A key concept in materials science is to engineer
materials to have desired properties. The research field of nanoscale optics
taps into this idea by controlling the optical
properties of materials. Through judicious structuring of optical materials on
the nanometer length scale, researchers can engineer optical resonances, which in
turn provide control over different properties of light, such as amplitude and phase.
This control has enabled exotic effects including invisibility cloaks, negative
refraction, and ultrathin optical devices.
These optical effects rely on the availability of dielectric
materials, which have a high refractive index .
Unfortunately, only few such materials are available in the visible spectrum , which limits the
technological potential of all-dielectric nano-optics. Currently, the most used
high-refractive-index materials are silicon (Si) and titanium dioxide (TiO2),
since they are convenient to use due to the availability of well-tested
fabrication methods. However, what if there are even better optical materials
available that have not been discovered yet?
This project will use computational screening methods
to search for new and better high-refractive-index materials. This will be done
by employing density functional theory (DFT) calculations to compute the
wavelength-dependent refractive index in the visible spectrum for hundreds of
materials with band gaps in the range 1-3 eV. For the best candidates
identified in the screening, the optical performance of the new materials is
then tested through analytical electromagnetic Mie calculations.
This Master thesis project is at very forefront of
current research, combining state-of-the-art DFT and nano-optics research.
 A. I. Kuznetsov, A. E.
Miroshnichenko, M. L. Brongersma, Y. S. Kivshar og B. Luk’yanchuk,
"Optically resonant dielectric nanostructures," Science 354, 846 (2016).
 D. G. Baranov, D. A. Zuev, S. I.
Lepeshov, O. V. Kotov, A. E. Krasnok, A. B. Evlyukhin og B. N. Chichkov,
"All-dielectric nanophotonics: the quest for better materials and
fabrication techniques," Optica 4, 814 (2017).