Thin Film Interference in Ultra-Thin Layers: Color Coatings, Tunable Absorbers, and Anomalous Thermal Emitters
Mikhail Kats, Ph.D.Harvard University
Thin film interference is a ubiquitous and well-understood optical phenomenon responsible for the colorful, iridescent reflections from oil films on water, soap bubbles, and peacock feathers. In this seminar, I will present several thin film systems featuring highly-absorbing optical materials where strong interference effects are unexpectedly observed for films that are far thinner than the wavelength of light. These results open new directions for light harvesting and detection devices, optical modulators, thermal emitters, and even visual design [1-4].
 M. A. Kats et al, Nature Materials 12, 20 (2013)
 M. A. Kats et al, Applied Physics Letters 101, 221101 (2012)
 M. A. Kats et al, Physical Review X 3, 41004 (2013)
 M. A. Kats et al, Optics and Photonics News, Jan. issue (2014)
Dr. Mikhail Kats received his BS in Engineering Physics from Cornell University in 2008 and PhD in Applied Physics from Harvard University in 2013. As a doctoral student in the group of Federico Capasso, Mikhail was supported by the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship and the Harvard Graduate Society Merit Fellowship. He is now a postdoctoral researcher at Harvard, and has research interests in the fields of photonics, plasmonics, energy, nanoscience, and device physics. To date, Mikhail has authored or co-authored 36 articles in peer-reviewed journals and has given 9 invited or seminar presentations.