Nicholas Rivera

Summary of Research

The broad theme of my research in the Soljacic group is "unconventional" light-matter interactions. In other words: realizing ways for matter to emit light in ways which is conventionally considered too slow to be accessible (i.e., forbidden). Recent advances in nanophotonics point to ways to overcome all of the fundamental limitations of light-matter interactions, even in atomically small systems. Intuitively, this happens by confining light on the scale of atomic orbitals. This allows for realization of a very broad set of emission processes.

My work centers on developing systematically a quantum theory of these unconventional light matter interactions and exploring the consequences of realizing these interactions for photonics, atomic physics, chemical physics, and the countless other fields which use light-matter interactions on a regular basis.


(* denotes equal contribution)

In review
5. Controlling emitter frequency by increasing photon momentum. Kurman, Y., Rivera, N., Christensen T., Tsseses S., Orenstein M., Soljacic M., Joannopoulos J.D., and Kaminer, I.

4. Metasurface-based multi-harmonic free electron light source. Rosolen, G.; Wong, L.J.; Rivera, N.; Maes, B.; Soljacic, M., and Kaminer, I.

3. Shaping long-lived electron wavepackets for customizable optical spectra. Dangovski R., Rivera N., Soljacic, M., and Kaminer, I. arXiv:1712.04521.

2. Controlling light emission with electron wave interference. Murdia, C., Rivera N., Christensen T., Soljacic, M., and Kaminer, I. arXiv:1712.04529.

1. Shaping polaritons to reshape selection rules. Machado, F.*, Rivera, N.*, Buljan, H., Soljacic, M., and Ido Kaminer. (2016). arXiv:1610.01668. In review.

8. Controlling UV emission through graphene plasmons. Sloan J., Rivera N., Soljacic M., and Kaminer I. Nano Letters. 2018, 18 (1), pp 308–313.

7. Making two-photon emission dominate one-photon emission using extremely confined phonon polaritons in the mid-IR. Rivera N., Rosolen G., Kaminer I., Joannopoulos J.D., and Soljacic M. Proc. Nat. Acad. Sci. (2017).

6. Ultra light A-Scale Optimal Optical Reflectors. Papadakis G.T., Narang, P., Sundararaman R., Rivera N., Buljan H., Engheta N., and Soljacic M. ACS Photonics 10.1021/acsphotonics.7b00609. (2017).

5. Constructing "designer" atoms via resonant graphene-induced Lamb shifts. Chang C.H., Rivera N., Joannopoulos J.D., Soljacic M., and Kaminer I. ACS Photonics special issue on 2D Nanophotonics. 10.1021/acsphotonics.7b00731. (2017).

4. All-angle negative refraction of highly squeezed plasmon and phonon polaritons in graphene-boron nitride heterostructures. Lin, X. Yang, Y., Rivera N., Lopez, J. J., Shen, Y., Kaminer I., Chen, H., Zhang, B., Joannopoulos, J.D., and Soljacic, M. Proc. Nat. Acad. Sci. Vol. 114, No 26., 6717-6721. (2017).

3. Tailoring the energy distribution and loss of 2D plasmons. Lin, X., Rivera, N., Lopez, J.J., Kaminer, I., Chen, H., and Soljacic, M.. New Journal of Physics. (2016).

2. Rivera, N., Hsu, C.W., Zhen, B., Buljan, H., Joannopoulos J.D., and Soljacic, M.,
"Controlling the directionality and dimensionality of radiation through separable bound
states in the continuum" Scientific Reports. 6, 33394. (2016).

1. Rivera, N.*, Kaminer, I*., Zhen, B., Joannopoulos, J.D. and Soljacic, M., "Shrinking light to allow forbidden transitions on the atomic scale". Science 353 (6296), 263-269. (2016).

In preparation:
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9. LeRoy Apker Award (APS), Oct 2016
8. Joel Matthew Orloff Award for Research (MIT), May 2016
7. Joel Matthew Orloff Award for Service (MIT), May 2016
6. Order of the Lepton Award (MIT), May 2016
5. DOE Computational Science Fellowship, Apr 2016
4. NSF Graduate Research Fellowship, Mar 2016
3. MIT School of Science Fellowship (3 years), Feb 2016
2. Hertz Fellowship Finalist, Jan 2016
1. National Collegiate Research Conference, Best Poster in Physics, Jan 2015

Invited Talks
3. ITAMP Theoretical Atomic and Molecular Physics Seminar. Harvard University. Apr 2018.
2. Graphene-MTL 2D Materials Conference. MIT. Oct 2017.
1. APS March Meeting, LeRoy Apker Award talk. Mar 2017.