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Keynote Session

Title of the talk:

Professor Junichiro Kono
Professor, Electrical and Computer Engineering
Professor, Materials Science and Nanoengineering
Professor, Physics and Astronomy
Rice University
6100 Main Street, Houston, Texas

Tel: (713) 348-2209, Fax: (713) 348-3091
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The diverse applications of terahertz (THz) radiation and its importance to fundamental condensed matter science makes finding ways to generate, manipulate, and detect THz radiation one of the key areas of modern applied physics. However, despite decades of worldwide efforts, the THz region of the electromagnetic spectrum still continues to be elusive for solid-state technology. Recently, there has been a growing recognition that carbon nanomaterials – i.e., graphene and carbon nanotubes (CNTs) – have some outstanding electronic and photonic properties that are ideally suited for THz devices [1]. In this talk, after reviewing the past, current, and future of the THz science and technology of graphene and carbon nanotubes, I will present some of our latest results on THz dynamic conductivity and ultrafast carrier dynamic as well as THz devices including polarizers, modulators, and detectors.

1. For a review, see, e.g., R. R. Hartmann, J. Kono, and M. E. Portnoi, Nanotechnology 25, 322001 (2014).

Professor Junichiro Kono received his B.S. and M.S. degrees in applied physics from the University of Tokyo in 1990 and 1992, respectively, and completed his Ph.D. in physics from the State University of New York at Buffalo in 1995. He was a postdoctoral research associate in condensed matter physics at the University of California, Santa Barbara, in 1995-1997 and the W. W. Hansen Experimental Physics Laboratory Fellow in the Department of Physics at Stanford University in 1997-2000. He joined the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering of Rice University in 2000 as an Assistant Professor and was promoted to Associate Professor in 2005 and to Professor in 2009. He is currently a Professor in the Departments of Electrical & Computer Engineering, Physics & Astronomy, and Materials Science & NanoEngineering at Rice University. Professor Kono was a recipient of the National Science Foundation CAREER Award in 2002 and has been a Fellow of the American Physical Society (APS) since 2009 and a Fellow of the Optical Society (OSA) since 2015. Professor Kono is also the founder of the nationally recognized international program for science and engineering undergraduate students, NanoJapan, funded by the U.S. National Science Foundation, receiving the Heiskell Award for Innovation from the Institute of International Education in 2008.

Research Areas:
Materials driven out of equilibrium; Carbon-based optics and photonics; Quantum optics in condensed matter; Physical phenomena in high magnetic fields.

Research Description:
Professor Kono is a leader in optical studies of condensed matter systems and photonic applications of nanosystems, including semiconductor nanostructures and carbon-based nanomaterials. He has made a number of pioneering contributions to the diverse fields of semiconductor optics, terahertz spectroscopy and devices, ultrafast and quantum optics, and condensed matter physics. Specifically, his high-impact achievements include: exploration of extreme nonlinear optics in semiconductors using small-energy photons; ultrafast optical manipulation of collective spins in ferromagnetic semiconductors; observation of the Aharonov-Bohm effect in carbon nanotubes via magneto-optics; ultrafast and nonlinear optical studies of carbon nanotubes; first observation of superfluorescence in a solid through cooperative recombination of quantum degenerate electron-hole pairs.

Kono’s research group uses state-of-the-art spectroscopic techniques to probe charge, spin, and vibrational dynamics. Their experimental facilities include the RAMBO system — a unique mini-coil-based 30-T pulsed magnet system equipped with ultrafast and nonlinear optical spectroscopy setups. Some of their current interests include:
Optics and photonics of carbon nanotubes, graphene, and 2D materials

  • Physics and applications of terahertz phenomena
  • Spintronics, opto-spintronics, and optical quantum information processing
  • Nonlinear, ultrafast, and quantum optical phenomena in solids
  • Optical processes in ultrahigh magnetic fields

Results of their research will lead to an increased understanding of non-equilibrium many-body dynamics in condensed matter as well as development of novel optoelectronic devices.

Selected Awards and Honors:
2015: OSA Fellow
2009: APS Fellow
2008: Institute of International Education Heiskell Award for Innovation
2002: National Science Foundation CAREER Award.