The nano-optics research field comprises experimental and theoretical investigation of elastic and inelastic light-matter interaction at nano, micro and meso scales, generally in 0, 1 and 2 dimensions.The interaction of light with matter, especially at reduced dimensions, exhibits features that are extremely useful for the understanding of how nature works. The reason is that, materials that make up ourselves and our natural and human-formed surrounding, spanning a wide range from biological to advanced functional materials such as liquid crystals, semiconductors, superconductors, optical materials, laser materials, porous materials, light emitting materials, ceramics, magnetic materials, thin films, colloids, energy materials, are all composed of building blocks that have nano-/micro- scale size. A few examples of such materials are proteins, DNA, fluorescent molecules, nanoparticles, quantum dots, metal colloids and carbon nanotubes. Complemetarily, the light-matter interaction is also effectively utilized in fabrication or composition of such small scale advanced materials with a targeted function that do not exist otherwise naturally.
Fabrication and investigation of matter with such small dimensions, using light, necessarily facilitates development and use of advanced technological instrumentation expecially designed to concentrate attention to small dimensions. Near-field optical microscopes, atomic force microscopes, fiber-optical measurement systems, plasmonic sensors, etc. are some of such instruments that are continuously improved for fulfilling desired fuctionalities at the small scale front.
Our research group takes part in a vast range of nano-optics research involving both of these features: probing and modifying materials at the nano-scale, by light.