Postdoc Spotlight: Emanuele Galiffi

heaedshot: emanuele galiffi

This fall, Dr. Emanuele Galiffi will join Andrea Alù’s group in the ASRC’s Photonics Initiative to conduct research on time metamaterials, investigating whether useful new functionalities can be enabled in materials that change their properties over time. Emanuele explains, “The broad theoretical expertise and experimental potential across the multidisciplinary field of metamaterials, a distinctive feature of the Photonics Initiative led by Alù, makes ASRC the ideal setting, worldwide, to pursue this line of research.”

He will be supported by a Junior Simons Fellowship from the Simons Foundation. Junior fellowships are awarded to a select few outstanding early career researchers in life sciences, physics, engineering, mathematics, and computer and information science. This three-year fellowship will facilitate Emanuele’s independent research blending his knowledge of surface waves and time-dependent wave systems.

In Emanuele’s early doctoral studies, he explored surface wave interactions with extreme geometric features. Using a mathematical technique known as transformation optics, Emanuele was able to tease out how electrons enable quantum phenomena triggered by intense light-matter interactions. He unveiled new surface wave phenomena that may be useful in communications to control optical signal routing at a quantum level.

During the latter phase of his doctoral research, Emanuele explored time-dependent light-matter interactions in synthetically moving metamaterials, creating modulations that appear to travel in space faster than the speed of light, a feat not possible for actual moving matter.

In Alù’s group Emanuele will have the opportunity to explore various new wave phenomena using several theoretical, computational, and experimental tools. “It did not take much longer than a lecture and a chat over a poster early on in my Ph.D. to understand that I wanted to work with Professor Alù after my graduate studies. His ability to interact with mathematicians, physicists, and engineers across several fields is an inspiring trait that I hope to learn, and that I believe will help me cultivate a broad and long-term vision for my future research. I am extremely excited to become part of his group, and I am extremely grateful for the Simons Junior Fellowship that will provide me with freedom to explore new, nearly unimaginable phenomena and how they may shape the future of telecommunications and other technologies.”