Physics Department at Imperial College, London. Dr. Smith's research has been focused on advanced electromagnetic materials and composites, including photonic crystals and metamaterials.

In 2000, Dr. Smith and colleagues at UCSD demonstrated the first metamaterial with a negative index-of-refraction. Dr. Smith was selected as a member of The Electromagnetics Academy in 2001; was a co-recipient of the Descartes Research Prize awarded by the European Union in 2004; received the Stansell Research Award from the Pratt School of Engineering in 2005; and was selected to be one of Scientific American's “Top 50” researchers and policy makers in 2006. His work has twice been selected as one of the top ten scientific breakthroughs of the year by Science Magazine (2003, 2006).



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