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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:

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!

12/15/2011: Nicholas Sergeant successfully defends his Ph.D. thesis!

09/01/2011: Lieven Verslegers successfully defends his Ph.D. thesis!

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.

09/21/2010: Sunil Sandhu successfully defends his Ph.D. thesis!

6/25/2010: A recent paper by Sunil Sandhu, Michelle Povinelli and Prof. Fan on low-power optical switching by coherent control was featured as an Editors' Choice in the latest issue of Science.

10/9/2009: Recent work determining the thermal conductance characteristics of photonic crystal layers by WahTung Lau, J.-T. Shen and Prof. Fan was highlighted in Physical Review Focus, and selected by the editors of Physical Review B as an Editor's Suggestion.

07/22/2009: Work on three-dimensional metamaterials published earlier this year by Jonghwa Shin, J.-T. Shen and Prof. Fan in Physical Review Letters was highlighted by Optics and Photonics Focus

05/27/2009: Experimental work by Lieven Verslegers, Peter Catrysse et al. on designing and implementing a planar metallic nanoscale slit lens, published in Nano Letters, was featured in the February 2009 Nature Photonics issue as a Research Highlight.

05/27/2009: Zongfu Yu and Prof. Fan proposed a novel way of creating on-chip optical isolators that was published in, and featured on the cover of the February 2009 issue of, Nature Photonics. Read the full article and an interview with the authors.

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) 2016. Ginzton Laboratory, Department of Electrical Engineering, Stanford University