Tan Kah Kee Young Scientist Award

 
Information Sciences
Yun-Feng Xiao was born in Gaoan, Jiangxi Province in January of 1981. Now he is a distinguished “Boya” Professor in School of Physics at Peking University. He received the B.S. and Ph.D. degrees in physics from University of Science and Technology of China in 2002 and 2007, respectively. After his postdoctoral research at Washington University in St. Louis, he joined Peking University as an assistant professor in January of 2009, and was subsequently promoted to associate and full professor with tenure in 2014 and 2018, respectively. His research interests lie in the fields of whispering-gallery microcavity optics and photonics, and has authored or co-authored more than 160 peer-reviewed papers with over 4000 citations in top international journals including Science, Nature Photonics, PNAS, Physical Review Letters and Advanced materials. His researches were selected as “Ten Major Scientific and Technological Progress of China’s Colleges and Universities” twice, in 2014 and 2017, respectively.

He was recipient of Outstanding Youth Fund (NSFC, 2012) and Distinguished Youth Fund (NSFC, 2018), and was selected as Changjiang Distinguished Professor (MOE, 2018) and Innovation Leadership Program for Young and Middle-aged Scientists in China (MOST, 2018). Owing to his fundamental contributions to the field of optical microcavities, he received numerous awards, including Rao-Yutai Prize in Fundamental Optics (COS, 2013), Wang-Daheng Optics Prize (COS, 2018), Youth Science Award (MOE, 2018) and Rao-Yutai Prize in physics (CPS, 2018-2019). He was elected a Fellow of OSA in 2019, and serves/served as an Associate Editor of several journals including Light: Science & Applications, Photonics Research, Science China: Physics, Mechanics & Astronomy, Chinese Optics Letters and Frontier of Optoelectronics. He is also serving as the chairman or vice-chairman in several important committees.

 
Ultrahigh-Q microcavity photonics: from fundamental physics to novel applications
 
Optical microcavities have become intriguing platforms for nano/micro photonics owing to their strong confinement of light field within small volumes, which enhances significantly the light-matter interactions. Ultrahigh-Q microcavities have found broad applications in coherent light sources, on chip information processing, ultrasensitive sensors and integrated quantum optics. In the recent years, Dr. Yun-Feng Xiao and his research team focus on the fundamental physics and novel applications of ultrahigh-Q microcavities. They developed the innovative fabrication techniques for on-chip symmetric/asymmetric microcavities, which laid the foundation of high performance on-chip photonic devices. As a pioneer in the field of asymmetric microcavities, Yun-Feng’s research team proposed the concept of chaos-assisted momentum transformation, through which broadband coupling to ultrahigh-Q whispering gallery modes was demonstrated, overcoming the strict condition of optical phase matching that seriously limits the device efficiency in regular microcavities. They initiated and experimentally demonstrated several groundbreaking sensing methods with ultrahigh sensitivities enhanced to single-nanoparticle level, such as microcavity mode broadening, mode splitting and dissipative interaction mechanisms. In particular, their sensors allow accurate measurement of the size distribution of atmospheric particulates, providing a new technique for air quality assessment. Now the team is developing the micro-comb technology of ultralow power consumption and ultrahigh precision, aiming at providing novel light sources in the fields of atomic clocks, optical spectroscopy, astrophysical observation, bio-imaging and LIDAR.
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