About the group

The Photonic Forces group, led by Ewold Verhagen, a research group at the AMOLF institute in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. It is part of the Information in Matter department and the Nanophotonics center at AMOLF.

We study light-matter interactions at the nanoscale, in particular the coupling between photons and phonons in nano-optomechanical systems. We seek to understand how the behavior of light and sound in nanoscale devices is governed by fundamental principles such as spatiotemporal symmetries and quantum mechanics. We explore how suitable system design and control over light-matter interactions can engage the conventional limits to nanophotonic and nanomechanical functionality, in application domains from sensing and metrology to communication.

Research themes

We are currently working on the following topics:

  • Quantum metrology
    • Can we probe and evade the quantum limits to displacement sensing?
    • Can we control and characterize the quantum state of macroscopic mechanical objects?
    • Can we use quantum mechanics to gain advantages in new sensor technology?
  • Topological photons and phonons
    • Can we realize topological protection of photons and phonons at the nanoscale, and put it to use?
    • What new bosonic states and transport phenomena emerge in optomechanical networks, when we control the breaking of spatiotemporal symmetries and Hermiticity?
  • Nanophotonics for sensing and communication
    • How can light be routed and switched in new ways, at minimal energy consumption and beyond the confines of reciprocity?
    • How can we use the complexity of photonic interactions in metasurfaces towards applications in imaging and metrology?
    • How can nanophotonic field enhancement improve sensors of small forces, fields, and molecules?

For all of these, we develop state-of-art nanoscale devices that seek to push the limits of what is possible. For more information, see the research page and our publications.


About Ewold Verhagen

Ewold Verhagen leads the Photonic Forces group at AMOLF, and is part-time professor of Applied Physics at Eindhoven University of Technology. He heads the Nanophotonics center at AMOLF and is scientific coordinator of the NanoLab Amsterdam. He previously worked at EPFL and AMOLF. His research interests span various directions within nanophotonics and nanomechanics, including cavity optomechanics, classical and quantum sensing, photonic crystals, nanoscale quantum optics, plasmonics, and metamaterials.