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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:

07/19/2018: Our work on optical artificial neural networks is featured by Optica.

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.

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