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Materials Science Research Lecture

Wednesday, January 12, 2022
4:00pm to 5:00pm
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Online Event
Photonics and Materials for Machine Intelligence and Cryptography
Volker J. Sorger, Associate Professor, Electrical and Computer Engineering, George Washington University,

Webinar Link:


Webinar ID: 832 7665 2110


Photonic technologies are at the forefront of digitalizing the world. They enable applications such as 5G networks, virtual reality, autonomous vehicles, and electronic warfare. Optical innovations are inherently determined by their underlying material properties. In the first part of the seminar, I introduce emerging electrooptic materials with astounding optical and mechanical properties including a strain-engineered photodetector (Nature Photonics), epsilon-near-zero material GHz fast electro-optic modulators (Optica), and phase change material photonic memories (arXiv). I will share an invention of a 3D printer for 2D materials – a path towards cross-contamination free 2D material manufacturing. In the second part, I will share insights, concepts and demonstrations of optical and photonic machine intelligent systems based on algorithm-hardware homomorphism enabling non-iterative O(1) complexity scaling. I will share demonstrations of our photonic-electronic machine learning accelerators including a massively-parallel convolutional neural network classifier harnessing the naturally-occurring Fourier transformation performed by a lens (Optica). Reconfigurable photonic integrated circuits allow for solving partial differential equations at the speed of light (Nature Comm. Phys.) with options for coherent Ising Machines. We quantify the amount of information by extending Shannon's entropy to include ‘structure' in optical beams (AAAS Research). Having solved performing convolution operations including both phase and amplitude, I will introduce a cryptographic optical processor for Montgomery Multiplications. Lastly, using wavelength multiplexing, I will introduce our 100 TOPJ efficient photonic tensor core ASIC processor accelerating vector matrix multiplication optically, which features novel multi-bit optical memories based on phase-change materials (Appl. Phys. Rev).

More about the Speaker:

Volker J. Sorger is an Associate Professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering and the Director of the Photonics & Intelligence Laboratory at the George Washington University. His research areas include opto-electronics, material nanophotonics, information processing, and photonic AI . Among his breakthroughs are the first micrometer-compact GHz modulator, strainoptronics photodetector, plasmon laser, and innovations such as multilevel photonic memory and photonic tensor core processor. For his work, Dr. Sorger received multiple awards among are the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE), the AFOSR Young Investigator Award (YIP), the Hegarty Innovation Prize, and the National Academy of Sciences award of the year. Dr. Sorger was the former editor-in-chief of NANOPHOTONICS, and is an Associate editor for OPTICA, and holds the position of the OSA Division Chair for ‘Photonics and Opto-electronics' serving at the boards of OSA & SPIE. He is a senior member of IEEE, OSA & SPIE, and the founder of Optelligence Company.

For more information, please contact Jennifer Blankenship by email at [email protected].