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  The Fan Group engages in theoretical, computational and experimental research in photonics, focused on microphotonic and nanophotonic structures like photonic crystals, and solid state devices more generally. We are motivated by applications in a range of areas including information processing, imaging and renewable energy. Our research thus involves fundamental and applied studies in plasmonics, metamaterials, silicon photonics, photovoltaics, quantum optics and computational electromagnetics.

Our research group is led by Professor Shanhui Fan. Specific topics of recent interest include:
  • Non-magnetic Optical Isolators
  • Nanophotonic Light Trapping for Solar Cells
  • Near-Field Heat Transfer
  • Radiative Cooling
  • Numerical Methods & Simulation Techniques for Nanophotonics
  • Photonics with 2D Materials
  • Wireless Power Transfer
  • Complex Nanophotonic Device Design
  • Quantum Optics: Single- and Two-Photon Transport Theory
  • Extreme Light Transport in Metamaterials
See also our MURI: Robust and Complex On-Chip Nanophotonics (PI: Prof. Fan)

Group News:

10/03/2017: Future of energy: Efficiency (featured in Stanford News)

09/03/2017: Sending excess heat into the sky (featured in Stanford News)

06/13/2017: Big advance in wireless charging of moving electric cars (featured in Stanford News)

08/31/2016: Stanford engineers develop a plastic clothing material that cools the skin (featured in Stanford News)

09/21/2015: Stanford engineers invent transparent coating that cools solar cells to boost efficiency (featured in Stanford News)

06/08/2015: Strong constraint exists on one-way street that delivers optical signals to computers (featured in Stanford News)

12/15/2014: An experimental demonstration of daytime radiative cooling enabled by a photonic approach was published in Nature where it was featured and highlighted on the cover.

Media coverage includes The Economist, CNN, The Guardian, IEEE Spectrum, MIT Technology Review, Ars Technica, Stanford Report and Christian Science Monitor.

The research was also highlighted on the Nature podcast. Listen to lead author Dr. Aaswath Raman being interviewed on the podcast about this research here.

03/17/2014: A recent publication by Jessica Piper et al. demonstrating total absorption in a graphene monolayer was selected as ACS Editors' Choice.

10/17/2013: New work on heat-resistant materials that could potentially improve solar cell efficiency, done in collaboration with the Braun group, is published in Nature Communications and featured in the Stanford Report.

4/15/2013: A novel solar structure cooling buildings in full sunlight is published in Nano Letters and featured in the Stanford Report.

11/1/2012: Work on realizing synthetic magnetism by dynamic modulation to control light is published in Nature Photonics and featured in the Stanford Report.

7/16/2012: Work on electrically driven nonreciprocity on a silicon chip is published in Physical Review Letters and summarized in Physics.

4/12/2012: Work on creating a photonic analogue to the Aharanov-Bohm effect by Kejie Fang, Dr. Zongfu Yu and Prof. Fan is published as a highlighted paper in Physical Review Letters and summarized in Physics.

2/7/2012: Work on nanoshell solar cells that enable light trapping, done in collaboration with the Cui group, is published in Nature Communications and featured in the Stanford Report.

2/1/2012: Work on wireless electric power transfer to moving automobiles by Dr. Xiaofang Yu, Dr. Sunil Sandhu, Prof. Fan and collaborators is published in Applied Physics Letters and featured in the Stanford Report.

Press reports include Discovery News. Watch a video featuring Dr. Xiaofang Yu describing the proposed device and results!

1/27/2011: A paper on subwavelength superscattering nanospheres by Dr. Zhichao Ruan and Prof. Fan is featured on the cover of the latest issue of Applied Physics Letters.

1/25/2011: Aaswath Raman received the SPIE Green Photonics Award for the best Solar Technologies paper/talk at SPIE Photonics West 2011.

1/10/2011: Professor Fan has been elected an IEEE Fellow.

12/3/2010: Lieven Verslegers received a Gold MRS Graduate Student Award at the 2010 MRS Fall Meeting.

9/27/2010: Group members Zongfu Yu, Aaswath Raman and Prof. Fan publish a paper in PNAS detailing the fundamental limit of absorption enhancement possible due to nanophotonic light trapping in solar cells, and show that it can far exceed the conventional limit. This work was featured as a Journal Highlight, and also received media coverage from the Stanford News.

Research Highlights:


We are located in the Center for Nanoscale Science and Engineering (Nano Center) in Stanford's new Engineering Quad. We are affiliated with the Department of Electrical Engineering and the Ginzton Laboratory.


(c) 2017. Ginzton Laboratory, Department of Electrical Engineering, Stanford University