22 June 2020 New Faculty Member and Group Leader

Dr. Georgia Papadakis

Dr. Georgia T. Papadakis will join ICFO from Stanford University ICFO’s NEST program, supported by Fundació Cellex and Fundació Mir-Puig, allows the institute to offer outstanding opportunities for young scientists aiming to start and lead an independent research group. We are very pleased to announce a new member of the program, Dr Georgia T. Papadakis, who will join ICFO as a new faculty member and Group Leader, coming from Stanford University. She will lead a program that aims to tailor the flow of thermal radiation using nanophotonics. Thermal radiation provides the means of transferring heat through light, with applications ranging from renewable energy and heat management to spectroscopy, lighting and sensing.

Dr Papadakis earned her PhD from the California Institute of Technology, where she worked on the design of artificially composed media with properties beyond natural availability, called metamaterials, as well as the interaction of light with novel materials like graphene and two-dimensional semiconductors. After her PhD, Georgia joined Stanford University as a TomKat Postdoctoral Fellow in Sustainable Energy. Much of her work at Stanford has focused on radiative heat transfer in the near-field, pertaining to length scales in the nanometer-range. In this range, thermally excited photons carry large amounts of thermal power density, thus creating new opportunities in optical and thermal engineering. .

At ICFO, Dr Papadakis will establish a research program for harnessing thermal radiation via controlling light-matter interactions at infrared frequencies, for the purpose of efficient light extraction and energy conversion. The group will (i) use nanophotonic and metamaterials’ principles to theoretically design and experimentally characterize photonic materials with favorable performance in terms of the spatial, spectral and time-dependent characteristics of thermal emission. Examples include emerging two-dimensional materials and their heterostructures, with pronounced plasmonic and polaritonic excitations that are often anisotropic and sensitive to external perturbations. In turn, the group will (ii) develop novel device platforms for actively controlling the flow of radiant heat and its conversion to electricity, for example with thermophotovoltaic systems. By enabling near-field interactions as well as employing optoelectronic functionalities, these systems hold potential to achieve heat-to-electricity conversion approaching thermodynamic limits.