Columbia Engineers First to Observe Avalanches in Nanoparticles

Columbia Engineering researchers report the first nanomaterial that demonstrates “photon avalanching,” a process that is unrivaled in its combination of extreme nonlinear optical behavior and efficiency. The realization of photon avalanching in nanoparticle form opens up a host of sought-after applications, from real-time super-resolution optical microscopy, precise temperature and environmental sensing, and infrared light detection, to optical analog-to-digital conversion and quantum sensing.

Being Exceptional in Higher Dimensions

By connecting electromagnetic waves and magnetism to create a system made of magnon polaritons, scientists demonstrated the existence of an “exceptional surface” for the first time. Exceptional surfaces were originally a purely mathematical concept, but recent research shows they have potential physical, real-world applications.