Innovation at the Speed of Light
Photonics is the science of how lightis generated, detected and manipulated in a variety of ways. Dr. Robert W. Boyd,Canada Research Chair in Quantum Nonlinear Optics, specializes in photons andtheir application in telecommunications and informatics.
Boyd and his research team are usingnanotechnology to make new materials for various cutting-edge science andengineering purposes. Using state-of-the-art techniques in nanophotonics, theyare fabricating photonic crystals for a variety of applications in photonicsand nonlinear optics. For example, these photonic crystals can slow down thespeed of light. In turn, the ability to control the speed of light can lead toimportant developments, such as buffers for optical telecommunication, laserradars to track distant objects, and spectrometers of unprecedented precisionfor environmental sensing.
Boyd's research has potentialapplications in real-world problems, such as determining the maximum amount ofinformation a single photon can carry. The ability to transmit many bits ofdata on a single photon could lead to better security in communications systemsand minimize telecommunication networks’ power requirements. Boyd and hisresearch team are also studying quantum imaging—the use of quantum aspects oflight to form images with higher resolution or better sensitivity when viewingobjects under extremely low light.
Ultimately, Boyd’s research will helpfuel exciting discoveries in optics and photonics research. It could also haveimportant implications for research across other disciplines, including informationand communications technology and biomedical imaging.