Welcome to our research page! This is the most exciting place to start navigating our webpage. It has detailed information on all our scientific endeavors.  Please send Prof. Zubin Jacob an email if you have questions or comments zjacob {at} purdue {dot} edu

Our research spans two major themes (I) Thermal Science and Engineering as well as (II) Quantum Science and Engineering. We take a unique theory-driven-experimental approach in all our projects. We have theory offices as well as three laboratories (thermal, quantum and spin) in the Birck Nanotechnology Center. Our group uses the Scifres Nanofab facility at Purdue University for materials innovation and device fabrication. Even though our explorations are driven by curiosity, our final goal is real-world technology that can impact society in the short term. You can read a short summary about the various projects over here and take a deeper dive about each sub-topic by navigating through the menu.

  • Thermal Science and Engineering
    • Extreme materials
    • Infrared thermal photonic materials
    • Computational quantum-thermal imaging
  • Quantum Science and Engineering
    • Quantum causality
    • Atomistic topological electrodynamics
    • Vacuum fluctuations in matter
    • Spin qubits and photonic spin density
    • Dipole-dipole interactions in nanophotonics

Here is a summary of our research highlights (downloadable pdf) and a snapshot of the table of contents below.

Research Highlights (2010-2020)

My research group is active in a few different areas of research. You will find it useful to start here to check out the main publications according to each topic.

Thermal Materials

Observation of nonvanishing optical helicity in thermal radiation from symmetry-broken metasurfaces X Wang, T Sentz, S Bharadwaj, SK Ray, Y Wang, D Jiao, L Qi, Z Jacob Science Advances 9 (4), eade4203  (2023)

Symmetry breaking in thermal photonics X Wang, Z Jacob Light: Science & Applications 11 (1), 342 (2022)

Thermal spin photonics in the near-field of nonreciprocal media C Khandekar, Z Jacob New Journal of Physics 21 (2019), 103030 (2019)

Controlling thermal emission with refractory epsilon-near-zero metamaterials via topological transitions PN Dyachenko, S Molesky, AY Petrov, M Störmer, T Krekeler, S Lang, et. al. Nature communications 7 (1), 11809 (2016)


Spin qubits and photonic spin density

Quantum field theory for spin operator of the photon LP Yang, F Khosravi, Z Jacob Physical Review Research 4 (2), 023165 (2022)

Non-classical photonic spin texture of quantum structured light LP Yang, Z Jacob Communications Physics 4 (1), 221 (2021)

Ultrafast electron cycloids driven by the transverse spin of a surface acoustic wave MM Sonner, F Khosravi, L Janker, D Rudolph, G Koblmüller, Z Jacob, Science Advances 7 (31), eabf7414 (2021)

Recent advances in 2D, 3D and higher-order topological photonics M Kim, Z Jacob, J Rho Light: Science & Applications 9 (1), 130 (2020)

Quantum sensing of photonic spin density using a single spin qubit F Kalhor, LP Yang, L Bauer, Z Jacob Physical Review Research 3 (4), 043007 (2021)


Topological optical N-insulator

Optical N-insulators: Topological obstructions to optical Wannier functions in the atomistic susceptibility tensor T Van Mechelen, S Bharadwaj, Z Jacob, RJ Slager Physical Review Research 4 (2), 023011 (2022)

Optical N-invariant of graphene’s topological viscous Hall fluid T Van Mechelen, W Sun, Z Jacob Nature Communications 12 (1), 4729 (2021)

Photonic Dirac monopoles and skyrmions: spin-1 quantization T Van Mechelen, Z Jacob Optical Materials Express 9 (1), 95-111 (2019)


Vacuum Fluctuations

Limits to Quantum Gate Fidelity from Near-Field Thermal and Vacuum Fluctuations W Sun, S Bharadwaj, LP Yang, YL Hsueh, Y Wang, D Jiao, R Rahman, Physical Review Applied 19 (6), 064038  (2023)

Non-reciprocal energy transfer through the Casimir effect Z Xu, X Gao, J Bang, Z Jacob, T Li Nature Nanotechnology 17 (2), 148-152 (2022)

Singular evanescent wave resonances in moving media Y Guo, Z Jacob Optics Express 22 (21), 26193-26202  (2014)


Extreme skin-depth waveguides

Transparent subdiffraction optics: nanoscale light confinement without metal S Jahani, Z Jacob Optica 1 (2), 96-100

Controlling evanescent waves using silicon photonic all-dielectric metamaterials for dense integration S Jahani, S Kim, J Atkinson, JC Wirth, F Kalhor, AA Noman, WD Newman, Nature communications 9 (1), 1893 (2018)


Single photon-induced quantum phase transition

Single-photon pulse induced giant response in N > 100 qubit system LP Yang, Z Jacob npj Quantum Information 6 (1), 76 (2020)


Dipole-dipole interactions in nanophotonics

Super-Coulombic atom-atom interactions in hyperbolic media CL Cortes, Z Jacob Nature Communications 8 (1), 14144 (2017)

Observation of long-range dipole-dipole interactions in hyperbolic metamaterials WD Newman, CL Cortes, A Afshar, K Cadien, A Meldrum, R Fedosejevs, Science Advances 4 (10), eaar5278 (2018)