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
Contact for more details.

Selected submitted manuscripts
2. Extreme enhancement of spin relaxation mediated by surface magnon polaritons. Sloan J.*; Rivera, N.*; Joannopoulos J.D.; Kaminer, I., and Soljacic, M.

1. Generating light with nanophotonic Casimir forces. Rivera, N; Wong L. J.; Joannopoulos, J.D.; Soljacic, M., and Kaminer, I.

16. Variational theory of non-relativistic quantum electrodynamics. Rivera, N; Flick, J; and Narang. P.

15. Phonon polaritonics in two-dimensional materials. Rivera, N; Christensen, T; and Narang. P. Nano Letters.

14. Ultrafast multi-harmonic plasmon generation by optically dressed electrons. Rivera, N; Wong, L. J.; Soljacic, M., and Kaminer, I. Physical Review Letters.

13. Non-perturbative quantum electrodynamics in the Cherenkov effect. Roques-Carmes, C;, Rivera, N.; Joannopoulos J.D.; Kaminer, I. and Soljacic, M. Physical Review X. (2018).

12. Strong light-matter coupling in quantum chemistry and quantum photonics. Flick J.; Rivera N. and Narang, P. Nanophotonics. (2018). [Review article]

11. Metasurface-based multi-harmonic free electron light source. Rosolen, G.; Wong, L.J.; Rivera, N.; Maes, B.; Soljacic, M., and Kaminer, I. Light: Science and Applications. (2018).

10. 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. Nature Photonics. (2018).

9. Shaping polaritons to reshape selection rules. Machado, F.*, Rivera, N.*, Buljan, H., Soljacic, M., and Ido Kaminer. ACS Photonics. (2018).

8. Controlling UV emission through graphene plasmons. Sloan J., Rivera N., Soljacic M., and Kaminer I. Nano Letters. (2018).

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. (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. (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. (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. (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. (2016).


Awards and Honors
8. LeRoy Apker Award (APS), Oct 2016

7. Joel Matthew Orloff Award for Research (MIT), May 2016

6. Joel Matthew Orloff Award for Service (MIT), May 2016

5. Order of the Lepton Award (MIT), May 2016

4. DOE Computational Science Fellowship, Apr 2016

3. NSF Graduate Research Fellowship, Mar 2016

2. MIT School of Science Fellowship (3 years), Feb 2016

1. National Collegiate Research Conference, Best Poster in Physics, Jan 2015

Invited Talks / Special Contributed Talks
7. Graphene-MTL 2D Materials Conference. MIT. Nov 2018.

6. Seminar at Center for Nanoscale Materials. Argonne National Laboratory. Aug 2018.

5. Gordon Research Seminar in Plasmonics and Nanophotonics. [Only 20% of submitted abstracts accepted]. Newry, Maine. Jul 2018.

4. ITAMP Theoretical Atomic and Molecular Physics Seminar. Harvard University. Apr 2018.

3. Special Optics Seminar. Technion Israel Institute of Technology. Mar 2018.

2. Graphene-MTL 2D Materials Conference. MIT. Oct 2017.

1. APS March Meeting, LeRoy Apker Award talk. Mar 2017.